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Luxury Tour Through Rome’s Legendary Gardens Now Available from Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese in Collaboration with Stendhal Tours

Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese, in collaboration with Stendhal Tours, is now offering a five-night luxury garden tour that marries the beauty and history of Rome’s most prestigious gardens with the elegance of the historic five-star hotel. This exclusive experience includes visits to the iconic Borghese, Vatican and Tivoli gardens as well as some of the Eternal City’s private homes with the most exceptional floral displays. Guests will enjoy private tours led by the boutique bespoke Italian travel company’s expert guides, join owners of these private villas for one-on-one introduction, explore gardens that have served as a place of meditation for popes since the 13th century, see one of the world’s largest collection of peonies, and immerse themselves in Baroque, Neoclassical, and Eclectic artistry among the ancient trees and historical ruins of Italy. Designed by visionary architect Jean-Phillipe Nuel, the former 19th century Roman palazzo was inspired by the adjacent Villa Borghese, from fresco ceilings to bars that double as a contemporary sculpture, and a mixture of materials and textures that complement nature inspired tones. 

Day One – Arrival and Villa Borghese Gardens
Guests are warmly welcomed to Rome with a private transfer from the airport to Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese. After a few hours of R&R to unwind after a long flight, the experience begins with an exploration of the neighboring Villa Borghese gardens. Originally a vineyard, the gardens were developed in the early 17th century by the powerful Borghese family who chose a design in the English landscape garden style, an innovative move for Italy at the time. The layout of the gardens today still retains the same English style, offering a blend of nature and art with wide-open spaces, tree-lined paths, and beautifully landscaped areas. The evening concludes with a dining experience at Settimo, the hotel’s rooftop restaurant that offers panoramic views of the city and an architectural design that effortlessly mirrors the lush greenery and florals of the Villa Borghese gardens below. 

Day Two – Vatican Gardens & Palazzo Colonna
An early morning private car takes guests to meet their guide at the Vatican Gardens, a location that reveals a more spiritual side of the Vatican rarely seen by the public. This extensive ensemble of gardens and green space covers more than half of the Vatican City, and has been a place of quiet and meditation for the popes since 1279 when Pope Nicholas III moved his residence back to the Vatican from the Lateran Palace. Afterwards, it’s on to Palazzo Colonna, one of the oldest and largest private palaces in Rome. The palace and its gardens are a testament to the wealth, power, and influence of the Colonna family, one of the most prominent aristocratic families in Italian history. The gardens here are designed in the Baroque style, with manicured lawns, ornamental fountains, marble statues, and geometrically arranged flower beds. The layout and design of the gardens reflect the Baroque era’s emphasis on symmetry, order, and grandeur. Afterwards, a private transfer escorts guests back to Sofitel Rome for an evening at leisure. 

Day Three – The Gardens of Lazio
Day three’s excursion to the Landriana and Ninfa gardens reveals the enchanting natural beauty of Lazio. Stendhal Tours’ guides illuminate the history and botanical significance of Landriana Garden, a romantic site along the Latium coast owned by one of Rome’s most significant families. After lunch at La Landriana, guests head to the gardens and ruins of Ninfa. Due to the unusual climate on the coast, Ninfa has exotic plants such as avocado and banana trees. But it is the dreamy atmosphere of the ruins delicately draped in climbing roses and soft English landscape style which make this garden truly remarkable. 

Day Four – Castello Ruspoli & Centro Botanico Moutan
This next day invites guests to the medieval Castello Ruspoli, renowned for its significant Renaissance gardens which are considered among the most beautiful and well-preserved examples of Italian garden design. A special lunch hosted by the castle’s owners offers an immersive cultural experience. The afternoon is spent at the Centro Botanico Moutan, home to an unrivaled collection of Chinese peonies. The center serves as a resource for both professionals in the field of botany and the general public who want to see these beautiful flowers in bloom. Guests return to Rome with a deeper appreciation for Italy’s horticultural heritage.

Day Five – Palazzo Parisi & Villa d’Este in Tivoli
Cypress and olive trees create a serene landscape at Palazzo Parisi, a medieval fortified house that features magnificent gardens overseen by renowned landscape designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd. Here, guests take in the views across the Sabine Hills as they enjoy their tour and enjoy lunch on-site. After lunch, the journey continues to Villa d’Este in Tivoli, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The villa itself is a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture, but it is the garden that has captivated visitors for centuries. The garden is a spectacular display of water features, with fountains, nymphs, grottoes, plays of water, and music created by hydraulic organs within some fountains, making it a precursor of the kind of baroque elaboration of gardens that would become popular in the following centuries across Europe.

Day Six – Departure
Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese offers guests a seamless transfer to the airport on their final day.