A must for wine connoisseurs.
Your private driver will await you in Venice’s Piazzale Roma for a 9:00 am departure on an exploration of one of the world’s most famed wine areas.
Fanning out about Verona is Valpolicella, a series of valleys that form the perfect climate for producing top wines. It is here that guests may stop to visit one or two wineries (depending on preferences) to savor the wine tradition that has reigned throughout this region for millennia.
Passing by Lake Garda, guests will admire the ever-changing landscape forged of peaks, cliffs and valleys, of rivers, ports and fiords, of lush greenery and carefully-cultivated expanses. Here, olives and citrus fruits have been produced for some two thousand years.
This full-day excursion includes a visit to romantic Verona, with its blend of ancient and modern, its soundtrack utterly operatic thanks to the imposing Arena. Stroll along the cobbled streets and take in the rich history of this truly unique town that intertwines an eclectic mix of cultures and influences.
There will also be time to see Sirmione, which still contains remnants of its Roman past in the Catullus’ Villa and Catullus’ Grotte, its two castles, dual harbors, waterfront fortress and settlement – all watched over by an extensive villa perched atop the rocks. The tumultuous past of Sirmione has seen the Romans, Cimbrians, Goths, Avars, Scaligers and Venetians all captivated by this area, just as guests will be on this sumptuous private tour.
The tradition of grape-growing in Valpolicella dates back to Roman times. Since then, production has been enhanced to result in some of the world’s most precious wines. Amarone is produced following ancient traditions of desiccating ripe grapes on large straw mats to increase the concentration of sugars. The result is a big-bodied, high-alcohol wine with a strong tannic finish. Normally, some 10 to 15 years pass before Amarone is consumed, with the minimum alcohol content legally permitted being 14%. Ironically, this much-loved wine first came about as a result of over-fermenting another traditional wine, Recioto della Valpolicella. Amorone pomace is also added to the Recioto della Valpolicella wine to produce yet another wine, the Ripasso.
Verona is embraced by 2,000-year-old city walls that encompass striking architecture and an abundance of artworks and monuments, none more impressive than the immense Arena. Dating back to the 1st century A.D., it is Italy’s third largest amphitheater after the Coliseum and the Amphitheater of Capua. Perhaps it is due to the Arena that Verona has grown to be an artistic hub like no other.
As idyllic as it is historic, the township of Sirmione contains a plethora of architecture that merges with the local landscape with spectacular results. Striking watchtowers, stately villas and majestic castles are bordered by two harbors, all of which has long been guarded over by an imposing fortress, whilst dating back to Roman times is the Catullus’ Villa and Catullus’ Grotte.
WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO EXPERIENCE
- Departing from Venice, delight in the stunning panoramas of splendid northern Italy.
- Savor wine tastings in one or two local producers of Amarone wine – one of Italy’s best reds.
- Add a one-way private boat ride to Piazzale Roma from your hotel in Venice for an additional cost.
- Be accompanied by a tour leader/escort for an additional €475 (approximately $ USD 540) to really bring the history alive.