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ARNE & CARLOS Grand Tour of Italian Gardens

Welcome to ARNE&CARLOS’ Grand Tour of Italian Gardens!

We are delighted to invite you to a beautiful Grand Tour of Italian Classical Gardens with garden enthusiasts ARNE & CARLOS as your hosts! Not only are the designer duo ARNE & CARLOS well known throughout the world for their famous knitting designs, but they are also very keen gardeners - they have created a lovely English-style cottage garden in their mountain home in Norway. Nature, flowers and gardens have always been a great inspiration in their design work. Now they want to invite other garden lovers to join them for this inspirational tour of some of the most beautiful gardens in the world - visiting Rome, Florence, Verona, and the Italian lakes – the Grand Tour of Italy!

To make our travels through Italy even more pleasant, ARNE & CARLOS will design a special project inspired by flowers, to knit on the bus, when we travel between locations. 


  • Rome - the eternal city
  • The most romantic garden in the world - Il Giardino di Ninfa, near the Pope’s summer residence
  • Villa D’Este with its beautiful renaissance gardens and hundreds of spraying fountains
  • The famous Medici Gardens of Florence
  • Verona and the undiscovered treasure of Giardino Giusti
  • Franciacorta vineyard with a tasting of their champagne-style wines
  • Exclusive tour of the Palazzo Borromeo gardens in Isola Bella, Lago di Maggiore
  • The sensational gardens of Villa Carlotta and Villa Melzi on the shores of Lake Como
  • Delicious meals at renowned local restaurants
  • Excellent accommodation in historic hotels







    Scandinavians Arne Nerjordet and Carlos Zachrisson are highly regarded fashion designers, textile artists, YouTubers and authors. They are best known for their original, colourful and visually striking designs as well as their knitwear and their books. Their work is highly influenced by their Scandinavian background and their everyday life in rural Norway. They work under their artist name ARNE & CARLOS, which they established in 2001.

    Read more about ARNE & CARLOS here.



    B = Breakfast    L = Lunch    D = Dinner

    Please note program is subject to changes

    Day 1        26 May 2022 - Arrival Rome, Italy
    Arrival Rome, Italy from your home destination, by own arrangement. Check-in at your hotel in the very heart of Rome – Romanico Palace. The evening at your own leisure.

    Day 2        27 May 2022 - Rome Classical Walking Tour and Villa d’Este, Tivoli (B, L, D)
    The group will meet with ARNE & CARLOS and enjoy a guided walking tour together where we will soak in the atmosphere of the eternal city - visiting the market at Campo de Fiori, throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain, rest by the Spanish Steps, be amazed by the world’s best-preserved ancient temple the Pantheon and be charmed by the Bernini fountains of Piazza Navona, where we will enjoy a traditional lunch. Afterward, we will visit the first garden of the tour, at Villa d’Este with its spectacular waterworks and theatrical effects. This is probably the most famous of all Italian renaissance villas because of the beautiful gardens with hundreds of spraying fountains. It is one of the most remarkable illustrations of Renaissance culture. The gardens with the fountains are a masterpiece of hydraulic engineering, both for the general layout and the complex system of distribution of water. After returning to our hotel, we have dinner together at a local restaurant nearby.


    Day 3        28 May 2022 - Castel Gondolfo and Giardini di Ninfa (B, L)
    Departure by bus to Castel Gandolfo - the little village famous because the Pope has his summer residence here.  We will visit Villa Barberini and its amazing gardens, sweeping over the belvedere and the holm oak galleries, over 400 years old, shading the walkways between the ruins of the Domitian palace. The historic gardens include the Citrus Garden, the Maze, the Garden of Mirrors and the Herb Slope. After lunch in Castel Gandolfo, the tour continues to the most romantic garden in the world, Giardini di Ninfa. The name Ninfa derives from a Roman temple built near the current garden and dedicated to the water deities. The creation of the garden was essentially a work of sensitivity and informality, without geometric preconceptions. After returning to Rome, the evening is at your own leisure.

