An Italian wine vacation provides the ideal chance to sample wines and taste local cuisine, from Piedmont's Alpine vineyards to Sicily's volcanic soil terroir, there is something special here for wine enthusiasts! This destination truly makes the ideal wine trip getaway!
Your preferred destination for Italy wine country depends on your plans. While driving is possible to most areas, renting a car allows greater freedom to explore and discover.
Italy is Europe's leading wine producer, producing more than 300 different grape varieties across 20 regions. Carpe Travel can help guide your exploration through this expansive world of viniculture to customize a tour that fits perfectly with your preferences, interests and budget.
Tuscany is at the core of Italian wine country. Most organized wine tours focus on Chianti Classico and Val d'Orcia as key regions.
Florence (FLR) or Pisa (PSA) can be reached directly from most North American cities; however, Rome (Fiumicino) offers more affordable and convenient travel to Italy for central and southern areas, Milan (Malpensa) for northern regions, and Venice (VCE).
Italian wine country can best be explored using a rental car with or without driver service, or by joining an organized tour. Public transportation varies widely by region. Also be prepared for "island time", particularly in Southern Italy where things may run less according to plan - buses may even miss their scheduled stops!
Umbria was originally founded by the Etruscans over millennia ago and remains an idyllic green heart of Italy today with rolling hills and sparkling lakes set against Apennine mountains. Renowned for its delightful blend of red and white wines, Umbria promises much discovery!
Today, Montefalco is best known for the single varietal Sagrantino di Montefalco grape variety which was saved from extinction by an enterprising producer back in 1968 and can only be produced here.
Montefalco is an ideal place to begin, with its concentration of high quality wineries and organic (biologico) producers. Or travel further afield and visit Colli Perugini near Perugia for aromatic full-bodied whites made with Trebbiano Spoletino and Grechetto grapes. Many Umbrian wines are aged in wood ranging from 100% new French barrique barrels through old Slavonian barrels and amphorae; this allows their fruity, earthy and spicy wines to develop while maintaining freshness.
Many Italians swoon when you mention Tuscany, but its lesser-traveled neighbor Le Marche offers Italy's next great wine treasure. Boasting UNESCO-listed hilltop towns, pristine coastline, and award-winning wines - Le Marche makes for a bucket list destination that should not be overlooked!
Marche is home to numerous historic attractions, from Urbino's UNESCO World Heritage University and Ascoli Piceno's travertine piazzas to one of Europe's largest Roman cisterns and one of its highest concentrations of historical theaters - along with beautiful natural scenery and delicious cuisine!
Slow travel to authentic Italy destination Offida allows visitors to meet locals while discovering artisanal crafts such as the sixth generation family who produce hand-printed fabrics at Antica Stamperia Carpegna or visiting cheesemaker who crafts prosciutto from exclusively raised and slaughtered pigs originating in Marche region.
Emilia-Romagna holds an indisputable place in Italy's culinary landscape: home to some of its signature products such as Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Prosciutto di Parma ham and balsamic vinegar from Modena as well as fresh pasta dishes such as Tagliatelle and Tortellini - each offering exquisite tastes that have helped define Italy for centuries.
Bologna offers delicious dining experiences at three Michelin starred Osteria Francescana, where chef Massimo Bottura subverts time-honored recipes in playful ways, or La Fontana del Formaggio for country-style deli goods and delicious cheeses.
Wine enthusiasts must visit vineyards to appreciate their craft, and one of the top spots is Rocchetta Mattei Castle, an extraordinary structure that blends multiple architectural styles. Enjoy fizzy Grasparossa at Cantina Cleto Chiarli or light pink Phermento at Monte delle Vigne - two must-drink varieties!
Automobile enthusiasts will want to visit Maranello for the Ferrari Museum and Brisighella for its first DOP olive oil. In Emilia-Romagna DOC you can also find wine produced with white varieties like Sangiovese and Albana grapes as well as red wines such as Barbera or Bonarda grapes - and don't forget wine from Emilia-Romagna with some truly spectacular red wines such as Barbera or Bonarda grapes!