Italy-Tours-in-Nature: Planned Tours for 2017.


Proposals for Botanical trips 2017:

The classic “FLORA OF THE DOLOMITES” TripJuly 2017.

The classic “FLORA OF THE DOLOMITES”: A Eight-Days Trip Through the Heart of the Dolomites, taking in some of its most astonishing Flora, both in the Wild and in Botanical Gardens. (PLEASE NOTE: This is a first draft, with more details to follow at a later stage).

The dates of the trip are: Monday 3rd July to Tuesday 20th June, 2017.

Day 1. Monday 3rd July 2017. Arrival of participants in Venice; transfer to a hotel near Belluno or in the region of Alpago. Welcome dinner at B&B and restaurant "Casa dei Len", Pieve d'Alpago.

Day 2. Tuesday 4th July 2017. Visit of Cansiglio and Cansiglio botanical garden, and of other natural features of this interesting karstic area. Easy walking in the area.

Day 3. Wednesday 5th July 2017. Visit of Monte Faverghera botanical garden, and other flora of the mountain, which is a floral hotspot, being a relic glacial station. Transfer to hotel in Cortina in the late afternoon (evening meal included). 

Day 4. Thursday 6th July 2017. Roundtrip of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, where the beautiful flora of the Dolomites can be experienced on site, in a dramatic scenery. Medium-difficult hike: duration 5-6 hours.

Day 5. Friday 7th July 2017. Driving the “Great Dolomite Road”, and taking in the great Dolomite scenery along the way, with (time and weather permitting) one ascent in high altitude with the Cable car. Transfer to hotel in Ortisei (evening meal included).

Day 6. Saturday 8th July 2017. Hiking to see the magnificent flora of the Alpe di Siusi, an open meadow-plateau at 2,000 m of altitude, renowned for its floral richness: a real haven for the lover of Alpine plants. Easy-medium hike: duration 4-5 hours.

Day 7. Sunday 9th July 2017. Transfer to Merano and visit of the Trautsmanndorff botanical garden, a stunning new garden which blends in the Alpine flora with the Sub-Mediterranean climate of the Merano region, in the former site of Princess Sissi castle. Farewell dinner.

Day 8. Monday 10th July 2017. Transfer to Bolzano, where we will briefly visit the Museum of Natural History, hosting also the famous mummy Otzi. End of the tour in Bolzano around 1pm, from where there are easy train connections to several main airports (Venice, Verona, Munich).

Estimated cost of trip (depending also on number of participants): in the region of 910 GBP (British Pounds), or 1,140 USD (US Dollars).

The price includes the cost of accommodation (typically in a double room), welcome dinner on the first evening, two more dinners (Cortina and Ortisei, on the evening of arrival), farewell dinner on the last evening, plus a typical lunch along the course of the trip (typically, at a mountain hut or rifugio). All other meals are not included. The price does include entry tickets to the gardens or other attractions such as cable cars, as from the program, plus the cost of transportation via minibus between the different locations.

Please notice, it does NOT include the cost of the airfare. There will be a supplement to pay for single room accommodation.

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The BOTANICAL GARDENS OF ITALY and the honored tradition of the Giardini all’Italiana”: A Twelve-Days’ Trip combining the history of some of Italy’s oldest Botanical Gardens, taking in the old and the new across time and three regions: Emilia-RomagnaVeneto and Liguria.

Day 1. Wednesday 13th September 2017. Arrival of participants in Bologna late morning/early afternoon; acknowledgment with some cultural features of this interesting city. Welcome dinner; overnight stay in an Agriturismo near Bologna (1).

