Wine and gastronomic tourism in Italy
Wine and gastronomic trips are a fascinating, interesting and informative type of tourism. By getting to know the territory, visiting wineries and talking to winemakers, it is possible to know and understand wine better. On the spot you will find a variety of styles and rare grape varieties, unexplored territories offer wines which you will not find in Russian stores, not to mention the gastronomy and the typical products.
What can Italy offer to the wine and gastro tourist?
825 products with a geographical reference. 5 thousand gastronomic traditions 4 unesco-listed enogastronomic advantages 2 cities connected to enogastronomy 875 haute cuisine restaurants Over 23 thousand agriturismos 114 museums dedicated to gastronomy 173 wine roads
Which regions are considered the most popular with gastronomic and wine tourists? Sicily comes first, Tuscany second, then Emilia-Romagna, Puglia, Campania and Lazio.
Italy can be called the ideal country for wine and gastronomic travel. Each region has its own grape varieties, gastronomic traditions and historical sites, it is enough to define your desires and preferences and read our tips.
Tuscany for all wine lovers is a place that must be visited at least once in a lifetime. Sure, there is Florence – the cradle of the Renaissance, Siena – the pearl of the Middle Ages, the ancient necropolis of Etruscans and sandy coasts, but the roads, winding through the colorful hills covered with vineyards and small hospitable villages, this is another Tuscany.
Piedmont is the “foot of the mountains,” a northwestern region of Italy on the border with Switzerland and France. Piedmont is surrounded on three sides by a chain of Alps and on this stretch are the highest mountain peaks and glaciers in Italy. Other typical landscapes of Piedmont are the picturesque valleys and hills covered with vineyards and dotted with charming medieval towns and castles. The best time for wine tourism in Piedmont is in autumn, when the grape and truffle harvest begins and the hills are wrapped in mists with the autumn sun shining through.
Greek temples and theaters, Norman cathedrals, baroque cities, bits of Byzantine and Arabian heritage, seas and volcanoes, fields of wheat and vineyards – that’s all Sicily. An island renowned for its culinary traditions and wines, diverse landscapes and hospitable inhabitants. Sicily offers a wide variety of enogastronomic itineraries for all wine tastes, for lovers of beaches and mountain trails, hot southern style wines and elegant northern ones.
Puglia is one of the most attractive enogastronomic destinations. Many factors contribute to this, including 800 km of clean beaches formed by the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, a great climate, delicious and varied cuisine, excellent and inexpensive wines and the cultural heritage of Ancient Greece, monuments from the Norman period and a vibrant modern life. Puglia is on the high heel of the Italian “boot. The capital of the region is the city of Bari.
Campania is a southern region of Italy, well known for its capital city of Naples with its historic pizzerias, the rocky Amalfi Coast and the islands of Capri and Ischia, and excellent wines – Taurasi, Greco di Tufo and Fiano di Avellino.
The Marche is a region in central Italy, with sea and mountains, hills and forests. Such natural diversity makes for fascinating wine tourism, many routes, a wide variety of dishes from fish to meat and wine. Wine tourism in the Marche is convenient to combine with beach holidays or walks in the countryside. The capital of the region is Ancona, its historical center is small, but worthy of a visit. By the way, Ancona has a unique geographical position – it is a rare city where the sun rises from the sea and sets in the sea too.
Enogastronomic tourism in Valle d’Aosta offers unique and unusual opportunities: drive from south to north of the region, moving from winter to summer, climbing peaks and dropping to the bottom of valleys where swift rivers run, taste wines from different communes and varieties that are hard to find outside the Valle d’Aosta, taste cheese fontina, drink coffee from the “friendship cup”, see a hundred castles and some of the highest vineyards in Europe, climb Mont Blanc and dip in the Thermas. So, the mountain wines are calling!
“The most mysterious and unexplored region of Italy,” was how Corrado Alvaro, an Italian journalist, writer, poet and screenwriter, described Calabria in the middle of the last century. This description of Calabria remains to this day. One of the most beautiful southern regions of Italy, which has many advantages, contradictions and unsolved mysteries. Calabria is famous for its beaches, mountain landscapes and wild places which have yet to be discovered by tourists and travelers.
Umbria is called the “green lungs” of Italy. This landlocked region is famous for its dense forests, picturesque mountains and beautiful cities. Umbria produces one of the great red wines of Italy – Sagrantino Montefalco, but not to forget the excellent white wines, truffles and prosciutto from Norcia. Also not far from Perugia there is an interesting wine museum, founded by the Lungarotti estate.
The Roads of Prosecco: an enogastronomic itinerary through the original Veneto region
If you dream of embarking on a spectacular journey of discovery of authentic ancient traditions, tasting delicious traditional dishes and excellent sparkling wine, surrounded by landscapes so beautiful that at times they seem unreal, we have the ideal solution for you: the hills of Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene.
