May 2011 garden tour

Paradise of Exiles – Anglo-American gardens of Florence

Saturday 30 April – arrival in Florence – met at airport and taken to magical hotel Villa Le Rondini, whose gardens also enjoy magnificent views over Florence.

Sunday 1st May

10.00 meet in Piazza del Carmine at 10am for drive to La Foce – home of author and garden expert Iris Origo ,

1.30 lunch and wine tasting in Montepuliciano,

16.00 afternoon at Palazzo Piccolomini in Pienza

Monday 2nd May

9.30 driven to gardens in or around Fiesole –many of which were worked on by Cecil Pinsent –

10.00: Villa Medici – home of Sybil Cutting – mother of Iris Origo

11.00: Le Balze – home of philosopher Charles Strong

12.00 San Domenico – University gardens

12.30 Vincigliata – medieval castle of Sir John Temple Leader – where we will also explore the castle and enjoy a wine, cheese and prosciutto tasting.

13.30 time to take lunch ( if still needed!)

15.00– bus to Florence – Walking City Tour of Florence with Penny Howard

Tuesday 3rd May –

9.30   La  Pietra – last refuge of the aesthete – home of father Arthur and son Harold  Acton

11.00 I Tatti –one of the first Anglo American gardens – home of Bernard and Mary Berenson

13.00   lunch at hotel in Torre di Bellosguardo – home of Lady Paget

14.30   Pratolino the exotic Mannerist ‘garden of marvels’, created by Grand Duke Francesco de Medici in the late sixteenth century.

17.30   Villa Capponi – a baroque jewel lived in by American art Historian Charles Perkins and Henry Clifford –curator of paintings at the             Philadelphia museum

21.30 – Optional Italian  Opera:-  Tosca – performed at St Marks EnglishChurch, Via Maggio Florence

Wednesday 4th  May

10.00  The Boboli gardens – developed by Niccolo Tribolo for the very wealthy  Eleonora de Toledo, who bought the Pitti Palace from  financially overstretched Luca Pitti when he ran out of money, and the Palazzo Vecchio became too small and constrictive for her and her  growing family

12.00: The Bardini Gardens and the famous herb garden at Palazzo Corsini?

Free time after lunch in Florence   – visit to the Uffizi and/or Palazzo Vecchio and the Iris Gardens

18.00: Dr Katie Campbell gives a talk at the British Institute on the Gardens of Florence -The talk takes place in the  Palazzo Lanfredini Lungarno Guicciardini, 9 and lasts one hour -followed by reception with a glass of wine and   opportunity to talk to other gardening enthusiasts living in Florence

Thursday 5th May

10.00 Villa Gamberaia – home of the reclusive Rumanian Princess Giovanna Ghyka and her inseparable companion , Miss Blood

13.00 Lunch Casa del Prosciutto –north of Fiesole

15.00 – Optional Tuscan cookery class with personal chel – Lisa Banchieri

Friday 6th May

10.00 Humanist and Masonic Giardino Torrigiani – Florence

Saturday 7th May

12.00 I Briscieri

16.00 – BM Bookshop Borgo Ognisanti Florence – Talk and Book signing with Katie Campbell

Sunday 8th May

Pratolino – hideout and home of Francesco de Medici and Bianca Cappello