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Dr. Ursula Prügger >>>


10. - 14. May 2021 (5 days)

Tour Costs

EUR 2.895,– per Person sharing Double Room at / from Trieste

Single Supplement + EUR 190,–
Mind. 10 – max. 15 Guests
Deposit EUR 290,– per Person

Expiry Date

31. December 2020 / after upon request

Booking request

Friuli (Italy) - Private Gardens, Culture and Culinary

Friuli Venezia Giulia, as the entire region is correctly called, is made up of over 90% of the total area of ​​Friuli and the small part of Venezia Giulia that remained with Italy. This particular region borders Carinthia in the north, Slovenia in the east and Veneto in the west. It shows a variety, from the mountain landscapes of the Friulian Dolomites, Carnic Alps and Julian Alps, the hilly Collio area with its vineyards, in which your castle accommodation, the Castello di Spessa is located, the Po Valley and the coastal landscape on the Adriatic Sea with the capital Trieste.

The multicultural aspect, which is not only expressed in Trieste, is also reflected in the language diversity in the region and in cultural differences. In addition to the official Italian language, German, Furlan (Friulian) and Slovenian are recognized as protected minority languages. A large part of the population speaks Furlan and it is their mother tongue for around 600,000 inhabitants. Around 5% of the regional population are Slovene as their mother tongue, while only around 2,500 German speakers are counted.

In addition to the fascinating Trieste, Aquileia with its extraordinary archaeological treasures is the cultural highlight of this stay.

Your explorations will take you into the different landscapes and gardens of the Bassa Friulana, i.e. of southern Friuli, in the rolling hills north of Udine and in the west of Friuli.

On this garden tour you will be welcomed by a particularly large number of different owners in their diverse gardens. Roses always play a special role, not only because of the travel time. A visit to the garden will even take you across the border into today's Slovenia.

Accompanied by Dr. Ursula Prügger experience part of Friuli and its garden paradises. A cultural and landscape mosaic, as well as enjoyable moments with the most diverse delicacies from the region, which also convince wine lovers, complete the program.

Arrival & first visits near Gorizia

Arrival at Trieste airport by approx. 1 p.m., meeting point at the airport with Dr. Ursula Prügger, Check-in at Castello di Spessa Golf & Wineresort - The charming castle hotel is located approx. 30 minutes from Trieste Airport in a beautiful location amidst vineyards. Welcome lunch or drink depending on arrival time. The afternoon is dedicated to two gardens in Gorizia, the formerly divided city on the border with today's Slovenia.

Visit to the Giardino Viatore - One of them is the Viatore garden in the heart of Gorizia. When Lucio Viatore retired from professional life in 1975, he devoted himself to collecting plants. With a wonderful view of his hometown, he created a paradise with hundreds of species of azaleas, cornus, ornamental apples, cherries and countless magnolias on a former corn field with a lot of love and tireless commitment. After his death, a foundation of the Sparkasse von Görz takes care of the maintenance of the now famous park of the "Signore dei fiori", the Lord of Flowers, as Viatore was called.

Private Cottage Garden on the border - in Slovenia - When at the end of the Second World War the city of Görtz, in Italian Gorizia, was divided into two parts, Marika's garden suddenly found itself with one part in Italy and the other in Yugoslavia. Nevertheless, she fought tirelessly for her green piece of jewelery and for about 30 years she has been spending every free minute in her colorful, idyllic garden.

Cozy welcome dinner in the hosteria of the castle hotel

Excursion to Bassa Friulana, southern Friuli: Aquileia, two private gardens and a nursery, rustic lunch and dinner in a gourmet temple

Aquileia - During the Roman Empire, Aquileia was one of the largest and richest cities in the Mediterranean and later became the seat of a patriarchate that promoted Christianity in central Europe, especially in the Middle Ages and up to 1751.

Aquileia has an archaeological area of ​​exceptional importance. The excavations to date have not even uncovered all the ruins from Roman times. However, those already found are considered the best preserved evidence of ancient Roman power, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

One of the most important treasures of the city is the patriarchal basilica, built around the year 1000 with the impressive mosaics from the 4th century an imposing example of religious architecture.

In 181 BC Founded by the Romans as a military outpost against the barbarians, the place served as a bridgehead for the Roman conquest of the Danube region with the aim of defending the eastern borders in order to promote the already flourishing trade between the eastern Mediterranean and the transalpine countries. Aquileia was later considered an important trading center as well as one of the most fascinating cities of the Empire, which however was partially destroyed during the Battle of Attilas Huns. From this time the forum, the Roman basilica, the macellum, the thermal baths, the mausoleum, the residential complexes, the protective wall, the circus and the amphitheater can be visited as well as the excavations of the inland port on the Natissa river.