    Day 4        29 May 2022 - Rome - Florence (B, L)
    After breakfast, departure by bus from Rome to Florence. Underway a little break in charming Orvieto with lunch at Ristorante Grotte del Funaro. Arrival in Florence and check in at Hotel Executive. A guided city walk through the historical centre of Florence to admire the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore and walk the beautiful bridge Ponte Vecchio with all their gold shops. After the walk feel free to explore further on your own, and enjoy dinner in a restaurant by your own choice. 

    Day 5        30 May 2022 - Florence and Medici Gardens (B, D)
    Today we will visit the Medici Gardens just outside of Florence. The Medici Villa of Castello became part of the assets owned by the Medici family in 1477 and it was for this villa that Botticelli painted The Birth of Venus and Spring, later transferred to the Uffizi. The afternoon is at your own leisure, and in the evening the group will meet and have dinner together.

    Day 6        31 May 2022 - Florence to Verona (B, D

    Departure by bus from Florence to Verona but before leaving Florence we will stop and visit the gardens of Villa Gamberaia - one of the most perfect examples of garden architecture, with its unique water parterre, bowling alley, secret garden, nymphaeum, lemon garden with magnificent views over the Arno Valley. We continue to Verona and after check-in at our centrally located Hotel Indigo, free time explore the area on your own or relax in the hotel. In the afternoon we meet for a city walk before our evening visit to the Serego Aligheri winery with tastings and dinner. The winery belongs to the direct descendants of the poet Dante, and form Valpolicella’s oldest and most traditional estates. The property was bought as far back as 1353 by Pietro Alighieri, Dante's son. Since then, winemaking has been a continuous tradition in the family. Serego Alighieri wines and agricultural products that come from these historic lands, are sold all over the world.

    Day 7        1 Jun 2022 - Giusti Gardini and Ortobotanico Padova  (B, L)

    Today we have a full-day tour, visiting the undiscovered treasure of the Giusti Gardens and the Ortobotanico Padova. This garden is one of the relatively undiscovered treasures of Verona. It dates back to 1404 and features Roman ruins, fountains and mythological statues. When the ‘Grand Tour’ became popular, Giardino Giusti became an obligatory stopping-off point for travelers visiting Verona, including poets, artists, and crowned heads of Europe. The garden’s emphasis is on architectural features, references to mythology, and links with the classical world. The garden features items that were in vogue in sixteenth-century gardens - pots with citrus plants, mythological statues, fountains, lemon houses, grottoes, grotesque masks, Roman ruins, and also pavilions to sit and rest and enjoy the panoramic views of Verona. Our next garden is the Botanical garden of Padua, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List:
    “The Botanical Garden of Padua is the original of all botanical gardens throughout the world, and represents the birth of science, of scientific exchanges, and understanding of the relationship between nature and culture. It has made a profound contribution to the development of many modern scientific disciplines, notably botany, medicine, chemistry, ecology, and pharmacy.”

    Day 8    2 Jun 2022 - Verona – Franciacorta – Stresa, Lago di Maggiore (B, L)

    The drive today from Verona to Lake Maggiore goes through the beautiful wine area of Franciacorta – Italy’s exclusive champagne-style wine. We will have a delightful stop at the Mosnel Winery with a tour of the estate, wine tastings and lunch. In early afternoon we arrive in Stresa, Lake Maggiore and check in to our hotel the Regina Palace. Enjoy the evening by the lake at your own leisure.

    Day 9    3 Jun 2022 - Full day tour to Lago di Como (B, L)

    Our tour today goes to the idyllic Lake Como. Ever since the ancient Romans escaped the summer heat in villas overlooking Lake Como, travelers have loved this scenic Italian lake. With the craggy Alps for a backdrop, a unique microclimate where tropical plants thrive, and a long history of lavish summer estates, Lake Como is surrounded by some of Italy’s most beautiful gardens – and we will visit two of the most famous – Villa Melzi in Bellagio, and from here a short boat trip to Tramezzo to visit Villa Carlotta. We will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Tramezzo. Early evening we are back in Stresa, to enjoy an evening at own leisure.

