Last year’s Oldie garden tour around Lakes Como and Maggiore left travellers keen for more, similar experiences. So Lake Garda is our destination this year. With its scattering of sublime gardens, world-class vineyards and – always – sumptuous Italian cuisine, we have crafted an itinerary guaranteed to satisfy both eye and palate. And the ear, too, as we have secured tickets for Carmen on the opening night of this year’s Verona Opera season at the famous outdoor Arena on a special day that also takes us through the breathtaking greenery that surrounds 16th-century Palazzo Giusti, one of Italy’s most beautiful gardens. We will stay and dine at the lakeside Hotel Gardenia al Lago (www.hotel- gardenia.it) in Gargnano where all guests will have rooms with views of the lake.
Wednesday 20th June – Arrive at Gargnano – 13.15 depart London Gatwick with easyJet for Verona; arrive 16.20. Transfer to hotel. Talk by David Wheeler.
Thursday 21st June – The Gardens of Gardone Riviera and Gargnano – Morning tour of Giardino Boticano Fondazione André Heller/Gardino Botanico A Hruska. After lunch, a tour of the 18th-century Palazzo Bettoni, said to be the finest villa on Lake Garda.
Friday 22nd June – Sirmione, Verona and Opera Season Première of Carmen – A morning exploring the historic town of Sirmione, its Rocca Scaligera castle and Roman villa. Friday is market day. After lunch we go on to Verona to visit the Giardino Giusti and spend the afternoon/early evening exploring this ancient city. After early supper in the old city, we attend the première of the open-air opera season with a performance of Carmen in the Roman amphitheatre.
Saturday 23rd June – Rizzardi and Grezzano – A visit to the Villa Rizzardi and Giardino di Pojega, part of the Valpolicella estates, followed by a wine tasting and lunch. Afterwards, a tour of Villa Arvedi in Grezzana, its gardens and olive oil mill.
Sunday 24th June – on Lake Garda – A visit to the lemon groves above Gargano, tasting the variety of produce made from the lemons – including limoncello – followed by lunch and free afternoon.
Monday 25th June – Mantua – Italians know it as La Bella Addormentata (Sleeping Beauty). Three lakes form a gigantic moat protecting this majestic city of ancient towers, turrets, cupolas and domes.
Tuesday 26th June – Desenzano and Isola Borghese (aka Isola del Garda) – A trip to the market in Desenzano del Garda, capital town of Lake Garda, followed by lunch and then a short boat trip to the private island of the Cavazza family.
Wednesday 27th June – Last-minute shopping and early lunch before the 16.50 easyJet flight from Verona to London Gatwick; arrive 17.50.
HOW TO BOOK: Call 01225 427311 PRICE PER PERSON: £1,895 for those sharing a double/twin room, including everything apart from flights and drinks before and after lunch and dinner. We need to charge a single supplement of £300. Do book with Katherine to guarantee a place on email@example.com. Her number is 01225 427311. She will require a non-refundable deposit of £750. Final payment will be due by 20th March 2018.
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IMPORTANT NOTE RE CURRENCY RATES ON BOTH TRIPS
Due to the recent collapse of sterling, The Oldie needs to protect itself against further sudden falls, and, hence, reserves the right to change the price of the holiday. The Oldie is happy to maintain the current price until the euro drops below €1 to £1, using FairFX’s currency rates as the arbiter. The current rate is €1.11 for £1.
We will absorb (and you will not be charged for) any increase equivalent to 2% of the price of your travel arrangements, which excludes insurance premiums and any amendment charges. You will be charged for the amount over and above that, i.e. if the exchange rate falls below €0.98 to £1 before December 31st, 2017. However there will be no change after January 9th, 2018.
If this means that you have to pay an increase of more than 10% of the price of your travel arrangements, you will have the option of cancelling and receiving a full refund of all monies paid, except for an admin fee of £100. Should you decide to cancel: 1) you must do so within 14 days from the date on your final invoice of January 9th, 2018 2) We will provide a refund of insurance premiums paid to us if you can show that you are unable to transfer or reuse your policy. Should the price of your holiday go down due to the changes mentioned above, by more than 2% of your holiday cost, i.e. if the euro were to reach €1.10 to £1, then any refund due will be paid to you. However, please note that travel arrangements are not always purchased in local currency and some apparent changes have no impact on the price of your travel due to contractual and other protection.