Looking forward to the fall: Your perfect northeastern Italian wine vacation

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The northeastern corner of Italy is home to two very special regions, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia. These two regions are frequently overlooked by tourists.  Venice is a “must see” on so many travelers vacation dream lists. But there is so much more to the region of Veneto than just this incredible city. And it’s neighboring region, Friuli Venezia Giulia (we’ll just call it Friuli to make things easier) is another Northern Italian jewel.  Though we cannot visit them right now, Italy is making its way out of the ongoing global crisis, and is hopeful to rebound by the fall.  This means that your travel dreams aren’t cancelled, just postponed. And for wine lovers, this amazing corner of the country is one of the best places to taste your way through a country that will welcome you with open arms.  For clients with about 8-11 days to spend this fall, we can tailor a trip to your preferences.

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Always Amazing and Unique Venice

Visitors to the Veneto cannot miss Venice.  Arriving in la serenissima (Venice’s nickname of “the most serene one”), we recommend starting a fall vacation with 3 nights here.  Venice is a vibrant city throughout the year. But we feel the fall is a wonderful time to visit.  As soon as you arrive, a great start to your vacation is our cicchetti aperitivo tour.  Venice is unique in Italy for its “tapas” or “cicchetti” culture. This tour shows you some great bars and introduces you to some of Veneto’s famous wines.

We can arrange so many different tours for you in this amazing city. It’s a personal favorite, and one of the most special places on Earth. Our “All about Venice” Tour with our private guide is a wonderful way to see the highlights of the city in half a day.  It includes St. Mark’s Square and the interior of the Basilica, with an overview of all its most famous monuments.

Then, it is time to board a private boat to cruise parts of the Grand Canal. Here you will explore some of the narrow canals where public ferries are not allowed to go, sided by hidden gardens and picturesque residences.  We can also add on stops further up the lagoon to the outer islands of Murano, Burano or even tiny Torcello. 

Another day can be spent with a market tour of the Rialto market followed by a cooking class and wine pairing lunch.  This is a great way to learn first hand about the food and ingredients of Veneto, and how to pair them with their local wines.

After 3 nights in Venice, you could take a private boat to the bridge of the mainland, where you will pick up your automatic rental car and make your way to one of Veneto’s true gems, fair Verona.  

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Elegant and Enticing Verona

Verona is a small city full of character and atmosphere. Two nights here gives you time to explore and relax.  Famous as the home of Juliet and Romeo, it’s also home to a spectacular preserved amphitheater and one of the most gorgeous piazza in Italy.  In the fall, the leaves change on the river and the air is crisp and pairs wonderful with a glass of local amarone.  Upon arrival, to get you settled in, your local guide will meet you and show you what makes her city so special in our half day walking tour. 

For true wine lovers, the next day can be spend either with our sommelier guide and private driver. As you drive through the Valpolicella wine region, you will stop off at 3-4 boutique wine producers to have guided tastings of these world famous wines.  Another option is a day trip with your private driver to the charming lake-side town of Sirmione to explore one of Italy’s most magical lakes, Lago di Garda.

The Veneto offers so many amazing places!

Day Tripping into Trento

Those with a few more days to spare can take the short trip by car to another fascinating city, constantly referred to as one of Europe’s most underrated cities – Trento. This lovely city is located in the region of Trentino Alto Adige.  The region is an autonomous part of Italy, and is special because of its unique culture and language.  Heavily influenced by and culturally tied to Italy’s northern neighbors, this small city and region has an Austrian touch that makes it a special spot for a night or two.  Visitors to Trento will fall in love with the nature. It’s a destination throughout the year! Trento Alto Adige region explodes with the ski season. And in warmer weather, its mountain hikes are incredible.  Wine lovers will relish tasting the unique local grapes, like Teroldego and Lagrein. Foodies will love the unique local cuisine which is unlike anything else in the country!

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Often the Lesser Known Friuli Venezia Giulia region

From here, a longer drive takes you further east into the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia.  To break up your stop, lovers of bubbles will want to stop for lunch in Valdobbiadene. This is home of Italy’s world famous prosecco.  Friuli is another autonomous region of Italy. It receives special influences from the east.  Slovenia (one of our newest destinations) is just on the other side of the border.  The names of some of the producers certainly don’t sound typically Italian (Radikon, Zidarich and Schiopetto), but they produce some of the most prestigious white wines in the country.  This is also the home of orange wines. These are white wines fermented on the skins like a red wine. They are known for their funky and distinctive tastes.  Wine lovers in the know flock to this area to taste their way through the region. 

Underrated Udine and Surroundings

Udine is a university city and not a particularly tourist stop. Since it isn’t dependent on tourism, the city is always bustling.  A short ride away you can take a day trip to the charming, beautiful tiny town of Cividale. Or you can even make your way up to San Daniele to try some spectacular prosciutto.  Foodies will not want to miss the crispy, cheesy frico, Friuli’s most mouth-watering street food.

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Tantalizing Trieste

After a night or two exploring Udine and the vineyards in the area, your trip could wind up in the city of Trieste. Re-added to Italy relatively recently, in 1954, this city has an incredible history. Our half day private tour will explain to you while showing you this incredible blend of cultures and architectural styles. There are strong influences from the Austro-Hungarian and Slavic cultures found all over.  It’s an elegant, stately port city with a cultural influence that is all its own. We also consider it a wonderful spot to end up a fall trip.  It’s a short trip back to Venice if your flight home leaves from there!

Screen Shot 2020-04-27 at 5.35.50 PMItaly is a spectacular country that needs no introduction, and the fall is an incredible time to come.  Wine lovers will have the trip of a lifetime tasting their way through Italy’s northeast. We love the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia! These regions come with some of the most prestigious interesting wines in the country, as well as being one full of cultural influences and history that is hard to match.  If this holiday sounds like your dream, we can tailor the trip around your interests and preferences.  Just because we are home now doesn’t mean we always will be.  Travel is in our future, and Italy is waiting for you with open arms.

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