This seven-day private tour will meet the needs of wine tourists who, in addition to sampling delicious food and wine, want to explore the cultural traditions of northeastern Italy.
Day 1: Benvenuti in Italia!
Upon arrival at Venice International Airport, you will be met by your tour manager and transferred to your charming accommodation in Venice/Treviso area. There will be free time to relax before a welcome dinner at the resort’s restaurant or in a typical restaurant of the area.
Day 2: Palladian Villas – Prosecco Tour
After breakfast, you will leave for a visit of two of the masterpieces by the famous 16th century architect, Andrea Palladio.
Villa Emo, once centre of a farming estate, is built upon a high footing, with two porticoed service buildings which are enclosed by dovecot towers. The façade is stunningly plain, with a Doric tetra-style loggia topped by a triangular tympanum with the family coat of arms, held up by angels.
Villa Barbaro. also known as Villa di Maser, is located in the middle of a flourishing estate whose historic winery produces wines of great quality. Open all year round, it maintains the fascinating character of a home where the owners still live and work, and during the many events staged, its beauty and magic atmosphere can be enjoyed throughout the changing seasons.
Enjoy lunch on your own. In the afternoon enjoy a Prosecco wine tour. Visit some of the most famous areas of the Venetian wine tradition and enjoy the luxury of one of the best food and wine trips in Italy. Journey past uninterrupted vineyards and small parish churches from medieval times to savour the delicacies and scents of the famous Prosecco di Valdobiaddene.
You will stop at two local wineries to taste this pleasant sparkling white wine and enjoy a typical dinner at a local restaurant in the area.
Day 3: Valpolicella and Amarone
Today you will enjoy a full-day wine tour starting in Venice and crossing a huge part of the Veneto region to Valpolicella, the land of Amarone.
Its vineyards begin just outside the city of Verona and stretch in two directions from the romantic home of Romeo and Juliet, west towards Lake Garda, at the historic heart of this very traditional wine, and to the east, where younger, more modern winemakers are making their mark. The region produces only red wines, and although its reputation suffered in the past as the kind of cheap vino you would order in a pizzeria, today it is producing some of Italy's finest.
You will first reach the “temple” among Valpolicella wineries, the Giuseppe Quintarelli winery, an Amarone legend. Enjoy a guided tour of the cellar and a wine tasting. At Quintarelli there is an obsession about quality: from the product itself, to the quality of the corks, glass, and bottle caps. The labels stand out with their charming and idiosyncratic handwritten style. They treat wine with respect and patience, allowing it to develop to its maximum potential before it is bottled.
At lunch time you will stop at a traditional restaurant, in the heart of Valpolicella Classica, and enjoy a traditional lunch on an amazing terrace facing the breathtaking landscape of the valley.
Continue your Valpolicella tour after lunch, and reach Villa della Torre, owned by Allegrini, one of the most renowned wine producers in Italy and a benchmark producer of Amarone. Visit the beautiful Villa surrounded by vineyards and enjoy a tasting of Allegrini’s wine, including Amarone.
Return to the resort in the evening; dinner will be independent tonight if you are still hungry you can take advantage of the property’s restaurant or you can just relax in the common spaces.
Day 4: Cividale – Cormons – Gorizia – The Great Wines Of The Collio
Today you will leave Veneto to Friuli Venezia Giulia. First stop is in Cividale, a very pretty little town and UNESCO World Heritage Site, close by the border of Slovenia.
Continue on to the Collio area, with its beautiful hills, perfect for growing vineyards. A premium-quality wine area, the Collio was one of the first in Italy to be recognised, in 1968, as a Denominazione d’Origine Controllata, or DOC zone.
You will then reach Cormons, another little village nearby and visit a beautiful family-owned winery and taste their wonderful wines. Independent lunch.
In the afternoon, proceed to Gorizia for a guided tour of this pretty town, with a fascinating history and rich in palaces and monuments which attest to a glorious past inside what used to be the Hapsburg Empire. A stop to nearby Piazza Transalpina will teach you the lessons of recent history, when Gorizia was halved by a wall, a reminder of the iron curtain that used to split Western and Eastern Europe. Now, the wind of United Europe has blown the wall away and turned the square into a peace symbol.
In the evening, reach your resort/boutique hotel in the Collio area, and have dinner.
