Just an hour's drive north of Venice, in the foothills of the Dolomites, is one of the world's best yet largely undiscovered wine regions. Here ancient terraced vineyards clinging to the sides of every possible slope are dedicated exclusively to grapes for Italy's most prized sparkling wine: Prosecco.
Based in an elegant converted villa, located in the heart of the so-called 'Prosecco Road' - Italy's oldest wine route - we spend a week walking through picturesque rolling hills and sampling the area's delicious cuisine and authentic bubbles.
We pass by numerous historical monuments and buildings, from ancient monasteries to opulent villas, including Villa Barbaro, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We also visit charming mediaeval villages such as Cison, Follina and Asolo, as well as the beautiful capital province of Treviso. This hidden gem, although often overlooked in comparison to neighbouring Venice, is a great way to experience authentic Veneto life away from the tourist crowds.
We have included two evening meals on this trip, so you can explore the fantastic local restaurants on your free evenings.
Our base for the next week is the Hotel Villa Soligo, situated in a small village located in the heart of the Prosecco Hills. (Dinner)
This morning we transfer to the pretty town of Cison di Valmarino, one of the best-preserved villages in the Prosecco area, containing numerous historical monuments and buildings that reveal its past role as a major feudal estate. The gentle walk follows a waterway, crossing tranquil woodlands, and passing by the ancient manor and fortress of Castelbrando, which offers panoramic views over the farmland and villages far below. The walk ends in Follina, famous for the Cistercian monastery of Santa Maria, a mystical site enclosing one of Italy's most beautiful cloisters. The monks were the first to give a boost to the development of the textile sector in this area, weaving wool here from the Middle Ages onwards. In the afternoon we return to the hotel and the remainder of the day is free to relax by the pool (in season) or you may decide to take an optional short walk to the hill of San Gallo overlooking the hotel. (10km, 3 hrs walking). (Breakfast and lunch)
Today's walk takes us to the heartland of the Prosecco Hills, namely Valdobbiadene, S.Pietro di Barbozza and S.Stefano. The majority of the winemakers are based right here, amongst the picture-perfect terraced steep hills, which are arguably the prettiest of the whole Veneto region. Our walk follows a mix of man-made tracks and paths twisting through the vineyards, and offers spectacular views of the fertile landscape and hamlets perched on the hillsides. During the walk we will have the opportunity to visit one of the top local Prosecco producers, whose passion for wine-making goes back for generations in the family. After a tour of the wine cellars, we will have the opportunity to sample different varieties of Prosecco during a guided wine-tasting (included). We return to the hotel in the afternoon, with free time to enjoy a drink in the outdoor terrace, a dip in the pool or a visit to the spa. (Breakfast and lunch)
In the morning we transfer to the pretty capital province of Treviso, a real hidden gem often overlooked and perhaps overshadowed by the neighbouring Venice. Rebuilt and restored after Second World War bombing, the town centre is a rambling maze of streets lined with arcaded walkways. The town is circled by a pretty wall and by waterways, which add to its very picturesque and elegant style. After a walking tour of the town's centre accompanied by a local guide, we enjoy some free time to wander around at our own pace and have some lunch (the world-famous Tiramisu was apparently invented in this city, so it is recommended trying some in one of the best cafes in town!). In the afternoon we leave the walls of Treviso behind and follow the water flow of Sile, the longest river of resurgent waters in Europe. This tranquil route through a nature reserve offers the opportunity to explore the local flora and fauna and brings to light many evidences of the age-old relationship between men and this river. (Breakfast only)
After a short private transfer we reach another gem of the Prosecco area and the start point of today's walk: Villa Barbaro in Maser. The villa is one of the greatest masterpieces of the famous Italian architect Andrea Palladio (1508-80), and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is situated in the middle of a flourishing privately owned estate, and six of its rooms adorned by beautiful frescos are open to the public. After a short visit, we set off for our walk starting with a climb to Monte San Giorgio, overlooking the villa. The route will then veer west, following one of the original front-lines used during the First World War. The war affected most of this area as well as many other towns around the Prosecco Hills. During the walk we are able to see the evidence and memorials of the epic deeds that marked the destiny of generations of people and the course of history throughout the world. Our end point is the elegant hilltop town of Asolo, known as 'the pearl of the province of Treviso', for its beautiful setting and charming historic centre. Free time and return to the hotel for dinner. (Breakfast and lunch)
Free day to relax at the hotel's pool (seasonal) or spa, visit the lovely town of Conegliano (the other major centre of Prosecco production and wine studies), or take a day-trip to the one and only Venice (only a short train ride away). (Breakfast only)
Our final walk takes us above the Prosecco Hills, to Mount Cesen, a humble, rounded, grassy mountain, and the highest in its small group of Venetian Prealps. Rising just above the Piave River at an altitude of 1,570 metres it offers a stunning 360-degree panorama and popular walking trails that cross mountain pastures, meadows and a landscape that differs completely to the one we explored earlier in the week. On a clear day the views can stretch as far as the Eastern Alps, Dolomites, and Venice. In the evening, there will be the opportunity to enjoy a fantastic farewell dinner in one of the best local restaurants located in a panoramic setting in the heart of the Prosecco Hills. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
(Breakfast only) Please note: it is possible that the order of the itinerary listed above will be changed to ensure the best possible conditions for each activity during the trip. All listed activities and services will be included. Your leader will inform you of any changes locally after assessing conditions.
During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking.
NEARBY:The Hotel Villa Soligo is a historical converted residence dating back to the C18. Tucked away in a peaceful 15,000m2 park, it is said the Italian actors Marcello Mastroianni, Alberto Sordi and Sofia Loren have been famous past guests of the hotel.
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Minimum group sizes
A minimum of 5 people (in total) are required for each departure.
This holiday is unsuitable for children.
Guided walking Managed by our sister company, Exodus.
All continental breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners and 2 wine-tastings
Transfers are included from Venice airport at 00:00; and back to Venice airport at 00:00.
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