Call Us
01334 657155
Search Tours [view all]
Tours ~ Tour Details

Gardens of Florence and Tuscany

6 Nightsfrom £1795.00 pp

Tour Overview


The Italian heartland of Tuscany represents perhaps the archetypal image of Italy, with its walled towns, hilltop villages, rolling vineyards and, of course, the beauty of Renaissance Florence itself. Stretched along both sides of the River Arno, with a skyline that has inspired countless artists, Florence needs little introduction as one of Europe’s most popular city destinations.

We begin in the tranquil surroundings of the Giardino Corsini, which is off the main tourist trail and tends to be less crowded. Dating back to 1594, the garden was commissioned by an aristocrat with a passion for botany and later skilfully adorned with statues which make it seem larger than it is. We continue with the gardens of Boboli, which contain a collection of sculptures set against many fine trees and formal gardens, and Bardini, with its great flight of steps leading to a belvedere with expansive views over Florence.

Travelling out into the rolling hills of Tuscany, we visit Fiesole, where our visits include Villa Gamberaia, one of the most celebrated Italian gardens with its box hedges, topiary, yew pillars and stunning flower beds. Back in Florence we tour a fine nursery with the afternoon at leisure to explore some of Florence’s celebrated art galleries and churches, followed by another day in the Tuscan hinterland as we visit the Villa Cetinale and tour a Chianti vineyard.

Our spring departure is timed to coincide with the Iris Festival (dependent on flowering conditions), which we visit along with the Villa Medicea di Castello, while our September holiday includes a wander round the Murabilia garden festival, paired with a visit to the botanical garden in Lucca.
Click here to print a brochure
Click here to make an online reservation

Tour Itinerary Back to top of page

Day 1
We depart from London to Florence.  On arrival we continue by comfortable coach to our first stop, the Corsini Gardens. The garden oasis lies within in the Palazzo Corsini al Prato. The Baroque style garden plays host to large orangeries; a gorgeous statue lined main path with pretty lemon trees potted in elegant vases; and sophisticated geometrical beds and box hedges.

We continue to our comfortable accommodation, a lovely four-star hotel in Florence. A welcome drink will be served in the evening followed by dinner.

Day 2
Following breakfast, we visit the Boboli Gardens, particularly remarkable for their history, their formal layout, fountains, grottoes and collection of Roman, Renaissance and Baroque sculptures.  Begun in 1549 the original design was by Tribolo and included terraces and many fine deciduous trees: planes, limes, chestnuts, field maples, elms and oaks.  The garden was enlarged in 1612 and an island was created as a flower and lemon garden.  In spite of its long history the Boboli Garden preserves most of its original Renaissance and Baroque layout and the fine collection of statues still remains.

We don’t have to travel very far to our next enchanting stop. The Bardini Gardens and Villa date back to the 14th century, and are something of an unknown treasure. Five years of hard work and 12 million euros went into their restoration – and the result is simply exquisite. The flower beds blossom with fragrant roses, crocuses and mimosa; while the luxuriant oak and cypress trees play host to wood pigeons, blackbirds and robins.

Enjoy some free time in Florence this afternoon. With so many art treasures to be found here in Florence it is difficult to know what to leave out in a short tour but if there is one unmissable visit it must be the Uffizi Gallery. The marvellous collection here spans over 600 years and includes works by Lippi, Cimbue, Duccio, Giotto and da Vinci, along with several works by Botticelli, including his Birth of Venus, Primavera and Madonna.

Day 3
Depending on the departure you choose, there are two different options for Day 3 of our tour.

In May, we attend Florence’s popular annual Iris Festival. The iris is the symbol of the city, and the Giglio di Firenze is cultivated to bear the same distinct, deep red as the Florentine coat of arms. Iris rhizomes sent from across the globe are cultivated here, blooming together to create a cornucopia of colours and scents. The hybrids in competition for the prettiest and most original iris of the year awards are cultivated for upwards of three years prior to each festival.
We continue to the ancient Villa Medicea di Castello complex. The gardens were designed by Niccolò Tribolo in 1538. He went on to create the famous Boboli Gardens, which we visit on Day 2. The grounds are filled with decadent fountains and statuary, while the wonderful Citrus Garden is home to more than 500 rare plants. Most excitingly, there are also two beautiful secret gardens waiting to be discovered during our visit…

In September, we attend Murabilia in Lucca, one of the most anticipated events for Italian garden enthusiasts. Over two hundred exhibitors, from Italy and further afield, join together to present a unique exhibition and open-air market. The setting is worth a visit on its own – from the walls of Lucca with their tree-lined ramparts, to the pastoral meadows, and striking views over the city.

Our morning visit is perfectly complemented by a trip to Lucca’s lovely Botanical Gardens. They were founded by Duchess of Lucca, Maria Luisa of Bourbon in 1820. The garden was designed as journey around the world through a path of colour and perfume – with many beautiful species from distant countries, co-existing happily alongside a wealth of local flora and biodiversity.
Day 4
Today, after breakfast, we spend a full day exploring the Etruscan town of Fiesole.

We begin with a visit to the gardens of Villa Gamberaia, which lie just to the east of Florence in unspoilt countryside. The intimate scale and irresistible charm of Gamberaia make this one of the most celebrated Italian villas; since its restoration in Edwardian times, the garden has been considered a masterpiece, with its box hedges, topiary, yew pillars and stunning flower beds. Gamberaia’s most famous feature is a water parterre to the south of the villa where, instead of flowerbeds, the box parterres contain pools of water. They are a twentieth century invention, but they are the crowning glory of a perfect baroque garden.

