Deryn Thorpe is a fanatical gardener, passionate about communicating her love of gardening to others. She has been taking people on specialist garden tours for 25 years. She is an award winning garden journalist, writing for Gardening Australia magazine and other gardening publications. She co-presents the multiaward winning ‘All The Dirt’ www.allthedirt.com.au, Australia’s most popular gardening podcast with more than a million downloads. Deryn has edited garden books and worked as a garden TV presenter and is a regular presenter on ABC garden radio and a vivacious and popular speaker at festivals and garden clubs. She volunteered for six years with Open Gardens Australia and opened her own beautiful, cottage style garden to the public. She is an Honourary Life Member of the Horticultural Media Association Australia (HMAA) and the Nursery and Garden Industry WA.
Deryn was fun to be with and very knowledgeable
Deryn was fabulous and the gardens were beautiful
Thank you, Deryn I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Everything ran very well thanks to your meticulous organization. All our drivers were kind and obliging to our requests. SL
Thoroughly enjoyed it. The small group was great. MM
Deryn was an excellent tour leader and expert garden guide and very enthusiastic and adaptable. RG
A good experience. CF
I enjoyed that Travelrite organised everything for me. Most of the properties were great and well organized time wise and talked about by the owners or volunteers. VG
I took this tour on the personal recommendation of Deryn after a similar ASA tour I had booked was cancelled last year. This tour was much better than what ASA had planned which was too long with too many included meals. I like the way not many meals are included as I prefer to do my own thing for food. MT
We thoroughly enjoyed the tour. It had the right balance of large and smaller gardens. Travel distances weren't too long between gardens. We had a very good coach driver. Deryn Thorpe was a very informative and professional guide. KMVIEW ITINERARY
DAY 1 Tuesday 21 May, 2024 Departure
Our holiday begins with our fl ight to London.
DAY 2 Wednesday 22 May, 2024 London
On arrival we visit the famous Kew Gardens, London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to the world’s most diverse collection of living plants and a scientifi c research centre of international renown. Set on 300 acres, we will discover incredible glasshouses including the iconic Palm House with its exotic rainforest, the Princess of Wales Conservatory that features ten of the world’s climatic zones, and the Waterlily House with its amazing, giant lily pads. We will check into our hotel and the rest of the day will be free for independent activity.
DAY 3 Thursday 23 May, 2024 London
The highlight of our time in London will be an escorted visit to the famous Chelsea Flower Show. Chelsea is the leading event in the English horticultural calendar and boasts amazing displays of the world’s most beautiful fl owers and plants. You will see fabulous show gardens created by top designers from around the world. Deryn has visited the show on many occasions and will ensure that you get the most from this wonderful event. Our coach returns to our hotel early afternoon, with an optional drop off at Harrods for those who would like to have time to shop. In the evening we will enjoy a welcome dinner to formally meet Deryn Thorpe and other tour members.
DAY 4 Friday 24 May, 2024 London
This morning we will visit Hampton Court Palace and Garden. The Palace off ers a fascinating insight into the activities of British monarchs from Henry VIII onwards. The garden is most famous for its Great Vine, planted in 1768, which still produces hundreds of bunches of Black Hamburg grapes each year. The Pond Gardens off er a magnifi cent display of bedding plants. The newly restored Privy Garden of William III is a spectacular example of baroque design, with parterres, cut work, clipped yews and spring and summer displays of 17th-century plants. We continue with a visit to a private West London garden.
DAY 5 Saturday 25 May, 2024 Rome
Today we fl y to Italy to visit inspirational historic sites and gardens which celebrate man’s desire to represent nature. On arrival a local guide shows us around Rome, a place where the entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage site. We see the famous Colosseum, the ancient Roman Forum, St Peter’s and the Vatican, the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. Deryn and the tour manager will meet those wishing to dine together.
DAY 6 Sunday 26 May, 2024 Rome
We travel to Tivoli to visit the famous Villa d’Este, which is renowned for its spectacular use of water. The water comes from a tunnelled aqueduct from the River Aniene and the garden was created by the architect Pirro Ligorio for Cardinal Ippolito d’Este. Highlights include the miniature Rometta, built in 1568 to represent Rome, its seven hills and the Tiber River, the Path of One Hundred Fountains, and the Organ Fountain, which is based on hydraulic theories fi rst outlined by Hero of Alexandria in 100 AD. We return to Rome for a free afternoon.