Day 2. Thursday 14th September 2017. Visit of Bologna Botanical Garden, and other natural features of the area (possibly, the newly-founded Arboretum, or another historic garden). Easy walking in the area; overnight stay in an Agriturismo near Bologna (2)

Day 3. Friday 15th September 2017. Day trip to Padua. Visit of Padua Botanical Garden, the second oldest existing botanical garden in the world (1545), and the prototype of the Horti simplicium (“Garden of Simples”, or Physic Gardens), newly refurbished with a stunning cutting-edge development (“The Biodiversity Garden”). The Padua botanical garden is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a must-see for the plant lover and the botanic gardens enthusiast alike. Overnight stay in an Agriturismo near Bologna (3)

Day 4. Saturday 16th September 2017. Day trip to the “Giardino delle Erbe”, Casola Valsenio. This is a unique garden in Italy — a well-kept secret and hidden jewel, tucked away in the Apennines of Romagna, solely dedicated to herbs and medicinal plants, thus renewing the tradition of the old Physic Gardens in modern age. Overnight stay in an Agriturismo near Bologna (4)

Day 5. Sunday 17th September 2017. Visit of the “Giardini del Casoncello”, Loiano, Bologna: a quirky Italian-English garden, created by former theatre designer Maria Gabriella Buccioli. Sited on a tranquil location in the Apennines of Bologna, this unique, enchanting garden takes its inspiration from the topography and history of the site, as well as the influences that Maria Gabriella absorbed from her beloved English ‘masters’, most notably Christopher Lloyd and Marjorie Fish. Overnight stay in an Agriturismo near Bologna (5)

Day 6. Monday 18th September 2017. Transfer to Liguria; short visit of the Cinque Terre region “en route”. On this day, a wonderful fish lunch is included at the breathtaking Restaurant ‘Belforte’, sited on a Medieval tower facing the sea in the seaport town of Vernazza. There will be some time off for participants to relax by the sea, while enjoying the beautiful Mediterranean vegetation and taking in the craggy scenery of the coastline of Liguria. Overnight stay in Santa Margherita Ligure, or another location nearby (1)

Day 7. Tuesday 19th September 2017. Morning: visit of Villa Durazzo-Pallavicini in Santa Margherita Ligure, home to a characteristic Ligurian garden with a risseu — the typical design made with cobble stones. Afternoon: easy stroll on foot from Santa Margherita to Portofino, one of the most elegant and renowned seaside resorts along the coast of Liguria. I will conduct a guided walk at the discovery of the local Mediterranean flora (easy, on flat/undulated ground). Some free time to spend at one’s leisure in Portofino, and bus back to Santa Margherita. Overnight stay in Santa Margherita Ligure, or another location nearby (2)

Day 8. Wednesday 20th September 2017. Day trip to Villa Hanbury at “La Mortola”, near Ventimiglia. This is an outstanding Mediterranean garden founded by Sir Thomas Hanbury in 1867, which was to become, over the years, one of the most renowned collection of tropical and sub-tropical plants in Europe, relevant also for its scientific value. Villa Hanbury also actively collaborated with Kew Gardens in the late 1800s through to the outburst of WW2, and it is a splendid fusion of natural and agricultural landscape, with the implant of a Botanical Garden and the landscaped park. After a period of neglect and subsequent restoration, it is now managed by Genoa’s University as ‘sister’ Botanical Garden. Farewell dinner (included), and overnight stay near Genoa.

Day 9. Thursday 21st September 2017. Visit (in the morning) of the esoteric-romantic gardens of Villa Durazzo-Pallavicini, in the Genoa suburb of Pegli, recently opened after a 3-year restoration plan; end of the trip around 1pm in Genoa, where there is an International airport and there are easy train connections to several other main airports (Nice, Pisa, Milan). 

Estimated cost of trip (depending also on number of participants): in the region of 1.375 GBP, subject also on the number participants. PLEASE NOTE: this trip is at the very early stages of its planning, and the figure given is a rough estimate, based on 8 (eight) participants. I am open to negotiation as for length of trip (there is the possibility to make it slightly shorter). I will run the trip with a minimum of 3 (three) participants, in which case the cost will be reduced by the fact of not having to hire a minivan (I will use my own car). 