We end the day at the Villa e Giardino Peyron al Bosco di Fontelucente. The complex and formal garden is composed of spacious parkland, woods and olive groves – which offer spectacular views of Florence to the south, and Castel di Poggio in the east. The garden is divided over several sloping terraces and features many of the plants associated with a traditional Italian garden, with many cypress trees dominating the landscape. Hydrangeas, potted lemon trees, and pots of azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons enhance the colour of the garden; while osmanthus scents fill the air during September.  

Day 5
Following breakfast, we visit the Pistoia Innocenti Nursery. We enjoy a guided tour of the nursery garden, which has been grown thanks to the love and dedication of three generations of the Innocenti family. Strolling through the nursery, we find trees of all sizes, hedging, Mediterranean fauna, multi-stemmed shrubs, Japanese macro bonsais and so much more.

Enjoy an afternoon at your leisure in Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance. Magnetic, romantic and endlessly charming, Florence’s narrow streets and wine-rich hills are home to hundreds of stories. This is a perfect place to explore at leisure.  

Day 6
This morning we venture toward Siena to visit the 17th century Villa Cetinale. The gardens are renowned as some of the most beautiful in Italy. Discover an array of vine-covered pergolas, climbing roses, lilies, and irises. In the spring months the wisteria covers the villa walls and walkways in a sea of purple. Fields of poppies and wild flowers contrast with cypresses, olive trees and vineyards, and geometrically shaped flowerbeds lined with box hedges surround the citrus garden.

Tuscany is a renowned wine region; it would be wrong not to visit a vineyard during our tour, and nothing says Tuscany quite like Chianti. Tart, spicy and herbaceous, Chianti is as essential to Italian cuisine as extra virgin olive oil, and is delicious served alone, or alongside a plate of prosciutto or pasta al pomodoro. Traditionally, it was bottled in squat containers known as ‘fiasco’ – walking through the vines, and sampling this ruby red delight, we’re sure ‘fiasco’ will be the furthest idea from our minds.
Day 7
Following breakfast, we check out of our hotel and transfer to the airport for our return flight to London.

What's Included Back to top of page

  • Six nights’ bed and breakfast at a four-star hotel in Florence
  • Comfortable coach travel throughout
  • Dinner and welcome drink on first evening
  • Flights from London to Florence (other airports on request) 
  • Visits to the gardens of Corsini, Boboli, Bardini, Gamberaia and Cetinale; Pistoia Innocenti Nursery; Chianti vineyard tour; Villa Medicea and Iris Festival (May); Murabilia and Lucca botanical garden (September) 
  • Services of a Brightwater Holidays tour manager

Supplements Per Person Back to top of page

  • Single room supplement     £420.00
  • Insurance                           £45.00 (under 65); £90.00 (65-74); £135.00 (75-90)

Departure Points Back to top of page

Please note all timings are approximate and may be changed. They will be confirmed when the joining instructions are sent out, approximately ten days prior to departure.
Click here to print a brochure
Click here to make an online reservation

Booking Form

*Lead Passenger Name:
*E-mail Address:
*Phone (evening):
*Departure Date:
Number of Passengers:
Departure Point (see tour for options - if any)

How did you find us:
Any questions or special requests:
Further Communication: Check if you do not want to receive announcements such as discounted tours.
All images & text © Copyright Brightwater Holidays Ltd 2003-2013
Brightwater Holidays Travel Insurance: 2015, 2016 | Booking Conditions | Cookies and Privacy Policies | Links | Site Map
Cookies and Privacy Policies [ X ]


Cookies Policy


Our website automatically deploys four, sometimes five cookies when you arrive at our website, provided cookies are not blocked by your browser. The first four cookies allow us to track visitor statistics and site usage. The fifth cookie is only set when you come to our site via one of our trusted affiliate partners and tracks affiliate performance.


On 27th May 2011, the EC introduced a directive called Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation 2011 which requires the owners of websites to get specific approval from the visitor if cookies are deployed. If you do not wish to have your access to our pages recorded please disable cookies now. By enabling the use of cookies you are agreeing to their use on this website.


Privacy Policy


Brightwater aims to provide the highest standards of customer service and to maintain these standards we need to collect certain information from you.  In doing so, we are committed to protecting your privacy and adhering to the principles of The Data Protection Act 1998.


We would also like to use some of your details so that Brightwater and partners can, from time to time, send you information (by post or e-mail) including offers and updates, that we think may be of interest.  If you do not wish to receive such approaches in the future, please let us know as soon as possible by telephone or letter.


When you e-mail us, we may ask for certain information to be able to check this record and answer your questions quickly and accurately.  When you contact us, in any way, we may make a note of this contact if it is relevant to your permanent record.  This allows us to provide a higher level of ongoing customer care.


In order to process your booking, we need to collect certain personal details from you.  These will usually include the names and addresses of party members, credit/debit or other payment details and special requirements such as those relating to any disability or medical condition which may affect the holiday arrangements.   We take full responsibility for ensuring that proper security measures are in place to protect your information.  We must pass some information on to the relevant suppliers of your travel arrangements such as airlines, hotels, transport companies etc.  The information may also be provided to security or credit checking companies, public authorities such as customs/immigration if required by them, or as required by law.


By using this website you are consenting to this privacy policy.  We may in the future change this policy, and if we do so we will post the amended policy on this website.




Bookmark this Site[ X ]


Holiday Protection[ X ]

The air holidays and flights shown are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Our ATOL number is ATOL 4498. ATOL Protection extends primarily to customers who book and pay in the United Kingdom.