DAY 7 Monday 27 May, 2024 Rome
Today our journey features wild and romantic gardens that will be highlights of our trip. Ninfa gardens are considered by many, including broadcaster Monte Don, as one of the most romantic gardens in the world. Located in the Lazio, about 40 miles south-east of Rome, Ninfa was a substantial town going back to the times of the Romans. The ruins have been transformed into a botanical garden. Now plants wind over ruined towers and walls, rejoicing in the lush conditions. The atmospheric setting features roses scrambling for footholds in ruined archways, and the frescoed church wall still standing open to the weather. Magnolias, tropical plants and maples thrive in the damp microclimate which enables an unusual mixture of species to be grown on organic principals. After lunch we visit the amazing private gardens of Torrecchia Vecchia Cisterna which has magnifi cent plantings set within ruins and a style that maintains the harmony between wild nature and control. Gardens surround a hilltop of medieval ruins and a seventeenth century villa adjoining by the ruins of a thirteenth century castle. In 1994 the owners consulted British landscape designer Dan Pearson, who created a 1.75 hectare garden set amongst the ruins. Pearson brought in another reknown English gardening professional, Stuart Barfoot, to run the garden and he has extended the garden’s wild, romantic heart.
DAY 8 Tuesday 28 May, 2024 Siena
We travel north to the region of Tuscany for our three night stay in the medieval town of Siena. Famous for its cuisine, art, museums and medieval cityscape, the historic centre has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. On the journey, we visit the magnifi cent gardens of Villa Lante near Viterbo. This is a classic Renaissance garden in which murmuring water, flashing fountains, shade and sunlight alternate under vast plane trees. The garden has perfect symmetry, organised on four levels along a main axis and emphasized by fountains.
DAY 9 Wednesday29 May, 2024 Siena
This morning we visit Villa Cetinale, built in the 15th century by the Chigi family, bankers and money lenders for Popes and English kings. Additions to the original house and garden were carried out by Carlo Fontana, who was a pupil of Bernini. In the gardens are wonderful statues and the Romitorio, a hermitage where monks lived until near the end of the 19th century. Lord Lambton bought Vila Cetinale from the Chigi family in 1977 and since then the gardens have been immaculately restored and enriched. After our garden visit, a local guide will introduce us to the major sights of Siena, including the Piazza del Campo with its splendid civic tower and the enormous, partially completed Duomo. The main piazza is the track for the twice-yearly Palio horse race festival, a fierce competition between the local city wards. Siena is also home to the oldest bank in the world and has a spectacular town hall.
DAY 10 Thursday 30 May, 2024 Siena
This morning we visit La Foce, established by the author Iris Origo and her husband Marquis Antonio Origo, on the site of an Osteria. Renown English architect, Cecil Pinsent in 1927 designed the garden which is framed by cypress and holly. Within the frame are an Italian Renaissance garden, a fountain garden, an orangery and an upper flower garden inspired by the planting style of famous English designer, Gertrude Jekyll. Deryn will tell us about the dramatic events at the home during WW2. We travel to Bagno Vignoni, a small Orcia River valley village, which has long been a favorite among painters and travelers seeking solitude in a beautiful location. We’ll have time for lunch and a wander before returning to Siena. For the remainder of the afternoon, we will enjoy free time in Siena.
DAY 11 Friday 31 May, 2024 Florence
We drive through the gorgeous Tuscan countryside to Florence. On arrival we enjoy a walking tour of the historical center of Florence. During our walking tour we will explore Piazza del Duomo, with the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, one of the largest cathedrals in the Christian world. Together with Brunelleschi’s wonderful dome, we see the Campanile and the Baptistry. We also wander through the Piazza della Signoria, which contains the Loggia della Signoria, the Palazzo Vecchio and nearby, the Ponte Vecchio over the Arno River. The remainder of the day is free to explore Florence.
DAY 12 Saturday 1 June, 2024 Florence
This morning we visit Villa Le Balze, an early masterpiece of English architect Cecil Pinsent who designed a Renaissance-style villa set in just over one hectare of garden. The garden was created in 1914 on a very steep site overlooking spectacular views of Florence. To the sides of the house are enclosed formal garden rooms. The lemon garden next to the house has four box-edged lawn enclosures surrounding a circular pool. The formal gardens give way to a Bosco and olive groves. We continue our travel to explore Villa Gamberaia, set in classic olive-grove country. Restored to its 16th century splendour, the garden is small but idyllic. The main terrace is laid out with parterres de broderie and the water gardens are reminiscent of Persian reflecting pools.
