A View from Villa la Foce

A View from Villa la Foce

Itinerary ? Tour Host ? Tour Leader ? Tour Price ? Payment Schedule ? Price Includes ? Price Excludes ? Terms & Conditions ? Cancellation Policy

Itinerary: September 17th – September 29th 2009

Date Activites
Thursday, Sept. 17th Arrive Florence. ?Get-acquainted? dinner in our hotel.
Fri.? 18th On our first full day together we will be visiting LA PETRAIA, the organic farm of Canadian cookbook author Susan McKenna Grant (Piano, Piano, Pieno). We will tour the farm, have a cooking demonstration and enjoy a wonderful meal. We will return to Florence for a free evening.
Sat. 19th This morning we will visit the beautiful gardens of VILLA GAMBERAIA which is said to be one of Italy?s most popular gardens. The afternoon and evening are free for you to explore more of Florence.
Sun. 20th After a free morning in Florence we will check out of our hotel and travel on to the walled city of Lucca, En route we will visit the 17th century garden of VILLA REALE DI MARLIA which was once the home of Napoleon’s sister, Elisa Bonaparte. After checking into our hotel, dinner will be at a nearby restaurant.
Mon. 21st This morning we will travel to the outskirts of Lucca to have a tour of the privately-owned garden, VILLA MASSEI. We will then return to Lucca where you will have a chance to explore this charming city. The afternoon and evening are free.
Tues. 22nd After checking out of the hotel in Lucca we will first head to the charming town of San Gimignano where there will be plenty of time to visit the town and have our lunch. We will then proceed to our final destination of the day, the medieval walled city of Siena. Dinner will be served at the hotel.
Wed. 23rd This morning’s itinerary takes us first to the town of Montalcino, famous for the Brunello de Montalcino wines. After lunch we will go to VILLA LA FOCE, the home of writer Iris Origo and her husband (and now managed by their daughters). Following our tour of these beautiful gardens we will continue on to the winery and home of GUISEPPE SESTI and his family where we will have a tour of the winery followed by a tasting. At the end of the day we will return to our hotel in Siena.
Thurs 24th This morning we will visit the gardens of the privately-owned VILLA CHIGI CETINALE to tour its beautiful baroque gardens which the family has been restoring. The afternoon and evening are free for you to discover more of Siena.
Villa Reale Di Marila near Lucca

Villa Reale Di Marila near Lucca

Fri. 25th Today we will be travelling to Rome via the town of Bagnia where we will visit the 16th century formal gardens of VILLA LANTE. We will then continue on to Rome and dinner will be served at our hotel.
Sat. 26th This day has been set aside to visit NINFA, a beautiful private garden which is set amidst the remains of a medieval town. We will return to Rome for a free evening.
Sun 27th Another excursion will take us east of Rome to visit the magnificent gardens of VILLA D’ESTE with its monumental water features, and VILLA LADRIANI, a 20th century garden noted for its themed garden rooms. We will then return to Rome. The evening is free.
Mon. 28th On our last full day of the tour, we will be staying in Rome and visiting the VATICAN GARDENS in the morning. Since the admission ticket includes access to the Vatican Museum as well, you may wish to stay on. The rest of the day has been left free for any sightseeing you want to do.
Tues. 29th After checking out of the hotel some of us will be leaving to go to the airport while others may choose to stay on in Rome or continue on their journey elsewhere.

Tour Host

MARJORIE HARRIS is one of Canada’s leading garden writers. She is The Globe & Mail’s national gardening columnist and was the Editor-at-Large for Gardening Life magazine. She has written several gardening books and is very much in demand as a gardening columnist and speaker. Marjorie’s passion for gardening, her knowledge of Italian gardens and her enthusiasm for travel make her an ideal host for this tour.

Tour Leader

For 15 years LINDA THORNE owned and operated THORNE & CO, a store for gardeners in the Glebe neighbourhood of Ottawa. She was on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Tulip Festival for 10 years, and she has also been a national judge for Communities in Bloom. Linda has been leading and organizing garden tours since 1998 including two with Marjorie Harris in 2008.
The two women met in 1990 when Marjorie was promoting “The Canadian Gardener” and Linda was about to open Thorne & Co.

Tour Price*

$5,450.00 per person sharing? (single supplement is $1,100.00).

Payment Schedule

$1,500 deposit to reserve your space

Final payment is due July 17, 2009


(tel: 613-237-9200)

(Algonquin Travel is acting as Thorne & Co.’s banker in order to insure your travel funds.)

Price Includes

  • 12 night’s accommodation with breakfast in carefully selected four-star hotels.
  • Four dinners and one lunch.
  • Services of a full-time guide and tour manager
  • first-class coach services throughout the tour.
  • All entry fees and organized tours.
  • All gratuities and porterage of one bag per person.

Price Excludes

  • Air fare
  • Most lunches and 8 dinners
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Items of a personal nature

Tour Notes:

  1. This is a small group tour which has had a lot of interest.? Places cannot be held without? a deposit.
  2. Due to the size and location of many of the gardens, this tour requires a lot of walking as well as the ability to climb long flights of stairs.
  3. Should there be a significant upward movement in the exchange rate between the Euro? and the Canadian dollar, the final cost of the tour may be adjusted slightly to reflect that? change.
  4. ALL ENQUIRIES CONCERNING THE TOUR SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO LINDA THORNE either by phone (613-232-9028) or by email (thorneandco@netscape.ca)

Terms & Conditions

villagamberaiaIn providing this tour, Thorne & Co. and its associated operators are acting only as intermediaries, whose function it is to make reservations with companies or firms offering facilities for accommodation or coach travel associated with the travel industry. Thorne & Co. and its associated operators make every endeavour to ensure that the reservations and book-ings which are made with such firms or companies, are in fact fulfilled by them. However, Thorne & Co. and its associated operators, while acting in good faith, does not accept any re-sponsibility for default causing loss or injury to person or property whether by negligence or oth-erwise on the part of any company, firm or their employees or any individual providing any facili-ties for any person taking advantage of the travel service. Further, Thorne & Co. and its asso-ciated operators are not liable for any loss suffered by any person or any additional expenses caused or occasioned by delays due to adverse weather, unsuitable road conditions, ill-ness, injuries, strikes, civil disturbances or whatsoever nature interfering with, altering or adding to the cost of the service or accommodation requested or booked.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation prior to August 5th, 2009 will be fully refunded, less an administrative fee of $150.00. Cancellations made between August 5th and August 15th, 2009 will be 60% refunda-ble, less an administrative fee of $150.00. After August 15th no refunds will be made.
It is strongly advised that you purchase trip cancellation and out-of-country travel insurance which can be done through Algonquin Travel or any other agency or bank.