Hill Towns and Gardens of Umbria and Southern Tuscany


June 6-15, 2022

Brochure and reservation form (includes pricing information) are now available. Update 11/24: This trip is full; please email development@ahsgardening.org to be placed on the wait list.

With AHS Host Susan Klejst and Tour Leader Susie Orso of Specialtours featuring guest lecturer, art historian Nigel McGilchrist

Picture-Perfect Italian Countryside Awaits

The Hill Towns and Gardens of Umbria and Southern Tuscany explores and celebrates beauty — artistically and horticulturally — in a region that’s the envy of the world. Brilliant gardens, epic works of art, gastronomic delights, and private gardens await us as we resume the Society’s Travel Study Program.

The principal cities that we’ll visit — Perugia, Assisi, Todi, and Siena — are each outstanding in their own right and are some of the most popular travel destinations on the globe. We will also explore smaller and well-preserved towns, each a charming architectural gem: Monterchi, Montefalco, Spello, and Sansepolcro.

Our host is the Society’s own Susan Klejst, the Vice President of Development, who manages our travel program and has co-hosted previous tours to Italy. Our tour leader, Susie Orso of Specialtours, is familiar to many of our members, having led dozens of AHS Travel Study programs. A resident of Tuscany, her experience and personal contacts will enhance this already remarkable itinerary. We’ll welcome back renowned art historian Nigel McGilchrist, a longtime Umbrian resident, who will be enriching this tour with his profound knowledge. This will be Susie’s closing tour with the AHS Travel Program before settling in to enjoy her well-deserved retirement. 

Tour highlights include:

• The Basilica of St. Francis, a UNESCO World Heritage site, adorned with stunning frescoes by Cimabue and Giotto.
• The nursery Quando Fioreranno Le Rose’s English and ancient roses, and views of Assisi as its backdrop.
• A cooking demonstration in the local Tuscan tradition in the Badia a Coltibuono Abbey, which also offers a well-maintained Italianate garden.
• A personal tour by Helga Brichet, past president of the World Federation of Rose Societies, who will guide us through her rose garden.
• The cities of Siena, Perugia, Todi, Pienza, and Assisi, each with its distinct allure, grandeur, and historic points of interest.

The outstanding accommodations for this program are:

• Relais Todini is regally perched on a hilltop surrounded by the vineyards of the estate. The well-being center offers a wide range of massages and personalized treatments; from the outdoor heated Jacuzzi we’ll have wonderful views of Todi.
• Located in the heart of the medieval city of Perugia, Sina Brufani continues to be a favorite of celebrities; it has hosted Charlie Chaplin, the British Queen Mother, and the Prince of Monaco, among others. Its swimming pool is built under medieval vaults and over Etruscan ruins, which you can see through the pool’s transparent bottom.
• Borgo Scopeto is situated in the Tuscan countryside of our dreams with delightful views of the city of Siena, only a few minutes away. In harmony with its pristine natural setting, the hotel proudly offers its spa and wellness center.


Reservation form

For more information and to make reservations, please contact Susan Klejst, Vice President of Development at (703) 768-5700 ext. 127, or email development@ahsgardening.org. Our fax number is (703) 768-8700.