We are in northeastern Italy in the province of Treviso, where magnificent green hills gently grow into high mountain peaks, halfway between Venice and the Dolomite Alps.
In 1966, a scenic route of about 80 kilometers was created here, which at the time was the first route designed for visitors to Italy who wanted to discover Italian wine “Prosecco” while traveling.
Let’s find out what treasures these fertile Italian lands hold, where the incomparable aroma of excellent wine is in the air.
This is where the exquisite Prosecco Superiori is born. Thinkstock photo
A ring between hills
As a circular route, the Strada del Prosecco has no clear geographical beginning. Its origins are in a place that is central to Prosecco’s history: it is in Conegliano, the birthplace of the wine that brought the Conegliano Valdobbiadene, the land with the long and difficult name, to the world; it was also the location of Italy’s first oenological school in 1876. Deviating from the wine theme, we should note that these places also gave the world the painter Gian Battista Chima, who is considered one of the brightest masters of the Renaissance. One of his most famous works can be seen in the Cathedral, in the heart of the historic center of the city, between the beautiful arcades and stores, in the shadow of the medieval castle.
Castello di Conegliano. Photo trivago.it
San Pietro di Feletto, a hamlet scattered nearby, has one of the oldest churches in Italy: this simple and austere church was built around the year 1000 and hides beautiful ancient frescoes inside. Its imposing silhouette dominates the surrounding area (the church was probably designed so that the faithful could always see it while working in the fields).
San Pietro di Feletto. Church. Photo trivago.it
Among the woods and springs of Refrontolo, there is a place forgotten by people that seems to have appeared straight from the pages of a fairy tale: here, buried in greenery, the old mill is still working, silently “observing” for centuries the inhabitants of the ancient forest.
The mill in Refrontolo. Photo trivago.it
Churches, taverns and hilly slopes accompany us on the road to Valdobbiadene, the “heart” of Prosecco production. It is a must visit for anyone who wants to taste the authentic sparkling wine in the cellars of one of the many wineries that you will meet on the way.
Panorama from the Cartizza Hill, Santo Stefano di Valdobiaddeno. Photo by trivago.it
The last stop on our way is Vittorio Veneto, a town that encloses two entire Old Towns overflowing with Renaissance-style buildings. It is also home to the Museo della Battaglia, a museum of the city’s military glory.
Piazza Flaminio, Serravalle Vittorio Veneto. Photo trivago.it
Immersed in history: a journey through the castles and monasteries of the area
Exploring the villages that are scattered along the “Prosecco Route”, you can dive into the history of a land of thousand-year-old castles. We have already visited one of them when we stopped in Conegliano, the next interesting stop for history lovers is just a few kilometers away, in neighboring Sussegana. Here are two entire ancient castellos. One of them, the Castle of Collalto, is now a ruin – as a vague legend has it, a young lady of a noble family was shut up in this castle until her death. The castle of San Salvatore, on the other hand, still retains its former elegance – one can still dream of an era of elegant ladies and noble knights.
Fortified structures are also found in the settlements of Vidor, Vittorio Veneto and Chison di Valmarino (one of the 100 most beautiful Borgo in Italy), where Castelbrando Castle dominates the beautiful historic center; nowadays, the castle has been restored and turned into a hotel.
Castelbrando. Photo tivago.it
The abbey in the neighboring town of Follina, famous throughout Italy for its wool weaving, is an oasis of soulfulness and peace. A little further away, but still easily accessible, are the ruins of the abbey of Sant’Eustaquio, in Nervessa della Battaglia, on the slopes of Montello. It is said that the most famous code of good manners, Galateo or Etiquette, was written in this place.
Follina Abbey. Photo trivago.it
To the table!
Restaurant, trattoria or agriturismo, you can go anywhere in this area and everywhere you will be welcomed with warmth and hospitality. On the menu of the local restaurants you will find a variety of cuts of meat and cheeses and seasonal delicacies such as meat on a spit, chestnuts, mushrooms and honey. All this splendor is of course accompanied by wine, the pride of these hills.
The local kebab is “lo spiedo”. Photo trivago.it
Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore is a sparkling wine (mind you, it’s not champagne), as they say here, “fatto a mano” (“made by hand”), which, through centuries of amazing history, has determined the success of Prosecco all over the world. Prosecco di Conegliano is still a sparkling wine of the best quality, which is ideal as an aperitif or as a perfect accompaniment to traditional dishes. In general, in Italy Prosecco is a wine for every occasion. The bouquet of Prosecco is very aromatic and fresh, tasting like a fruity blend of yellow apple, pear, white peach and apricot.
