With a private driver, explore the area north of Venice where you find small towns and lush wine country
With an easy 9:00 am departure from Venice’s Piazzale Roma, this full-day tour is all about savoring – the spectacular views, the amazing history and Italy’s beloved sparkling wine.Winding along scenic backroads, the first destination is Marostica, famed for its fortified medieval castle and its piazza fitted out with a giant chessboard on which human matches have long been played and indeed, to this day, the live game is still held every two years.
Next, the group will head to the splendid Bassano del Grappa, traversed by the Brenta river, traversed by the glorious Palladian bridge. There will be time to bask in the picturesque panorama of undulating landscapes or perhaps to shop for the ceramics and foodstuff that this town is famed for. There is even time to sample the famous local grappa.
Following another short drive through the splendid Veneto region comes a visit to the enchanting Asolo. Perched atop the verdant landscape, the town is adorned with stately gardens, palatial villas, Renaissance palaces, along with a striking fortress and charming castle. Our driver will also be happy to provide suggestions for finding the perfect typical trattoria for lunch here.
Next comes a visit to either the UNESCO Villa di Maser, Villa Barbaro di Maser, Villa Barbaro or Villa Emo to see an opulent Renaissance country Villa in true Palladian style.
This luxuriant day then stops in Valdobbiadene for a tasting of Italy’s famous sparkling wine – Prosecco – in a local winery.
The tour concludes upon returning to Piazzale Roma in Venice at around 6:00 pm.
Marostica has been populated since prehistoric times. After the Roman empire collapsed, it fell to various ruling powers before passing to the Duchy of Venice. Indeed, the symbol of Venice – the winged lion – stands guard over the Piazza degli Scacchi. Napoléon Bonaparte later took over before battling with Austria for the town ultimately decreed to belong to the Kingdom of Italy and later the Republic of Italy. In between, Marostica grew to become a hub of straw production, elevating the town’s status significantly. Alas, the first conflict of WWI took place nearby, impacting upon the town greatly. Nonetheless, Marostica has managed to grow into a splendid town with an undoubtedly rich history and delightful present.
There is some evidence that Bassano del Grappa was populated even before pre-Roman times by the Veneti people (18th-15th centuries B.C.). Yet, its name comes from Bassianus, who “founded” the town in the 2nd century B.C. The area later fell to Vicenza then the Visconti of Milan before the Venetian Republic, which granted the status of “City” in the mid-1700s – a title that remained when Bassano del Grappa passed to Austrian then Italian rule. Despite this being the front of WWI, the town retains much of its ancient charm – or perhaps that is just the grappa for which the city is famed.
The Veneti people settled in Asolo before forming part of a Roman tribe. Asolo also passed under various ruling powers, the result being evocative remnants from numerous epochs that have survived amongst the splendid scenery. So stunning is Asolo that it inspired works by the likes of Freya Stark and Robert Browning. Indeed, it is known as the “The City of a Hundred Horizons”.
WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO EXPERIENCE
- Departing from Venice, see some of the most dazzling highlights of northern Italy.
- Visit 3 hilltop towns, a historic villa and savor a Prosecco tasting at a local winery on this day of opulence.
- 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.