    Day 10    4 Jun 2022  - Villa Taranto and Isola Bella (B, L)

    “A beautiful garden does not need to be big, but it should be the realization of one’s dream, even though it is only a couple of square metres large, and it is situated on a balcony”.
    So explained Captain Neil McEacharn, the man who created these marvelous gardens at Villa Taranto. Many thousands of plants, brought from the far corners of the world, and rare collections, some of them unique in Europe and acclimatized after long laborious efforts, have been arranged with art in this beautiful setting, between the mountains and the lake.
    Early evening we will be picked up by boat for our special last evening of the tour, to be celebrated in beautiful surroundings at Isola Bella and Palazzo Borromeo which is like a baroque chest of wonders floating on the water. When the Palazzo close for the daily visitors and evening starts to fall, the wonderful gardens are reserved ONLY for our group. The lights on the mainland the flower-scented air are a magnificent setting for our last evening. Touring these unique botanic gardens as the only guests, we will arrive at the towers - where aperitives are waiting, served in this corner of Eden. From the gardens, we will proceed through the narrow streets arriving at the restaurant Elvezia which has been owned by the same family – Marcacci Rossi – for five generations. The cuisine is typical local which means fresh fish from the lake and homemade pasta with a creative touch. After dinner, the boat takes us back to Regina Palace.

    Day 11    5 Jun 2022 - Bus transfer to Milan Malpensa Airport (B)

    After breakfast, check out and bus transfer to Malpensa Airport Departures - own arrangements.




    Rome - Hotel Romanico Palace

    This classic imperial style hotel offers a refined and courteous ambiance, with its frescoes and marble floors. The property is in the heart of Rome's city center, near the Spanish Steps. The rooms feature elegant furnishings, marble floors, and antique furniture. The fine marble bathrooms are complete with bath or shower, and some with spa bath. Breakfast is served daily on the rooftop terrace with a breathtaking view of Rome.

    Florence - Hotel Executive

    The Executive Hotel in Florence is a luxury 4 star hotel in the historical centre of Florence. Located near the River Arno and Ponte Vecchio, Hotel Executive is a noble residence dating back to the 18th century. The historic hotel has original frescoes and antique furniture in the lobby and some of the rooms.

    Verona - Hotel Indigo

    Hotel Indigo Verona - Grand Hotel Des Arts is located midway between Verona’s Roman arena and the town’s train station. At a 5-minute walk from Verona’s historic centre, the hotel is close to wherever you need to be, yet also quiet and peaceful. Once home to Austrian nobility, Hotel Indigo Verona - Grand Hotel Des Arts still features antique furniture as well as contemporary paintings.

    Lake Maggiore - Regina Palace

    Overlooking the shore of Lake Maggiore and facing the Borromeo Islands, Hotel Regina Palace is a majestic Art Nouveau building offering refined classic-style interiors and a large garden with pool. Rooms and public areas are all decorated with antique furniture, rugs and historic chandeliers, all giving a sense of history and nobility. Liberty Restaurant serves local dishes in a very elegant dining room, while Charleston Restaurant specializes in sophisticated cuisine. Its dining room has big windows overlooking Lake Maggiore and outdoor dining is possible during summer.



    Your tourleader for the journey will be Githa Kristensen from Aller Travel. Githa has been arranging knitting and garden tours with ARNE&CARLOS for several years. Githa has worked in the travel industry always, as tour leader, on cruise ships and as a travel agent. For the Italian Garden Tour Githa will meet you at the hotel in Rome  - together with ARNE & CARLOS, and she will be assisting the group with all practical matters throughout the tour. Githa is also a keen knitter, and even though her garden by the fjord in Norway is very 'natural' both gardens and Italy are great travel favourites!

    Prices in USD


    Price per person in shared dbl room:     NOK 47 500,- (USD 5300)

    Price single room:                                     NOK 59 500,-  (USD 6650)