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Classic Gardens of Italy

Italy is one of Europe’s foremost destinations for tourists interested in gardens.

The landscaping and design of the great villa gardens has inspired garden designers for centuries, and today, the Italianate style is one of the definitive internationally recognized styles. Its stunning landscapes, and opulent villas and palaces, its variety of temperate and subtropical climates make for an unforgettable experience. 


Your travel itinerary

Wednesday 15 May

Auckland – Dubai

An evening departure on Emirates for Dubai. 

Thursday 16 May

Dubai -Venice - Padua

Dinner iconDinner

Arrive Dubai early morning, change planes arrive mid-afternoon in Venice and transfer to your hotel at Padua. Welcome dinner this evening.

Friday 17 May


Breakfast iconBreakfast

This morning we visit of the “must see” world renowned Botanical Gardens.  Founded in 1545 by the Venetian Republic, it is the world’s oldest academic botanical garden that is still in its original location. This afternoon a walking tour through the historical centre of Padua.   

Saturday 18 May

Padua – Venice – Milan

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

This morning we travel to the centre of Venice where you have a guided tour. Later, in the afternoon return by water taxi to join your coach and travel onto Milan.

Sunday 19 May


Breakfast iconBreakfast

Today, a guided walking tour of the area with free time in the afternoon

Monday 20 May

Milan - Lake Como (Varenna)

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

This morning’s drive takes you to Varenna, for a two night stay in lake view rooms on the shores of Lake Como. In the afternoon a boat ride to Lenno to visit the splendid Villa Balbianello, built in the late eighteenth century. 

Tuesday 21 May

Bellagio & Tremezzo

Breakfast iconBreakfast

The day starts with another excursion across Lake Como to Bellagio where you will visit the gardens of Villa Serbelloni and Villa Melzi.  This afternoon we continue onto Villa Carlotta, a place of rare beauty, where nature and art live together in harmony: the rock garden, the valley of ferns, the forest of rhododendrons and many others. 

Wednesday 22 May

Varenna – Stresa (Lake Maggiore - Borromee Islands)

Breakfast iconBreakfast

Today we travel onto Stresa and the Borromee Islands on Lake Maggiore. We visit Isola Bella, the baroque palace (built in 1632) and its world famous Italian gardens. Next, on to the Isola Pescatori (Fisherman Island). It is occupied almost entirely by an ancient rustic village with typical narrow streets. In the afternoon depart to Isola Madre, which is particularly famous for its azalea, rhododendron, and camellia blossoms.  


Thursday 23 May

Stresa (Villa Taranto and Villa Pallavicino)

Breakfast iconBreakfast

We start the day with a visit to Villa Taranto. This garden, took shape from 1935 and now boasts over 8,500 different species of plants. From mid April to mid May the azaleas and rodhodendron  blooming is amazing.  

Then onto Villa Pallavicino a nineteenth-century neoclassical-style villa that hosts a wildlife museum of over 50 species of mammals and birds.

Friday 24 May

Stressa - Liguria - Santa Margherita Ligure

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

A relaxing day as we travel onto Santa Margherita Ligure for a 4 night stay. Afternoon at leisure before dinner at a local restaurant.

Saturday 25 May

Cinque Terre

Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch

Today travel by train to the villages of Cinque Terre. Here you will visit Monterosso, which is full of picturesque cliffside dwellings, Vernazza, a colorful waterfront town, that sprang up in the 1200s and Riomaggiore.  Lunch today will in one of the most typical restaurants of the Cinque Terre.

Sunday 26 May

(Genoa & La Cervara Garden)

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 La Cervara is the most extensive Italian style garden in the province of Liguria.  The walls of the Abbey are covered in: ficus repens, campanula carpatica and caper plants while the pergola is covered in a centuries-old wisteria plant. We continue onto Genoa where we enjoy a walk through the historic centre of this medieval city.


Monday 27 May

Day excursion to the Riviera

Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch

Today’s excursion is virtually next to the French border, to Hanbury Gardens in Ventimiglia - On his return from China, Thomas Hanbury visited Ventimiglia and was inspired along with his brother Daniel, a famous pharmacologist and botanist, to develop on the 18 hectare site a Mediterranean subtropical botanical garden which is today one of the most important of its kind in the world. 

Tuesday 28 May

Santa Margherita Ligure - Florence (Boboli & Bardini Gardens)

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A morning dive to the city of Florence. In the afternoon a visit to Bolboli which is always listed among Europe’s best classical garden parks. Next door is the Villa Bardini an Italian Renaissance garden offering spectacular views of Florence. 

Wednesday 29 May

Florence- (Centro Botanico Moutan and Villa Lante a Bagnaia)-Viterbo

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First stop on this short trip is the Centro Moutan Botanical Center a garden which boasts one of the richest and most complete collection of Chinese Peonies in the world. Next we visit the Villa Lante a Bagnaia featuring fountains and dripping grottoes.

