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The Gardens of Latium


Robert & Beniamino

I Giardini del Latium


This will be an inspiring and stimulating trip around seven well-known gardens located north and south of Rome. It will include an ancient Roman garden, several Renaissance gardens and two romantic creations inspired by ruins.  


We will find out when and why these gardens were created, who designed them and what inspired their owners. I’d like to share all I’ve come to know about them and I’d very much like you to join me.”                                                                        


Robert Watson  (Landscape Architect) 

The Gardens of Latium
8 days (7 nights)
NZ$ TBA pp (price subject to change- single supplement may apply)

On this tour, you will:


  • visit outstanding Italian gardens with Robert Watson, a renowned New Zealand landscape architect

  • learn about developments in Italian garden design from the Renaissance to the modern day

  • admire the exquisite gardens of the summer palace of the Popes overlooking Lake Albano

  • visit UNESCO heritage site Villa d’Este and the magnificent ruins of Hadrian’s Villa

  • marvel at 16th Century stone statues and stunning water features in heritage Italian gardens  

  • visit the ancient land of the Etruscans and imagine yourself transported back in time thousands of years

  • enjoy learning about Italian culture and customs from Beniamino, your Italian escort

  • enjoy excellent accommodation in stunning surroundings. No boring high rises for us!

  • NOT be getting up every day at 7am and moving on to your next stop

  • learn about the regional cuisine from an experienced Italian restaurateur and enjoy local delicacies

  • NOT have absolutely everything mapped out for you – there will be surprises along the way that you will want to tell all your friends about when you get home and MOST IMPORTANTLY you will have fun!


Tour Outline


Start date:     DTA

End date:      DT

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On Sunday 26 May, the tour group will meet in the late afternoon at a charming hotel in the heart of ancient Rome, where the group will stay for the first night. That night we will enjoy a traditional Roman dinner at a local restaurant and get to know the two tour escorts, Robert Watson, a renowned New Zealand landscape architect and Beniamino Petrosino, the founder of Connectitalia-NZ Ltd. The following morning the group will be picked up by our driver and driven to the Tivoli area, close to Rome, where we will visit the impressive gardens of Villa d’Este and Hadrian’s Villa.

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Villa d'Este dates from the 16th Century and is located in Tivoli, close to Rome. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is best known for its glorious Renaissance garden with its terraced hillside and stunning fountains. This garden is without doubt one of the most famous water gardens close to Rome and is a “must see” for us on our tour.

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Hadrian’s Villa is also a UNESCO World Heritage site located at the foot of the Tiburtine Hills in Tivoli. This sprawling archaeological site is one of the best-kept and most visited sites in Italy. The villa was constructed for the Emperor Hadrian between 118 and 138AD  and comprises residential buildings, baths, nymphaeums, pavilions and gardens. 

Our accommodation on 27 May and the following 2 nights will be in a luxurious hotel in the Frascati area.  Frascati is one of several attractive historic hill-towns to the south-east of Rome known collectively as the Castelli Romani.


While in this part of Lazio, we will explore the area and may wish to sample a glass of famous Frascati white wine produced locally or maybe a Frascati Frizz aperitif. Grapes have been grown in this area since the 5th Century BC and Frascati wine is known as Rome’s signature wine.


We’ll visit the enchanting gardens of Ninfa (TBC) with its crumbling medieval walls providing a unique micro-climate for the many rare plants gathered from all parts of the world, Ninfa is a photographer’s delight and is often described as “the perfect garden.”

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Torrecchia Vecchia is a charming English styled garden designed by the well-known landscape architect Dan Pearson. It has an amazing history, having initially been part of a large estate of a great Roman family of which Julius Caesar was a descendant.


When we leave our hotel for our journey north of Rome we will visit the gracious gardens at Castel Gandolfo on the way. These beautifully manicured gardens are located at the summer retreat of the Popes and have recently been opened to the public by Pope Francis. This is a delightful, peaceful place, overlooking Lake Albano.

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Our destination for the night of 30 May and the next two nights will be Viterbo in northern Lazio, where we will stay for three nights in wonderful accommodation in the ancient town centre. Viterbo is surrounded by medieval walls built during the 11th and 12th centuries. It is located in a wide thermal area and is famed for its many spas and thermal baths.


Viterbo also lies in the heart of the ancient Etruscan region and many fascinating remnants of that civilization survive. It is close to picturesque villages such as Tarquinia and Tuscania full of Etruscan history, isolated hilltop villages such as Civita di Bagnoregio and the scenic crater lake Bolsena. We will have time to explore this region bursting with history while also visiting two of Italy’s most famous gardens in the area.

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Villa Lante at Bagnaia is a 16th Century Renaissance garden designed for Cardinal Gambara. The garden is perfectly proportioned and richly detailed. It uses the Palladian circle and square in its structure, with buildings serving as garden ornaments and outstanding fountains and water features throughout the garden.

Bomarzo, a village at the foot of Mount Cimino, is home to a unique and eccentric garden, Sacro Bosco designed by Prince Vicino Orsini and the renowned architect Pirro Ligorio. The park is embellished with giant stone sculptures of monsters, dragons, mythological beings and exotic animals along with temples, fountains and obelisks marked with strange symbols. This garden provides a unique experience to visitors and is one of four great gardens we visit that are members of the Grandi Giardini Italiani association. 

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It is going to be difficult to leave this enchanting area of Italy but sadly, on Sunday 2 June, we will depart for Rome, the end of the tour. We can take you to a central point in Rome or Rome International Airport depending on your onward travel plans.

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Tour inclusions

  • All accommodation costs sharing a double or twin room including breakfasts. Note - a single supplement may apply for single travellers wanting their own room. We will discuss this with you prior to confirmation. All accommodation will be of a very high standard 

  • All tour travel costs including de-luxe coach or minibus transport and associated charges such as fuel, tolls, taxes, with local drivers 

  • Daily sightseeing. It will be completely up to you whether you want to participate or spend the day independently 

  • Transfers to Rome Fiumicino Airport or a central point in Rome at the conclusion of the tour 

  • One group dinner including wine and soft drinks at a restaurant in Rome on our first night

  • Local guides as needed

Tour exclusions


  • Meals and beverages other than those included 

  • City taxes, room service meals and mini bar refreshments

  • Telephone/internet charges

  • Porterage 

  • Gratuities  

  • Individual sightseeing not undertaken as part of the tour

  • Expenses incurred on sightseeing trips other than transport costs


We do not arrange TRAVEL INSURANCE. Comprehensive Travel Insurance is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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