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This week we are talking about the Prosecco Hills, just north of Venice in Northern Italy. Prosecco is a fresh light sparkling wine that is perfect for any celebration, aperitivo or just because. It’s become increasingly popular and seems to have taken over the world in recent years!
In this episode, we talk to Chantelle and Giovanni from The Italian on Tour who, though based in La Marche, have a particular love for this area. Giovanni is our resident Sommelier in our Untold Italy Insiders online piazza and has some fantastic insights into not just the Prosecco, but also the wines and grappa of this region. We talk about the beautiful and historic towns and villages of the area and add both Prosecco risotto and a Prosecco vending machine to our bucket lists.
What you’ll learn in this episode
- Treviso is a great base to head to Venice in only 25 minutes, to have access to all the beautiful countryside and also lovely within it’s own right. And if that’s not reason enough – Treviso is the birthplace of Tiramisu!
- Much of the Prosecco Hills has been designated UNESCO which means they are not allowed to plant any more vines. This is aimed to deal with the problem of quantity over quality
- For a wonderful experience, it’s well worth staying in or visiting villages designated by the Borghi più belli d’italia – an association of small Italian towns of historical interest all over Italy of which there are Follina and Cison di Valmarino in this region
- L’Osteria senz’Oste is not quite a restaurant – as it’s name ‘The Osteria with no server’ purtains to. It came about when the owners friends and locals would turn up to his farmhouse and he would be off making his salami or cheeses and they started to leave notes saying they wanted to have a drink/some food from him, Eventually he began to leave some prosecco and some food out and told people to just leave some Euros for it. And this has continued – still with no server – and it spread from locals to people from all over Italy and then the world. It seats around 14 and you just leave the money. He’s even had a rather unique Prosecco vending machine made! Be warned though – the idea has charmed so many it does get very busy, so aim to go during the week
- This whole area is where the wealthy Venetians used to escape to from their city life. One of the towns Asolo – its name comes from the Latin word asylum, but in the way of meaning a refuge – so a refuge from the city
- Rose Prosecco is a thing. It’s becoming more popular and it’s simply divine, sell keep an eye out for it and give it a try!
- Alongside Prosecco (obviously), there’s also a big tradition of producing Grappa in the region and there’s even a Grappa museum in Bassano del Grappa
- In Spring, the region has a festival, called Primavera del Prosecco (Spring of Prosecco), celebrating all things Prosecco
- Twice a year Chantelle and Giovanni offer a rather special tour, the Venetian Epicurean tour. Based in Treviso and then exploring the wonders of the Prosecco Hills, experiencing not only the Prosecco and wineries, but local chefs, cheese producers, grappa producers, as well as visiting the medieval towns and villages of this historic and beautiful area.
About our guest – Chantelle and Giovanni from The Italian on Tour
Originally from Canada, Chantelle Kern traveled extensively throughout Europe before attending university in Perugia. She fell in love with Le Marche and Ascoli Piceno on a weekend break from her studies and has never looked back. Chantelle now lives in the city and, with her husband and business partner Giovanni, hosts guests on immersive multi-day tours to discover authentic Italy. No stranger to big bus tours, she wants you to travel deeper so you don’t need a vacation from your vacation.
The Italian on Tour offers you insight on the regions of Le Marche and Abruzzo from Chantelle’s local, yet international perspective of these regions. Deeply passionate about her new home, she helps visitors uncover their own love of this lesser known part of Italy.
Get a sneak peek into how to travel Italy The Italian on Tour style with their free Italy Travel guide
You can find Chantelle on these channels:
Food & Drink
- Prosecco San Rocco
- Cartizze – where much of the best quality Prosecco is produced
- DOCG – 350 producers
- Trattoria alla Cima – restaurant in Valdobbiadene with amazing views over the Piave valley
- L’Osteria senz’Oste – restaurant in an old 19th century farmhouse in Valdobbiadene
- Firm Prosecco – Prosecco as it was in it’s original form, with no bubbles
- Radicchio – Veneto is famous for it’s Radicchio Risotto
- Bigoli – apasta, similar to Pici, which in Veneto they make with cod – bacallao
- Grappa – a digestif made from the left overs from the wine making process
Places mentioned in the show
- Veneto – a region in Italy north of Venice. Besides Italian, most inhabitants also speak Venetian
- Treviso – the city of the region – a fantastic base for exploring the region or just to visit on it’s own
- Bassano del Grappa – in the Vicenza province, in the region of Veneto, known for its wooden, 13th-century Ponte Vecchio bridge spanning the River Brenta
- Valdobbiadene – town in the heart of the wine-growing area
- Conegliano – in the province of Treviso with the remains of a 10th-century castle situated on a hill that dominates the town
- Follina – village situated in the Treviso countryside, on the “Strada del Prosecco” (“Prosecco wine route”) with a gorgeous monastery
- Cison di Valmarino – beautiful old village in Treviso, with stunning views of the hills
- Molinetto della Croda – a 400-year-old mill, milling flour for Marca Trevigiana
- Villa Brandolini – medieval villa, now a hotel for a unique stay
- Asolo – in the Asoloni hills, known as “The Pearl of the province of Treviso”
- Grappa Museum – museum from famous producers Grappa di Poli
- Maso di Villa – beatiful winery you can visit and stay at
- un appiattimento – a flattening
- Borghi più belli d’italia – an association of small Italian towns of historical interest
- Venetian winged Lions – as the region historically was visited and was the escape of wealthy Venetians, they brought their love of winged lion statues with them
Resources from Untold Italy
- Listen to our previous episode with Chantelle, Episode #016: Visit Italy’s Le Marche region and some other great food and wine episodes: Episode #034: Lifting the lid on Bologna’s food culture, Episode #055: Picturesque Piedmont – lesser known region of wine and truffles!, Episode #019: Wine and wandering in Umbria and Episode #013: An introduction to Italian wine.
- Some more Italian food reads to get you salivating – Piedmont Food: 8 morsels you have to eat!, Most delicious and best Rome food tours and experiences and 35 Italian food facts to inspire a trip to Italy
- How to plan a trip to Italy – our article that takes you step by step through trip planning so you can avoid our mistakes
- Italy Travel Planning – our FREE online community where you can ask questions and get inspiration for planning your trip
- Join our exclusive Untold Italy Insiders to help plan your trips, come together with fellow travelers, to share travel finds and inspiration, and learn more about bella Italia!
- Travel shop where you’ll find items mentioned in the show
Prefer to read along as you listen? You can download a PDF version of the full transcript of this episode.