DAY 13 Sunday 2 June, 2024 Como
We travel north to Pistoia, an area with numerous wholesale plant nurseries, which specialize in large trees and topiaries today. Many of the very advanced specimen trees that feature at the Chelsea Flower show are sourced from these nurseries. Our guided tour of the Vannucci Piante Nursery, which exports plants to 48 countries around the world, is a fascinating insight into the business side of horticulture, and some of the specimens will amaze you. We continue our journey to Stresa situated on gorgeous Lake Maggiore. In the evening Deryn and the tour manager will meet those wishing to dine with the group in the lobby.
DAY 14 Monday 3 June, 2024 Stresa
This morning we walk across the foreshore of Lake Maggiore, where we board our private boat across to Isola Bella, the most spectacular of the Borromean Islands. The magnificent villa is surrounded by one of the most dramatic 17th century gardens in Italy, with 10 terraces rising like a ship’s prow in the reflecting waters of the lake. Masses of roses and perfumed plants set among superb statues and fountains make this a garden to remember. We visit the nearby island of Isola Madre which has a lush sub-tropical garden of ornamental trees and shrubs in a parkland style fashionable in the early 19th century. Deryn will meet those wishing to dine with the group.
DAY 15 Tuesday 4 June, 2024 Stresa
A scenic trip along the west shore of Lake Como brings us to the picturesque village of Tremezzo and Villa Carlotta. This elegant 18th century villa has its own landing place on Lake Como and beautiful views over the lake. It was given as a wedding present to Carlotta, Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen, who, with her husband, created the landscaped gardens and began the botanical collection. Around the house, an 18th century formal layout has lemon arbours on the terraces, flower beds, and tall camellia hedges that reflect the architecture. This afternoon, we visit Villa Balbianello, one of the jewels of the lake The sophisticated garden is located on a small promontory and accessed by boat. Steep steps lead from the landing to an avenue of candelabra-pruned plane trees and the loggia, garlanded with creeping fig. The villa perches high above Lake Como and is filled with an astounding personal collection of furniture and artefacts.
DAY 16 Wednesday 5 June, 2024 Stresa
Today we travel to Como to board a ferry to sail to Bellagio. We will have time to explore the town of Bellagio, nominated as one of the most beautiful villages in the world. Deryn will guide us on a visit to the gardens of Villa Melzi. The semi-classical villa stands on the shores of the lake, among gardens studded with an eclectic mix of sculptures, from Egyptian to Roman. Deryn will share tales of the competition between the owner of this garden and the garden across the lake, Villa Carlotta. We return by ferry to Como. The afternoon will be free for individual exploration.
DAY 17 Thursday 6 June, 2024 Venice
We depart Stresa to travel to Verona, the setting for the play Romeo and Juliet, where we stop for lunch at leisure before visiting Giardini di Giusto; one of finest examples of an Italian garden. It was created in the 1400s, with the layout commissioned in 1570 by Gostino Giusti. The garden includes parterres, a hedge maze and many statues. According to legend, if lovers find themselves in the “little labyrinth” they are destined to eternal love! We continue to the Veneto area, before transferring to our hotel in Venice by motor launch. Venice, the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals – including the Grand Canal thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces.
DAY 18 Friday 7 June, 2024 Venice
This morning’s guided sightseeing tour of Venice will introduce you to this fabled city. We visit the iconic Piazza San Marco and its grand cathedral; see the Grand Canal, the Doges Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. We will wind our way through the narrow alleyways to the market square of the Rialto and learn about Venice’s history and culture. The rest of the day will be free for independent exploration - perhaps experience a gondola ride or get a bird’s eye view of Venice from one of the belltowers, or just wander the entrancing maze of streets and canals, windowshopping and people-watching. Deryn will meet those wishing to dine with the group in the lobby this evening or you may like to take in a concert.
DAY 19 Saturday 8 June, 2024 Venice
A day spent exploring some of the beautiful hidden gardens of Venice. We meet our guides, members of the Venice Garden Club, who will provide entry to some very special and beautiful private gardens. In the afternoon we have an excursion to the island of Murano, known as the glass-making island. There will be an opportunity to purchase a piece of this famous artisan made glasswork as a wonderful memento of your time in Venice. This evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner to say goodbye to tour members.
DAY 20 Sunday 9 June, 2024 Departure
Today we transfer to Venice Airport for our return flight to Australia.
DAY 21 Monday 10 June, 2024 In Flight
DAY 22 Tuesday 11 June, 2024 Arrive Australia
The group arrives in Australia and tour arrangements conclude.
|TWIN FARE PER PERSON||SINGLE FARE|
International touring can involve a considerable amount of walking and stair climbing in the places visited and it is important that all tour participants have a level of physical fitness that allows them to take part in this activity without the assistance from others.
Tour Operator: Travelrite International Pty Ltd, Licence number 30858 (ABN 64 005 817 078) is the tour operator.
