Fourteen members of the IMA Horticultural Society ventured to one of the most beautiful areas of northern Italy in May 2012, visiting Renaissance, Baroque and contemporary gardens on the shores of Lakes Maggiore and Como, as well as in the historic towns of Verona, Vicenza and Padua. Towering rhododendrons bloomed beside palm trees, with the snow-capped Alps and azure lakes forming a gorgeous backdrop. Colorful and fragrant anemones, poppies, iris and roses were at their peak of bloom, competing with strutting peacocks for most colorful display.
Magnificent villas along lakeshores and out in the country afforded the group glimpses of extraordinary wealth, history and art. The fabulous work of architect, Andrea Palladio, was evident at his Villa La Rotonda, the fascinating Teatro Olimpico, and at numerous churches.
Finally, water taxis brought the group of travelers to the magical city of Venice, where countless works of Venetian art were enjoyed at the Accademia, the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore and on the island of Torcello. A very special highlight was a private evening showing of St. Mark’s Basilica and its astounding mosaics.
In addition, eight of the travelers stayed on for an optional extension to Florence, Sienna and Lucca. Tour planner, Susie Orso, of SpecialTours and the Ultimate Travel Company, was an excellent hostess and guide. She provided fabulous meals and other special treats for the group. A special presentation about this trip will be March 10, 2013 at the IMA’s Toby, with refreshments following in the Garden Terrace. Stay tuned for that, and for the next overseas adventure.