Duration: 7 days (6 nights) Transportation: Ground transportation included throughout Arrival Airport/City: Venice Marco Polo Departure Airport/City: Venice Marco Polo
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A scenic corner of North-East Italy, beloved by locals and the few wise travellers who venture out of Venice towards the mighty Alps and the Austrian – Slovenian border. Being a natural crossroads of cultures, religions, languages for centuries, the local cuisine is particularly diversified and stimulating, paired with some of the best wines Italy has to offer. A plethora of Unesco-heritage sites from Roman to Austro-Hungarian and WW1 times will grant plenty of interesting discoveries to visit in pleasant day-trips from our family-run winery estates.

This itinerary starts and ends at Venice Marco Polo airport

  • Unesco world heritage sites included: Aquileia Roman site and Basilica of the Patriarchs, Cividale del Friuli Longobards Places of Power, Padua (optional)
  • Discovering the wine regions producing such Italian classics as Amarone and Prosecco
  • Sampling the wines of Friuli at family run wineries, including the world's best Sauvignon Blanc
  • Visiting an artisanal producer of Prosciutto San Daniele, a more delicate type of cured ham than Parma
  • Outdoor activities (optional, upon agreement with participants and subject to weather conditions): light hike across wine hills in Friuli Colli Orientali
  • “Drunken cheese” is a delicacy typical of the hilly area which were theatre of the epic WW1 battles: during a day discovering these historic sites (even Ernest Hemingway served here) , an expert cheesemaker will show you the secrets and above all the taste of these finger-licking delights

Itineraries

Day 1

Venice to Valdobbiadene with visit of Treviso or Padua

You will be met in Venice Piazzale Roma by your guide and driver. From Venice you will transfer to Treviso, a lovely city often overseen by visitors since it lies in the shade of the bright star of Venice. Historically the gateway of "Serenissima" from the mainland, its mighty walls protect elegant historic buildings and a small maze of canals, along which we can enjoy a traditional lunch in a family-run restaurant. Along the way we can make a detour to admire the splendid Villa Pisani, the "Queen" of the world - famous venetian villas. Situated along the scenic Riviera del Brenta, an ideal extension of Venetian Gran Canal on the land, this splendid mansions was for centuries the showcase of Pisani family. In its 144 rooms doges, kings and emperors (including Napoleon and the 1st King if Italy) were welcomed and nowadays it is a national museum which conserves eighteenth and nineteenth century works of art and furniture. Alternatively, we can visit splendid Padua, famous for the magnificent basilica where we can pay tribute to the Patron Saint of Travelers. In the afternoon we will then head towards the elegant winery estate where you will stay for the first 3 nights: a renowned Prosecco producer whose properties are nestled in a scenic area, made famous by the epic battles of WW1. We will visit the most interesting sites described by Ernest Hemingway along the Piave River battlefront, where he wrote his masterpiece "A Farewell To Arms". Dinner tonight will be at the wine estate to savor a sumptuous selection of home-made traditional dishes. Meals included: L, D

Day 2

Asolo and Bassano del Grappa

The attractive walled town of Asolo is in a picturesque setting in the lower forested foothills of the Dolomite mountains and listed as one of the most beautiful villages of Italy. The surrounding countryside is never far away, and the varied glimpses of the hills that you get as you explore have led the town to be nicknamed the 'city of a hundred horizons'. Bassano del Grappa is famous for its covered bridge reminiscent of WW1 Alpine troops, however our interest lies in Poli Grappa museum with tasting of the typical grappa varieties, learning to savor the taste and recognize its nuances. During our return to the winery estate we will visit the most interesting sites described by Ernest Hemingway along the Piave River battlefront, where he wrote his masterpiece "A Farewell To Arms". Dinner will be served at the winery estate. Meals included: B, L, D

Day 3

A day of cheese and wine

Today is dedicated to some of the region's most delicious products. After breakfast we will embark on wine tastings of both Prosecco and the renowned Amarone della Valpollicella and a ‘cheese experience’ at a local producer, to discover the typical flavours of “Montasio”, “Bastardo del Grappa”, “Imbriago”, followed by a visit to another master of Prosecco wines located on scenic steep hills of Valpollicella. Upon returning to the wine estate in the afternoon you will have free time to enjoy the surroundings. Because today is quite tasting-rich, dinner is not included so your guide will drive you to a nearby restaurant for the evening. Meals included: B, L.

Day 4

Aquileia Unesco heritage and Grado, the “birthplace’ of Venice

Today we will transfer to the neighbouring region of Friuli where we will stay in a winery estate for the next three nights. On the way we will stop for lunch and visit the Unesco-heritage site of Aquileia, famous for its Roman ruins and splendid medieval mosaics in the Basilica of the Patriarchs, unique in their genre. Nearby Grado is an unexpected gem in the scenic lagoon, the original settlement from which Venice was founded. In the evening we will sit down to a classic home-style dinner and dig into a selection of starters and main courses prepared according to original recipes and accompanied by local wine. Meals included: B, L, D

Day 5

A "holy" prosciutto and the noble white wines of Friuli

One of the most famous products of the Friuli region is the San Daniele prosciutto, similar yet quite different to Prosciutto di Parma. The town of San Daniele is the heartland of prosciutto production round here and we will visit a premium family-run producer to try some of this delicate ham and other local salumi specialties. In the afternoon we will visit winery in the scenic area of Colli Orientali which ranks as the best Sauvignon in the world according to world and French experts. The cultural side of the program is provided by a visit to the medieval Lombard town of Cividale del Friuli, soaking up the atmosphere of the narrow lanes and tasting some local specialties for dinner. Meals included: B, L.

Day 6

Trieste, a crossway of culture, languages and flavors

Today we will discover magnificent Trieste with an expert local guide, learn all about its interesting history, the elegant cafes beloved by James Joyce and Frank Kafka where you will learn the secrets of ordering the 67 (yes, you read properly!) varieties and enjoy a tasting lunch to savour the cross-border delicacies of this remote, splendid corner of Italy projected towards Istria and Dalmatia. From the elegant, fairy-tale-looking Miramare castle created by the visionary Ferdinand Maximilian of Habsburg then ill-fated Emperor of Mexico, to WW2 and Jewish heritage sites including Risiera di San Sabba concentration camp, this day will grant plenty of interesting visits for the history fans. Late in the afternoon, visit to another premium winery and gourmet dinner. Meals included: B, L, D

Day 7

From Friuli to Venice with a castle winery visit

After breakfast, we will transfer towards Venice and visit the castle and winery of Roncade, with wine tasting and light lunch. In the afternoon we will have time for fashion shopping in the outlet of S.Dona' di Piave or relax by the beach of Lido di Jesolo and Lio Piccolo on the spectacular lagoon. The journey will end at Venice airport or Piazzale Roma. Meals included: B
  • Gourmet Tour Package, tasting experiences
  • 6 breakfasts
  • 6 lunches or equivalent
  • 4 dinners or equivalent
  • Transport throughout
  • Airport pickup and drop-off
  • 3 Nights Accommodation at a wine estate in Veneto
  • 3 Nights Accommodation at a farmstay or wine estate in Friuli
  • Flights to and from Europe
  • Tips for Tour Guides and Drivers
  • Travel Insurance
  • 2 evening meals (daytime tastings and other activities make these very ‘optional’)