Day 5: Prosciutto San Daniele – Amanuensis – Barbatelle – Cooking Class
After breakfast depart to San Daniele del Friuli, a little town well known for the Prosciutto di San Daniele. Visit the factory and see all the steps for making the prosciutto so delicate, then enjoy lunch based on prosciutto and other local delicacies.
Continue on to Ragogna, a little town nearby to visit the magnificent castle that dominates the valley from up high. Here, you will find a place that is almost from another time, thrown into the most fascinating Middle Ages. The Scriptorium Foroiuliense – Italian Amanuensis School – gave life to the Opificium Librorum, a veritable living museum that includes paper makers, book binders, miniaturists and, of course, Amanuensis.
Next, discover Raucedo and visit the world largest wine-nursery complex (Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo), where they collect and grow all the baby wine plants (“barbatelle”) and sell them all over the world. They are continually searching for new varieties, clones and crossings that can give better and better results for the growers. Enjoy a wine tasting at a nearby winery.
At the end of the tour at VCR, you will move to an amazing farmhouse, for a traditional “hands-on” cooking class. Friuli Venezia Giulia is a melting pot of people and traditions and you can find fascinating footprints of all those cultures in the culinary traditions, in the range of flavours and aromas which enrich all the dishes. You will prepare, with the assistance of your chef, a traditional 3-course menu, and dinner will follow tasting your creations.
Day 6: Cooking Class – Palmanova – Aquileia – Grado
After breakfast, transfer to a charming farmhouse in the Colli Orientali del Friuli, where this morning you will have a cooking class following the true Italian way of eating. All meals are prepared using fresh ingredients and products from the estate. A neighboring farm supplies salami and different types of vegetables, while hand-made cheese is purchased from the local dairy.
At the end of the lesson, you will taste your own creations (a 3-course menu) accompanied by local wines and served at a formally set table situated in the main dining room or, if it is nice and warm, under the shade of the vine-covered pergola.
In the afternoon leave for Palmanova. This Renaissance cityw, with the shape of a nine-pointed star, was built to be a fortress for the Venetians against the Ottoman Empire. Free time to walk around and see imposing Piazza Grande and the gates and fortifications surrounding this unique town.
At the end of the tour proceed to Aquileia, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the Basilica and its magnificent 4th century mosaics are a must see. On a guided tour of the archeological site you will see the remains of what was known the “Second Rome”. A visit to the stunning Byzantine frescoes in the crypt is also a must!
Next head south towards the Marano Lagoon, home to 8,800 hectares of unpolluted nature, and after crossing a sort of causeway, you will finally reach the island of Grado, named Golden Island for the colour of its sand. Grado was an ancient fishing village which has gradually been transformed in a modern and unique seaside resort and world-renowned wellness centre for treatments like sand bathing and thalassotherapy.
Stroll around the narrow paths and small squares of the old town, among thousand-year-old churches and charming fishermen's houses. Visit the Basilica of S. Euphemia dating back to more than 1400 years ago, the Baptistery and the Basilica of S. Maria delle Grazie.
You cannot leave Grado without enjoying an Italian gelato while walking along the scenic "Diga", from where you can admire the most enchanting views of the Adriatic Sea.
Dinner tonight will be independent; your expert tour manager will suggest you some excellent restaurants serving typical local dishes accompanied by renowned DOC wines from inland Friuli.
Day 7: Arrivederci Italia (B)
After breakfast at the resort, transfer to Venice international airport to take your flight back home.
- Amarone wine tasting at a local cellar
- Raucedo area wine tasting at a local cellar
- Visit and tasting of the worldwide famous San Daniele ham at a local producer and lunch
- Welcome dinner at your farmhouse/resort or at a local restaurant
- Professional English-speaking tour manager
- Ice-cream tasting at a local pastry-shop in Grado area
- Dinner at a local restaurant in Collio area
- Collio area wine tasting at a local cellar
- Two Prosecco wine tastings at local cellars
- Transportation and private English-speaking driver
- Lunch at a local farmhouse/restaurant in Valpolicella area with wine tasting
- Cooking class at a local farmhouse in Raucedo
- 3-nights accommodation in BB at a farmhouse/resort in Collio area in standard room
- Dinner at a local restaurant in the Prosecco production area
- Cooking class at a local farmhouse in the area of Colli Orientali Friulani
- Allegrini wine tasting at a local cellar
- 3-nights accommodation in BB at a farmhouse/resort in Treviso area in standard room
- City taxes (to be paid on the spot)
- Drinks with welcome dinner
- Entrance fees
Venice Marco Polo International Airport