Thank you .. ‘Dirt du Jour’

for the glowing review! "Go ask Alice ... where all the best vineyard gardens are. She's an erudite charmer; you'll have fun!"


San Georgio Cloister Gardens

San Georgio AGTB © Alice Joyce

Visiting San Giorgio Maggiore .. Venice .. affords an opportunity to take in fantastic vistas of Venice’s Doges Palace and the lagoon from the church tower. San Giorgio is also the name of the magnificent basilica’s island location. Looking away from Venice from the top of the campanile – the neo-classical bell tower, you’ll feast your eyes on the island of Giudecca, where we stopped to have a mid-day meal in an inviting restaurant facing the Giudecca Canal. One of the most compelling sights I encountered in Venice: Atop the Campanile, I gazed down upon the serene cloisters of the San Giorgio Monastery founded by the Benedictines. The long history of the site includes a massive earthquake in 1223 that leveled the original buildings. Today, the church’s glistening facade – designed by Andrea Palladio in 1566 – is paid homage to by all who appreciate art and architecture.

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The Romance of Sirmione

Villa of Catullus Sirmione Photo © Alice Joyce

Sirmione is a must-see when touring the beguiling array of towns on Lake Garda, although you may want to avoid the weekend crowds during high season especially. An inviting destination that you might include in a tour of Northern Italy, even if spending time on Lake Garda is not in your plan, Sirmione is situated at the tip of a narrow peninsula at the southern end of Lago di Garda, where the cities of Desenzano and Peschiera anchor the lake’s edge to the west and to the east.

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Villa Arvedi: Perfection in an Italian Landscape Garden

Villa Arvedi Parterre Detail Photo © Alice Joyce

Departing Venice on a June morning, we drove on to Verona Province to take in the serene beauty of Villa Arvedi. An opportunity had presented to tour with the elegant, dignified Signora who resides at the Villa. It is an understatement to say the renowned formal Italian landscape captured my heart and imagination. From the magnificent frescos adorning the interiors to perfect layout of the parterres, memories of Villa Arvedi will remain with me forever.

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