Tour Costs: The tour costs are based on airfare, general transport, accommodation costs and foreign exchange rate at 30 April, 2023. Travelrite reserves the right to alter the costs if any of these factors change, giving any passenger that has booked the right to withdraw with a full refund of monies paid or modify arrangements. No alterations to price will be made within 60 days of departure from Australia.
Deposit and Payment: A deposit of $900 per passenger is required at the time of booking. Full payment will be required 62 days before departure of the Garden Tour. A 1.5% administration fee will be charged on payment by credit card.
AIR TAXES: From Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane as listed in the itinerary. Please contact us for air taxes from different cities. Air taxes are as at 30 April, 2023. If they change due to government and airline charges and currency variations, Travelrite International reserves the right to charge additional amounts.
Cancellations within 62 days of departure will result in the loss of all monies paid. Cancellation outside 62 days from departure will result in a cancellation fee of $900 per person. Travel insurance: Travel insurance is recommended to cover the costs of cancellation fees due to illness, death in family, etc.
Minimum Tour Numbers and Conditions:
The tour has been priced on the basis of a minimum number of passengers having booked 60 days prior to departure. Travelrite reserves the right to cancel the tour, giving a full refund of all monies paid or offer arrangements to proceed with the tour at a modified cost. Travelrite reserves the right to change advertised entrances if necessary for the smooth operation of the tour.
The tour is based on arrangements that do not allow for any refunds in respect to sightseeing, accommodation, meals, airfare or other services not utilized after the tour has commenced.
All passengers will require a valid passport. Visas for countries visited are not required for Australian passport holders. If you hold another passport please check with Travelrite.
All passengers qualify for the 20kg (44lb) free baggage allowance.
Responsibilities: Travelrite International Pty Ltd is the tour organiser. Travelrite International Pty Ltd, it’s agents, officers, affiliates, and/or suppliers of services pursuant to or in connection with these holidays shall act only as agents in making arrangements for hotels, transportation including transportation by ship, restaurants, or any other service and do not assume any liability whatsoever for any injury, damage, death, loss, accident or delay to person or property due to an act of negligence or a default of any hotel, carrier restaurant company or person rendering any services included in fly/cruises, or by act of God. Further no responsibilities are accepted for any damage or delay due to sickness, pilferage, labour disputes, machinery break-down, quarantine, government restraints, weather, terrorism or other causes beyond their control. No responsibility is accepted for any additional expense, omission, delays, re-routing or acts of any government authority. Baggage is at owners risk throughout the fly/cruise/stay holiday. The passage contract between the carriers concerned when issued shall constitute the sole contract between the carriers and the purchasers of these fly/stay holidays and/or the passengers. The right is reserved to withdraw any fly/stay holiday and/or make such changes in the fly/stay holidays as may be found desirable or necessary for the convenience of the parties and the proper carrying out of the holiday. This contract shall be construed in accordance of the laws of the State of Victoria, Australia.
Delays and Unforeseen Events:
You engage Travelrite to book this tour on your behalf and you acknowledge that Travelrite acts as your agent for the purpose of making contracts between you and the various providers of accommodation, transportation and other services that comprise the tour. Travelrite may without reference to you provide or make available to you, or may as your agent engage any third party to provide or make available to you, any good or service which Travelrite reasonably believes is necessary for your benefit to maintain the tour itinerary, repatriate you or otherwise accommodate, transport or sustain you in circumstances in which the tour itinerary fails wholly or partly for any reason. You appoint Travelrite your attorney for this purpose. You agree to pay Travelrite any cost thereof and you indemnify Travelrite in respect of any cost it incurs in this regard. Travelrite advises you to obtain travel insurance generally including in respect of the risk that any such good or service may become required.
How to Book: Bookings can be made by sending full names and addresses of intending tour members with a deposit of $900 for the Garden Tour. Please send to:
Travelrite International Pty Ltd
423 Whitehorse Road Balwyn, Victoria 3103
Further information or a booking form can be obtained by telephoning Travelrite International on the following numbers:
ABOUT TRAVELRITE: Travelrite International Pty Ltd (ABN 64 005 817 078) is a well-established travel company which has been marketing throughout Australia for over 40 years and operating in Victoria for more than 43 years. It has an ATAS10538 accredited offices at Balwyn, which is also accredited with IATA. As such they directly represent the major airlines of the world and all major domestic and international hotel, tour and transport operators. Travelrite International Pty Ltd is a full member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents – AFTA.
“The whole tour was wonderful and the group was a good mix of personality. The gardens visited were interesting and varied.”
“Very enjoyable. Good mix of people in the group.”