Prosecco is also produced in Borgo Carthizza (the best wine of the denomination) and Riva.
The hills of Cozzuolo. Photo trivago.it
What to do?
The Prosecco production region is a quiet area, perfect as a vacation destination for those who enjoy agriturismo, enogastronomic tourism and sports amid gorgeous scenery. The hilly roads with postcard-like views are perfect for hiking, biking or horseback riding.
Among the most significant events that take place each year in the region are:
– Prosecco Superiore (Primavera del Prosecco Superiore), a succession of festivals held at local borgos from March through June, when you can taste quality prosecco;
– Vino in Villa, an international festival of Prosecco Superiore, held on the third Sunday of May in the beautiful San Salvatore Castle;
– numerous festivals dedicated to local products are regularly held in the area.
Finally, for the most energetic, once a year there is the Treviso Marathon, a race for walkers, now world-famous, as well as numerous events for cycling enthusiasts.
In general, if you want to “escape” to a unique place where time flows in a “slow” rhythm, where nature explodes with colors and “talks” with travelers in the language of flavors and aromas, you can come to Conegliano at any time of the year. The green hills, whispering to the sky, are waiting for you to give you an unforgettable experience and a unique holiday.
How to get to Treviso?
Treviso is located 30 km from Venice and is easily accessible by plane, bus or train. To enjoy the beauty of the area to the full, we recommend to go on a trip in your own car.
Treviso Airport is only 5 km from the city center (10 minutes).
Venice Marco Polo Airport is 20 km from Treviso.
Trains from major Italian cities stop in Venice, at the Mestre station. From there, trains run to the Treviso train station.
From Italy, take the A13 Bologna-Padua, then the A4 Padua-Venice Mestre freeway, or the A27 Venice-Belluno freeway, exit at Treviso Sud.
Prosecco area. Thinkstock photo.
Where to stay in Treviso?
Hotel Ca’ Del Galletto – Santa Bona Vecchia 30, 31100 Treviso, Italy
Hotel Ca’ Del Galletto is located in a quiet area, 1 km from Treviso’s medieval walls. It offers free parking, free bike rental and a large garden with swimming pool.
Ca’ Del Galletto offers spacious, air-conditioned rooms with satellite TV. Free Wi-Fi is available.
A sweet and savoury buffet breakfast is served in the mornings. The staff will recommend a local restaurant, part of the Treviso Restaurant Association.
Hotel Ca ‘Del Galletto has a fitness center and sauna. The swimming pool is open from June to mid-September.
Monigo Rugby Stadium is 1.5 km from the hotel. Treviso Train Station can be reached in 10 minutes by bus route 55, which stops next to the hotel. Canova Airport is 5 km away.
Ca’ Gemma – Via Cal di Breda 118, 31100 Treviso, Italy
Ca’ Gemma B&B is located in Treviso, 100 metres from the bus stop, which provides access to Treviso Central Station. Free parking is available on site, and guests have free WiFi.
The ceilings of the rooms are decorated with wooden beams. Amenities in each room include a TV, air conditioning and a private bathroom.
The Ca’ Gemma B&B features a garden, a terrace and a shared lounge.
Ca’ Dei Carraresi, a medieval palace in Treviso’s historic center, is 5 km away. Stadio Comunale di Monigo Stadium is also 5 km away. Venice Marco Polo Airport is 30 km away.
Hotel Maggior Consiglio – Via Terraglio 140, 31100 Treviso, Italy
Hotel Maggior Consiglio is located just 3 km from Treviso-Canova Airport, in a quiet area filled with picturesque villas, close to the historic center of Treviso.
This elegant hotel offers spacious, comfortable rooms with large bathrooms.
Guests have access to an indoor pool with hot tub and a wellness and fitness center with yoga and pilates sessions. In addition, a wide range of restorative massage treatments, individual programs and hydrotherapy are available.
The Maggior Consiglio has an excellent restaurant serving traditional Venetian food and pizza. The buffet lunch allows you to take a break during work or just have a little bite to eat.
The hotel is located on the Via Terraglio, which leads to Venice, close to the main train stations and public transport stops, with easy access to the famous city.
Hotel Continental – Via Roma, 16, 31100 Treviso, Italy
Hotel Continental is located in the center of Treviso. It offers rooms and suites with an LCD TV and free Wi-Fi. There is also an on-site bar. Bicycle rentals are available for guests, and discounts are offered at the partner parking lot.
All rooms and suites are classically decorated, have wooden floors and come with air conditioning and a private bathroom. A traditional sweet breakfast is served from 07:00 to 11:00.
The hotel is located opposite the train and bus stations. To get to Santangelo Treviso Antonio Canova Airport, guests can take regular and low-cost routes. Palazzo Treviso is 600 metres away.