Lunch in a rustic trattoria near Grado - The charming, traditional family-run inn with its own winery is located in front of the gates of Grado, where you can relax after a cultural morning.

Private garden, elegant and exclusive - this unique, elegant garden with its lush plants, huge trees, countless roses, a pond and much more was created by the owner herself. It is a specialty. The formal layout divides the various garden rooms in a geometric way, dominated by evergreen plants in different shades of color, broken up by roses, hydrangeas and the violets, which the owner loves so much, of which she has built an extensive collection in 20 years.

Visit the Susigarden nursery in Aiello del Friuli - You will stop at one of the best nurseries in the country, large and well-kept with an enormous variety of plants, especially roses and novelties.

Giovanni Geotti e Suzanne Lukas is characterized by curiosity for interesting, new or unusual species and varieties, as well as the constant commitment to produce and cultivate old and often forgotten plants. Over the years, this has enabled them to create true collections of roses, ancient varieties of violets, hydrangeas, pelargoniums, trees and shrubs, from the classic to the rare specialty.

Private garden, small and enchanting - Pietro awaits you in his tiny green gem, which he has cared for and cherished for many years.

Return to the hotel

Dinner in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Udine - In 2017 the restaurant celebrated an incredible anniversary: ​​130 years of uninterrupted activity, five generations, a place that has been changed to be always up-to-date, fresh and authentic.

In 1887 the great-great-grandfather Umberto, guardian of the king, received the license to sell colonial goods and tobacco as a clearance. Then the advent of radio and television, where all the villagers met in the pub to watch major sporting events together, and finally the village's public telephone moved into the inn. From there came the slow turning point towards a more attentive, sensitive and healthier cuisine, which today is a gastronomic destination for all connoisseurs.

Excursion into the hilly landscape north of Udine: four private gardens, a castle garden and a stylish lunch

Large private garden with a fascinating design - The owner created this elegant, large garden with the support of the garden designer Matteo La Civita, Friulian, who enjoyed great success in England, such as at the Chelsea Flower Show, and another special gardener, Michele Calore, known for his Paradise des Papillons.

The facility consists of two pieces of land bought at different times. In a wood with now tall trees, there is a small hill with a hydrangea collection. Many Euphorbia characias sub wulfenii thrive at its foot. Up the hill are Helleborus and ferns to a pond surrounded by wonderful grasses. In another, older pond, lotus blossoms and horsetail are fascinating. A Mediterranean garden area with herbs, a kitchen garden and another garden room with a multitude of magnificent roses, such as the arch surrounded by Pierre de Rosard roses or the magnificent, gigantic bushes by Mme Alfred Carrière, are adjacent.

In this paradise you will also find countless botanical treasures and fascinating elements of garden design presented by the passionate gardener.

English landscape garden style private garden - Giulia's garden borders a grove and overlooks the mountains. A multitude of plants grow in it, making it a piece of jewelry in every season. Its design is characterized by round cut yew and boxwood, which create order and limit the paths. The neighbors' oaks frame the roses, which grow up to eight meters high.

Lunch in the gourmet restaurant - one of the oldest country houses in the area serves as the backdrop for the dishes chosen by the Michelin Guide. The premises of the well-kept restaurant were taken from the medieval greenhouse of a castle. The converted orangery is one of the most elegant restaurants in Friuli.

In the afternoon, a visit to two other private gardens is on the program, which are also a few kilometers apart.

Color spectacle in the private garden - The first of the two gardens is only a ten-minute drive from the restaurant and stands out with its coordinated colors. Grasses, roses and acidophilus plants create a wonderful harmony.

Private garden based on the baroque model - the owner, who originally came from Gemona, lost everything when the earthquake struck Friuli. She rebuilt the garden of her childhood in her new hometown, Cassacco, where she now lives with her husband. It is a special baroque garden with lots of shady corners, unusual plants, fountains and statues that Roberta made herself.

Return to the hotel

End the day comfortably in the Tavernetta restaurant in the hotel

Excursion in the west of Friuli: Sacile, two private gardens, Castello Cordovado

The two private garden paradises that you visit in the morning are about an hour's drive from the hotel.