Viterbo is a city so fascinating and beautiful that in the Middle Ages, starting from the 13th century many popes, put their home here, that’s why Viterbo is named the City of Popes . It is still surrounded by ancient walls and access to the historic center is possible through seven doors.


Thursday 30 May


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A guided walking tour through the historic centre that includes a visit to the Papal Palace. The tour continues through the alleyways of the evocative San Pellegrino district. In the afternoon a garden visit to Palazzo Farnese in Caprarola. 

Friday 31 May

Viterbo – Bracciano - Rome

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On our journey to Rome we will visit the Bracciano area. The private garden of Palazzo Patrizi in Castel Giuliano which showcases hundreds of Rose varieties.  In the afternoon another private garden San Liberato Garden. A real botanical park that contains Canadian maples, Japanese cherries and Spanish firs. For the next 4 nights your stay is at a former Baroque Monastery in a quiet corner of Trastevere district.

Saturday 01 June

Rome (Vatican Garden & Classic Rome)

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We first visit the Vatican Garden with time at leisure for lunch. Then a Classic Ancient Rome walking tour including the Colosseum, Spanish Steps , Navona Square and Trevi Fountain. 

Sunday 02 June

Rome (Landriana Garden & Ninfa Gardens)

Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch

This morning we enjoy Landriana Garden before a light lunch. We continue onto the  Gardens and Ruins of Ninfa. The dreamy atmosphere of the ruins delicately draped in climbing roses and the soft English landscape style make this garden truly remarkable.


Monday 03 June

Rome (Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel and Villa d’Este)

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

Today we visit St Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. The highlights will be the Apollo, Raphael’s Rooms and the Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s frescoes . Then onto St. Peter’s Basilica to see Michelangelo’s Pietà.                                                                                                                                

The afternoon we visit Villa d’Este in Tivoli a masterpiece among Italian gardens. Tonight a Farewell Dinner.

Tuesday 04 June


Breakfast iconBreakfast

Transfer to Rome airport for return flight home on Emirates

Wednesday 05 June

Dubai – Auckland

Change planes

Thursday 06 June


Arrive Auckland

To extend your stay - Please  ask us



• Return economy airfares with Emirates Auckland – Dubai – Venice / Rome – Dubai – Auckland

• 19 nights in comfortable accommodation

• English speaking guide throughout

• All entrance fees to 16 plus gardens and sightseeing detailed in the itinerary & gardens booklet

• Daily cooked breakfast

• Four dinners and three lunches

• Guided walking tours of Padua, Venice, Milan, Genoa, Viterbo & Rome

• Guided tour of the Cinque Terre including lunch

• Entrance to St Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican & Sistine Chapel

• Jack Hobbs as Tour escort, subject to 20 people travelling


Cost Per Person *
Auckland - Auckland
Twin ShareSingle 
   $ 19,339  $ 23,597
Business Class Upgrade


Premium Economy Class Upgrade


Early Booking Discount ( 08 September 2023 ) $150
Previous International Pukekohe Travel Tour Discount $100

*This is a cash price. Credit cards will incur a 1.5% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment


• Items of a personal nature

• Travel Insurance is essential (please ask us for a quote)

• Airline and airport taxes (approx $225)

• Items not specified

Booking Conditions

• A non-refundable deposit of $3750 per person will secure a place on the tour

• Full payment is due no later than 09 February 2024


• From the date of booking to 09 February 2024 – loss of deposit

• After 09 February 2024 – no refund

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is essential. Please feel free to contact us for a quote.

General Information


• A current passport is required, valid six months beyond date of travel 

• No visa is required for New Zealand Passport holders 

• All other passport holders – please ask

Temperatures ˚c Max Min

Venice            24       12

Milan.           23         14

Rome         24         13

Currency / Money

• Euros


It is essential you can manage your own suitcase. A bag with wheels is an advantage when travelling through airports.

Health and Fitness

To ensure the tour is enjoyable for you and others in the group a good standard of fitness is required. The ability to negotiate stairs, spend time on your feet and walk unaided will ensure an enjoyable experience.

Terms and Conditions

For full terms and conditions please visit our website  www.pukekohetravel.co.nz/termsandconditions or please ask our tour consultant for a copy

• If this tour is cancelled/postponed due to Covid-19 Government travel restrictions Pukekohe Travel reserves the right, in addition to any supplier-imposed amendment and cancellation fees, to charge a service and administrative fee of $500 per person.

• Pukekohe Travel will assist in every way possible but accepts no liability for any additional costs incurred.

• You cannot begin or continue to travel if you have received a positive Covid-19 test in the last 7 days.

Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors and omissions on our website without recourse.
* Itinerary subject to change