Country Life, in association with the garden travel specialists, Boxwood Tours, is delighted to announce an exclusive Italian Gardens tour from 8th to 13th May 2012. The Gardens of Roses and Nightingales tour explores the rolling hills, medieval towns, broad rivers and volcanic lakes of Umbria and northern Lazio, taking in the glorious food and hospitality of this favoured region.

Timed for the magical moment of early summer when the renowned and private gardens are seen at their best, highlights include the legendary rose and water gardens of Ninfa, Iris Origo’s La Foce, and ancient Castel Giuliano, where the annual rose festival will be in full swing. A visit to a famous peony nursery coincides with the blooms being at their peak of flowering, to be followed by lunch with Contessa Giuppi Pietromarchi at La Ferriara. There will be time for exploration of La Scarzuola’s fascinating architectural folly and some of the finest Renaissance gardens, including the recently restored Villa d’Este with its breathtaking fountains.

Hosted by Country Life’s long-established gardening writer David Wheeler (editor of Hortus) and led by Helena Attlee, acclaimed author on Italian gardens, this tour is based in two elegant hotels. The first lies in the heart of the medieval hill town of Orvieto. The second is a 17th century seaside palace, immersed in beautiful gardens and overlooking the Mediterranean.

For more information please contact: Boxwood Tours, Rhiw, Llanbedr, Gwynedd, LL45 2NT. 01341 241 717 email: mail@boxwoodtours.co.uk web: www.boxwoodtours.com