So pleased to welcome Dr Katie Campbell back to Florence for another garden tour this October.

Katie at Villa Gamberaia in May

Katie at Villa Gamberaia

Katie at Villa Gamberaia in May

Katie in the gardens at La Foce last year

Katie in the gardens at  La Foce last year

As always we can expect a lively and articulate introduction to the gardens of Tuscany and the lives of the people who made them what they are!

This time we are starting midweek on Wednesday 10th October – and by popular request we are going again to Val D’Orcia


where will visit the gardens of writer Iris Origo, – La Foce the place where she wrote her fascinating daily diary of her experiences during WW2 – War in Val D’Orcia 

In the morning of the 10th October we will visit the walled town of Pienza – home of one of the more interesting Popes – Humanist Pope Pious II Piccolomini and take lunch near the Horta in San Quirico d’Orcia.

After our visit to the gardens designed for Iris Origo by Cecil Pinsent we will follow the trail taken by Iris Origo and her husband, the Marchese Antonio Origo. when they had to escape on foot from their home with 23 children -many babes in arms – whilst it was attached by Allied bombs!

They made their way across a literally war torn Tuscany up to another walled hill-top city of Montepulciano where the residents, seeing the pathetic group approaching, broke the cordon of German Soldiers (getting ready to retreat , but nonetheless threatening to shoot anybody who broke curfew!) and rushed down the hill to help the family and evacuated children up to safety.

Our arrival wont be quite so dramatic but we will go right to the top of the town for a wine tasting!

For those eager to learn more about Cecil Pinsent’s  early garden designs on Thursday 11th  October we will also go up to the hillsides of Fiesole to see his gardens at Iris’s mother Sybil Cutting’s home at Villa Medici. This was the first Humanist Villa purpose built for Cosimo de Medici between 1451- 1457- and featured in paintings of Fiesole ever since!

We will also visit the Cecil Pinsent gardens at the nearby home of Philosopher Charles Strong known as Le Balse.


So our plan for the 5 days goes like this – many to be confirmed

Wednesday 10 October – Val D’Orcia – Pienza, San Quirico d’Orcia, La Foce, wine in Montepulciano

Thursday 11 October – Fiesole and Settignano – Sybil Cutting’s Villa Medici, nearby Le Balze, Villa Schifanoia, Sir John Temple Leader’s Castello Vincigliata for wine tasting,  Vernon Lee’s Villa Il Palmerino

Friday 12 October  – Lucca and environs – Villa Reale at Marlia, Villa Torrigiani , Palazzo Pfanner and Garzoni gardens at Collodi

Saturday 13th October – walking tour of gardens within Florence – things you never knew about the Boboli Gardens, Bardini Gardens , lunch in San Niccolo , the gardens of Villa Sibbert 

Sunday 14th October – a day in Siena – gardens to be advised

All days except Saturday will be taken in an air -conditioned minivan with professional driver.

For more information or booking please contact me at or leave a note below!