Piedmont & Alba

Piedmont is the state in Italy that is north of Liguria and Alba is a small city in Piedmont. We went to one beautiful garden and then had lunch in a castle. TRAVEL IN PIEDMONT There are many farms and vineyards in Piedmont among the rolling hills which make for a very picturesque landscape. This…

Turin

Turin is a city of 900,000 population located in northern Italy. Before Rome it was the capital of Italy. LA VENARIA La Venaria is the largest palace in Europe with 861,000 s.f. It was completed in 1675 and became an UNESCO Heritage Site in 1997. It was one of the residences of the Royal House…

Liguria

Liguria is a narrow strip of land along the Mediterranean Sea in Northern Italy. We have 3 places to go today. LA CERVARA This Abbey was founded in 1361 by Benedictine Monks and built in 1364. This is the entry courtyard. It is now under private ownership and is used for weddings, conferences and as…

Cinque Terre

Today we are starting a new tour: A Garden Sojourn Across Italy: From Liguria to Veneto We traveled from Lucca to La Spezia and had the rest of the day to ourselves. The garden tour will start tomorrow. TRAVELING IN ITALY We traveled on a 4 lane highway with periodic rest stops. The rest stops…

Lucca

Today we took a walking tour of Lucca and also visited 2 beautiful gardens. WALKING TOUR OF LUCCA: There are very tall brick and rock walls that completely surround Lucca except for about 12 gates. On the inside there is a road where you can walk or ride your bike completely around the city. This…

Villa Reale di Marlin

The Royal Villa is near Lucca, Italy and was built in the high medieval period and developed after 1651 when the Orsetti’s purchased the property. In 1806 Elisa Baciocchi, who was the sister of Napoleon Bonaparte, purchased the property and began to develop the garden. Elisa kept the formality of the English garden in the…

The Pilgrim’s Path

In the medieval period people who traveled from northern Italy to Rome needed stops along the way where they could sleep and get something to eat. A route called Francigena (or Pilgrim Path) was developed that people could travel with rest stops every few miles for food, water and a bed. MONTERIGGIONI This is a…

Siena

We leave Pienza with memories of the beautiful countryside: Siena is a medieval town in Umbria located with tightly compacted streets much like Assisi. It was a rival with Florence for political and spiritual dominance in the pre-renaissance period. The people of Siena built these walls for protection from invasion from Florence and other city…

Umbria and Assisi

The state of Umbria is located next to Tuscany and today we travel to several areas in Umbria to be able to understand the history of Italy. ASSISI This is the church called Santa Maria degli Angeli which is built over the site where Saint Francis taught in the early 1200’s. Note that anytime you…

Val d’Orica

Val d’Orcia is a beautiful valley south of Florence that has received the UNESCO World Heritage Site Award. The rolling hills and pointed cypress trees earn the status of being in the sets of many movies. LA FOCE GARDEN Entrance courtyard The view from the La Foce garden to the valley is spectacular. The precisely…