Encircled, hidden by massive Renaissance walls, Lucca is a well kept surprise in Tuscany. Walking in the quiet pedestrian center is an unusual pleasure, and let's you discover that you step on gleaming marble churches, Medieval towers, traces of the Roman walls and the amphitheater all the way. And, besides artworks and monuments, tempting enotecas and wine shops - I counted 12 - all waiting for a tasting. Lucca reveals charming and classy, with a kind of unassuming, old-fashioned elegance, the Lucchesi just enjoy their lifestyle, the passion for music, for genuine, very varied cuisine, and - spared by now by mass tourism - they preserve their natural courtesy. The wineries, then, are just out of the walls, on the Apennine foothills arching from Lucca to Montecarlo. Many of them are the stylish historical Villas for which Lucca is famous too. Altogether, this city reminds of a countess, living in her mansion, with a beautiful park, not caring much of the world craze around her. Visiting Lucca on foot, two Villas, the Montecarlo wine town, enjoying three wine tasting in the process, is a bit of a challenge for a single day, maybe two days would work better. Yet, with these tree most enthousiastic, tireless young ladies, we did all of that, and a bit more but in ONE intensive day. First tasting Villa Maria Teresa, a tour of Lucca - Roman Amphitheater, St. Michael, the Puccini statue, the St. Martin Duomo, the walls - then a wine-tasting lunch at il Poggio, a stop in Montecarlo, and a final tasting at Fubbiano, not before a tour of unique Villa Torrigiani.
We did this daytrip at the end of the harvest, betwen Panzano and Greve, close to Florence. The wines are, of course, Chianti Classico, Supertuscans and Vinsanto. Three wineries, with different character and size: Isole e Olena, Montagliari, and Fontodi. Visiting the Chianti Hills, however, is not only tastings, it’s an tour in the more picturesque landscape that man created. Villas, churches, and beautiful stone homes combine with the vineyards, olive grooves and nature in harmony, like in a Renaissance painting. In each area we discovered the nuances of the Chianti Classico, the real vin du terroir.
The Easter Holy week is extraordinary in Sicily. The spring reaches the island before than anywherelse in Europe, and you can enjoy the more quiet atmosphere, the early spring blooming, and especially the amazing religious celebrations, that can only be compared with the processions in Sevilla, and in Spain. Pageants with huge statues, street music, and processions are held in most of the Sicilian tow, Join us to discover the more special experiences, while at the same time going through our classic wine tasting experience.s. Taste Nero d' Avola, Nerello Mascalese, Moscato, Insolia, Syrah, Passito and still more memorable wines. Date: April 10 to 21 2019
• PROSECCO. Conegliano and Valdobbiadene are the original Prosecco country. Asolo is a small artistic town. The Venetian Villa Maser, winery and museum. • VICENZA and Padova. COLLI EUGANEI, and Breganze wines. Merlots, and whites. The world's best Grappa in Bassano. • GARDA LAKE shores. Fresh, gentle wines of Bardolino, Lugana and Custoza. The classic method spumante from Franciacorta. • VERONA. The finest Soave, the classic Valpolicella, AMARONE mythical, powerful Veneto wine. The most scenic, top level ITALIAN OPERA at the Roman Arena, in Verona July and August only.
CLASSIC ITALIAN OPERA PERFORMACES, TOP VENETO WINES Verona, offers the most classic and scenic Opera fastival, between June and August, in the open air, in the amazing Roman theathre, the Arena. We took advantage of the summer, to combine our classic Veneto wine tour with the Opera festival. If wine is an icon of the Italian lifestyle, well, the Opera shows teh essential of the Italian feel for drama, comedy, and their liberating power! So, we spent three days in Verona, enjoying the Aida, and the Nabucco, while visiting the Valpolicella, the Soave Hills, and Bardolino on the Garda lake. Then we moved north to the Sudtyroler Weinstrasse, tasting their elegant wines. Thirds, we crossed the Dolomites, lodging in Cortina, and visited Sass Pordoi, the remains of the Marmolada glacier, the unmissable Lavaredo Three Peaks. In the end, we reached the Valdobbiadene green hills, we lodged in majestic Castelbrando, a our tour came to an end in the Prosecco wine country.
Special season tour, to taste the new olive oil, the truffles, and teh new wine. Best dates in November.
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