Ernesta's garden - the proud owner awaits you in her 5,000 m2, varied garden, which is mainly characterized by mixed border and an artificial hill with numerous different tree species and shrubs.

Giardino diffuso, a spacious garden - a long sea of ​​flowers of different kinds of roses unfolds on the avenue. An extension of the entire area of ​​30,000 m2 includes, in addition to the extensive garden, the house, the vegetable garden, a vineyard and an olive grove with a continuum of ornamental and cultivated plants.

Lunch in Sacile in an inn on the river - In the idyllic Sacile, which the Venetians once called the Garden of the Serinissima, the Venetian Republic, stop for lunch in one of the inviting inns on the Livenza river.

Small tour in Sacile - The Sacile seen today dates from the Renaissance and early modern times, which also represents the golden age of the Venetian Republic.

The water of the Livenza, flowing slowly in winding meanders through the old town, makes Sacile a picturesque place in western Friuli. The main facade of the most important, stately building in the city, the Palazzo Ragazzoni-Flangini-Biglia, built according to the classic Venetian scheme, also faces the river.

Private garden in which roses play the main role - This garden is a few minutes' drive from Sacile. A true rose paradise awaits you here with over 900 historical, botanical, modern and Italian roses, some of which climb trees.

Castello delle Rose di Cordovado - A little south of Sacile is the Castle of Roses, built in the 11th century on a Roman settlement. It is located in a romantic park that was laid out in the early 19th century using medieval walls and which still houses plants from that period. The defensive trenches, the hills, the walls and the stones of the Roman road were ingeniously used as landscape elements and every few steps you think you are in a different place.

The garden originally consisted of twelve rooms, which were separated by old box-lined paths. Today's garden also includes several rooms or small gardens near the buildings.

At the exit of the park there has been a real jewel and pride of the castle owner Benedetta Piccolomini since 2015: a labyrinth of old Damascus roses in the shape of a sun. They are intended to accompany visitors on a journey through intense scents and spectacular colors.

Return to the hotel

Dinner in a country house restaurant, in the immediate vicinity of the hotel - This country resort is only a few minutes drive from the hotel, nestled in the green of the vineyards and forests of the Collio Goriziano. The Mediterranean ends on these hills, the Slovenian mountains meet the Danube plain with the Habsburg splendor, olive oil meets butter, differences that find harmony in the kitchen in one pot.

Josko and Loredana started with a simple country inn in the 80s of the last century. It became a reference for the culinary development of the region.

The wine vinegar from whole grapes, which Josko proudly produces in the picturesque vinegar cellar, the cheese matured in the pit and in the hay from the alpine pastures of the Julian Prealps, and the famous ham from D 'Osvaldo are just some of the products that are used here.

The high quality and the wellness program are valued by guests and awarded a star by the Michelin guide.

Visit of Trieste and farewell lunch

check-out hotel - Guided culture walk in Trieste - In the 18th and 19th centuries Trieste was one of the most important cities in Austria and the only one with access to the Mediterranean. Trade with the Middle East gave Trieste an enormous boost. This changed with the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy in the 20th century. Trieste was annexed to Italy and its proximity to Yugoslavia caused the city to slide into crisis during the Cold War. Today she has recovered from it very well and is Italy's gateway to Eastern Europe.

In the multicultural city with one of the most impressive squares in Italy, which is considered a coffee metropolis, a fascinating mix of influences from 500 years of belonging to Austria, Italian dolce vita and Slovenian tradition is reflected. What makes the Trieste Art Nouveau widespread throughout the city unique, for example, is the coexistence of the Italian “Floreal style”, the presence of the Austrian secession and the influence of German Art Nouveau.

Some time to explore or shop in Trieste - there is still some time to explore or shop.

Stylish farewell lunch in Trieste - stop and enjoy again before going home.

Drive towards the airport, which is about 30 minutes away - flights from Trieste from 17:00

Local guides and gardening experts - the trip from Trieste is led by Dr. Ursula Prügger accompanies. The city tours are carried out by an expert in cultural history. The owners will welcome you in the gardens.

Restaurants - A gourmet foray through Friuli complements the program and gives an excellent impression of the traditional and newly interpreted cuisine with its local products.


Due to the lead time, there may be changes to the opening times that are not in our area of responsibility. This also applies to the gardens and villas. Of course, in the event that a garden cannot be visited, we will provide an equivalent replacement.


Many of our guests have rebooked their trip to 2021 trips due to the corona-related cancellation. Thank you very much for that.
All guests who could not decide were refunded their payments within 2 days.

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