Italy brings to mind many of the joys of life! Wine that offers hints of summer sun, beautiful landscapes and fruit, food that is familiar and yet tastes so much better in its country of origin and of course, culture, with the inspiring cities of Florence, Siena and Venice, places once visited are never forgotten.
The wines of Italy are very special and are to be found all over the country, each region with its own unique qualities. For a great holiday, why not combine the delights of walking through vineyards and stunning scenery, with sampling great and local wines along the way.
This northeast region stretches west from elegant Venice to the shores of stylish Lake Garda and produces huge amounts of wine from the locally consumed to world class winners. The variety of grapes grown is extensive, however for an excellent Bordeaux blend, try the Breganze wines, especially those from Maculan which are highly regarded.
With the differences between Lake Garda and Venice being obvious, there is much pleasant agricultural land in the region, with gently undulating hills to add interest to the walking and olive groves along with vineyards to enjoy. The towns of Padua and Este, with its mediaeval walls, are delightful and for art lovers, Giotto’s frescos in the Arena Chapel of Padua are well worth a visit.
In the north west of Italy, Piedmont is one of the best wine-producing parts of the country, with excellent walking too. You can enjoy easy, bright white wines, sparkling wine with teasing, fizzy bubbles and some seriously hearty reds such as Barolo, which has a life and deep soul all of its own. Those worth trying include Altare, Cavallotto and Giuseppe Mascarello.
The paths in this region go through ancient forests or besides rolling fields, taking you from town to town, each one a little gem in its own right. In an area famous for the wonderful light and great climate, walking could not be better.
This is a region that captivates everyone, with world famous cities, such as Florence, Siena and Pisa, full of astonishing buildings and replete with extraordinary art, beautiful, much loved countryside and charming, more traditional villages. It rewards visiting time and time again. Walking around this region is a real pleasure, especially if you try the local village restaurants and bars whilst on your travels.
Whilst Chianti is the most well-known of all the Tuscan wines and it is a joy, there are many more to try. Brunello di Montalcino is a superb wine, produced from a Sangiovese style grape. A most enjoyable white is Vernaccia di San Gimignano, from a vineyard cose to the many towered town of San Gimignano, one of the many remarkable UNESCO World Heritage sites in Tuscany.
For a beautiful island, with great hiking trails, the pleasure of great beaches to enjoy and water sports to indulge in, Sardinia should not be missed. Its excellent seafood is well complemented by local white wines.
It is a not always thought of as an obvious wine producer however this is a mistake! For a light, easy to drink red Monica is a good choice, whilst for a heavier taste, Cannonau is certainly more than worth a try.
Known as the ‘Land of Colours’, Liguria is famed for its truly wonderful walking along Roman roads and historic salt routes. The colours surround you from the blue of the Mediterranean to the green of the nearby mountains. The coastal routes will stun you with inspiring vistas over dramatic cliffs to idyllic bays. The towns offer attractive architecture, with glorious gardens, all enjoying a mild climate for year round visits.
Add to this the wines of Genoa, simple perhaps but most enjoyable from Cinquterre and Rossese, and you have the recipe for a great holiday.
This article is brought to you by Silver Travel Advisor.
For cycling & walking holidays, Silver Travel Advisor recommends Headwater.Last modified: June 10, 2021