Enjoy seven garden visits and scenic rail journeys through France, Switzerland and Italy

Published on : Tuesday, December 8, 2015

viarailA garden paradise on the private island Isola del Garda is just one of seven garden visits during Saga’s eight-night The Gardens of Lake Garda tour on April 16, 2016.

Garden-lovers will discover the best in classical and contemporary garden design, from visionary botanic gardens to inspirational planting schemes, as well as learning about the people behind the grand designs during tours and two illustrated talks.

Saga guests will join their Tour Manager and take the Eurostar to Paris and the TGV to Basel for an overnight stay at the 4-star Hotel St Gotthard.

There will be a visit to the University of Basel’s Botanic Garden before catching a train to Milan for Lake Garda for a seven nights’ stay at the 3-star Hotel Bogliaco, in the tiny lakeside village of the same name.

A visit to the Andre Heller Botanic Garden will be next on the itinerary; it contains more than 2,000 plant species and the planting schemes are accentuated by sculpture from artists including Heller and Roy Lichtenstein.

There will also be a visit to Il Vittoriale degli Italiani, a terraced lakeside garden on the Gardone Riviera. It was planted by Italian writer Gabriele D’Annunzio (1863-1938) who dotted the garden with memorabilia from his military career.

In contrast, a tour to the Arco Arboretum which was created in 1872 by Archduke Albert, Duke of Teschen, will be a perfect illustration of how Lake Garda’s microclimate allows many different Mediterranean and sub-tropical species to thrive.

From gardens to music, guests will have the option to visit the beautiful town on Cremona, home of Antonio Stradivari and other celebrated violin makers. A tour of the impressive Violin Museum will include a music recital and tour of the workshop.

The next garden will be Parco Giardino Sigurtà with its impressive topiary, a maze, themed gardens and ornamental ponds. It was developed in the 1940s and transformed from an arid plot into a vast garden using the water from Lake Garda. This will be followed by a trip to the Botanical Gardens of Toscolano-Maderno to learn about its scientific research work using medicinal plants from across the globe.

The last, but by no means least, garden visit will be to the stunning classical garden of Isola del Garda. Guests will take a boat to the small private island on Lake Garda where the beauty of this formal 19th century Italian garden is heightened by its magical setting.

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