The price includes the cost of accommodation (typically in a double room), welcome dinner on the first evening (Bologna), farewell dinner on the last evening (Genoa), plus a typical lunch along the course of the trip (Restaurant ‘Belforte’, Cinque Terre). All other meals are not included, but a special rate may be negotiated with the Agriturismo near Bologna, which may also be included in the final figure (more information on this at a later stage of the planning). The price does include entry tickets to the gardens or other attractions, as from the program, plus the cost of transportation via minibus between the different locations.

Please notice, however, it does NOT include the cost of the airfare. There will be a supplement to pay for single room accommodation.

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Proposal for the “CLASSIC DOLOMITES” tripSeptember-October 2017.

The “CLASSIC DOLOMITES”: A Eight-Days Trip Through the Heart of the Dolomites, taking in some of its most astonishing scenery, geology, history and flora. (PLEASE NOTE: This is a first draft, with more details to follow at a later stage; dates are also provisional and can be negotiated).

The dates of the trip are: Monday 25th September to Monday 2nd October, 2017.

Day 1. Monday 25th September 2017. Arrival of participants in Venice; transfer to a hotel near Belluno or in the region of Alpago. Welcome dinner at B&B and restaurant "Casa dei Len", Pieve d'Alpago.

Day 2. Tuesday 26th September 2017. Visit of Cansiglio: botanical, geological, and other natural features of this interesting karstic area, which makes a good introduction towards the Dolomites. Easy walking in the area (2-3 hours). Transfer to a ‘rifugio’ (mountain hut) near Cortina in the late afternoon (evening meal included). Overnight stay at Rifugio Malga Ra Stua. (1)

Day 3. Wednesday 27th September 2017. Hiking in the area of Cortina: Malga Ra Stua, Rifugio Sennes, Fodara Vedla, taking in the grandeur of the noble Ampezzo Dolomites. This is a medium-difficulty round walk set in a dramatic scenery (duration 4-5 hours). Overnight stay at Rifugio Malga Ra Stua. (2)

Day 4. Thursday 28th September 2017. Roundtrip of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, where the most beautiful views over the Dolomites can be admired on site. This is a medium-difficulty round walk set in a dramatic scenery (duration 5-6 hours). Overnight stay at Rifugio Malga Ra Stua. (3)

Day 5. Friday 29th September 2017. Driving the Great Dolomite Road, and taking in the great Dolomite scenery along the way, with (time and weather permitting) one ascent in high altitude with the cable car (possibly, Sass Pordoi). Transfer to a hotel in Ortisei (evening meal included). (1)

Day 6. Saturday 30th September 2017. Hiking to see the magnificent plateau of the Alpe di Siusi, an open meadow at 2,000 m of altitude, renowned for its floral richness and pristine beauty: a real haven for the lover of open mountain views and quintessential South-Tyrollean scenery. Easy-medium hike (duration 4-5 hours). Overnight stay in Ortisei. (2)

Day 7. Sunday 1st October 2017. Transfer to the beautiful Val di Funes, where we will visit the a stunning Dolomite group of The Odle. Easy-medium hike to the Col de la Soné (possibly circular; 4-5 hours). Farewell dinner in Ortisei. Overnight stay in Ortisei. (3)

Day 8. Monday 2nd October 2017. Transfer to Bolzano, where we will visit the Museum of Natural History, hosting the famous mummy Otzi. End of the tour in Bolzano around 1pm, from where there are easy train connections to several main airports (Venice, Verona, Munich).

Estimated cost of trip (subject also on number of participants): in the region of 910 GBP (British Pounds), or 1,140 USD (US Dollars). (Please note: The current figure is based on 8 participants).

The price includes the cost of accommodation (typically in a double room), welcome dinner on the first evening, two more dinners (Cortina and Ortisei, on the respective evenings of arrival), farewell dinner on the last evening, plus a typical meal along the course of the trip (typically, a lunch at a mountain hut or ‘rifugio’). All other meals are not included. The price does include entry tickets to attractions such as cable cars, as from the program, plus the cost of transportation via minibus between the different locations. Please notice, however: it does NOT include the cost of the airfare. There will be a supplement to pay for single room accommodation.

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