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Italy Wine Tours

Nothing is more quintessentially Italian than elegant wines enjoyed in the rolling hills of Tuscany or along the stunning cliffs of Sicily. Encounter these iconic destinations and the many marvelous wine-producing regions in between with Zicasso’s customizable Italy wine tours and discover the cultural depth and pride that is carried in each delectable varietal.

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Sample Itineraries

You can have any trip tailor made for your private travel.

Italy

Italy Wine Tour at a Glance

For wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs, Italy is the ultimate destination for an immersive wine tour. From the hills of Tuscany to the vineyards of Sicily, delicious wines are created all around this magnificent country. During an engaging wine tour through Italy, you can tour and taste your way from one wine region to the next as you savor the amazing flavors and experience the unrivaled Italian culture.

History of Wine in Italy

Wine has been produced in Italy since the time of the Etruscans, and has a rich history dating back centuries. It was further cultivated during the rule of Ancient Rome, and the country continues the tradition today as the world’s largest producer of wine. Wine is considered part of Italian life, and glasses are shared amongst family and friends all the time. An Italian wine tour provides the opportunity for you to visit remarkable vineyards and taste some of the best red and white blends in the world. Wines are often paired with delectable Italian dishes, so you will also have the opportunity to indulge in the delicious cuisine of the country.

Best Time to Visit Italy for Wine

The wines of Italy can be enjoyed at any time of year, but if you wish to immerse in the harvesting season, the ideal time to visit is in the Fall, between September and October. The weather is also pleasant during this time, and many wine-producing regions host festivals and celebrations that will allow you to meet locals and taste more of the savory blends. The Spring months, especially May, are another great time to visit, as there are fewer crowds than during the Summer months and the weather is usually in the 70s Fahrenheit.

Which Regions to Visit

Italy has several wine regions, but some of the most well-known and visited ones are Piedmont, Tuscany, Veneto, and Sicily. Piedmont is located in northern Italy, near the borders of France and Switzerland, and its climate is cooler than other parts of Italy with yearly average temperatures in the 50s Fahrenheit. The main wine varieties produced in Piedmont are Barolo and Barbaresco. Tuscany is located more in central Italy, and is known for its gorgeous landscapes and rolling hills. The weather is overall mild in this region, and the most famous wine of the area is the delightful Chianti variety. 

Northeastern Italy is where you will find the Veneto region, whose capital is the floating city of Venice. The area produces a number of different red and white wine varieties, but is probably best known for its sparkling prosecco. The average temperature is a pleasant 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but you may be more likely to encounter rain in this part of the country. The Italian island of Sicily is located not far from the mainland, but is home to a culture and lifestyle of its own. The weather can get quite warm in the Summer months, with temperatures reaching the 90s, and even the Winter is a mild 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This island is known for its wonderful sweet wines, including the popular Marsala variety. The Fall months, September and October, are the harvesting season for most if not all of Italy’s winemaking regions.

Different Categories of Wine

Almost every red and white wine you can think of is produced somewhere in Italy. For red blends, some of the most well-known are Chianti, Montepulciano, Barolo, and Barbera. If you prefer white wine, you will find premier varieties of Pinot Grigio, Soave, and Asti. Italian wines are held to the utmost level as far as quality and flavor, and are closely regulated. 

Only wines that meet certain requirements, such as the region where the grapes are harvested and the production process, can obtain the highly regarded DOC and DOCG labels, which stand for Denomination of Controlled Origin and Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin. Wines with DOCG status are considered the best wines of the country. The wines of Italy are enjoyed around the world, and are part of everyday meals as well as important celebrations for all Italians. 

Essential Experiences

Italy’s amazing wines can be enjoyed through a variety of tours and experiences. Here are a few of the best ways to discover and taste the delicious varieties:

Wine Tasting in Chianti

The Chianti area of Tuscany is filled with sprawling vineyards and is the home of the renowned Chianti blend. A wine tasting at an authentic winery will allow you to learn about this spectacular variety as you savor its fruity yet slightly tart flavor.

Winery Tour of Sicily

A winery tour of Sicily will allow you to explore the gorgeous landscapes and volcanic terrain of the island as you visit some of its premier wineries and vineyards. Tours at each destination will give you the chance to discover the endless grape varieties and the detailed winemaking process.

Food & Wine Paired Meal in Veneto

A great way to taste and enjoy the wines of Italy is through a delicious meal at a local restaurant, where the wines of the area are paired with some of the region’s savory foods and dishes during a multi-course meal. A family owned restaurant in the Veneto region is the perfect place to taste some of the red and white varieties while you indulge in homemade pasta, grilled meats, and fresh vegetables.

Harvesting Festivals in Piedmont

A visit to the Piedmont region during the harvesting months of September and October give you the chance to immerse in the culture of Italy and feel the Italian love of wine firsthand. Festivals and celebrations abound, and you can speak to local vintners, learn how the grapes are harvested, and taste some of the amazing blends.

Travel Considerations

Weather

The weather is ideal in Italy from mid-April through June, and again from September through October. September and October are ideal times to visit on a wine tour, as this will coincide with the harvesting season. The summer months, July and August, tend to be very warm, with temperatures in the 80s and 90s Fahrenheit. Rain may be encountered throughout Italy, especially in the months of April and November. There are many activities and experiences still available during a wine tour in the event of inclement weather. Even if you cannot tour a vineyard outside, indoor tours of the cellar and indulgent wine tastings can still be enjoyed. Your Zicasso travel specialist can provide more ideas and options for any day the weather is a concern. 

Transportation

Different transportation options are readily available throughout Italy, including rental cars and trains. You may find an escorted tour more convenient if traveling to different wine regions of the country, as the changing landscapes of hills, mountains, and winding roads can be difficult to manage on your own. The logistics of traveling outside main cities, to wineries and vineyards, can sometimes be tricky as trains and buses may not travel to all rural areas. A Zicasso travel specialist can help outline the best transportation options for your wine tour so you can move around the country with ease. 

Packing

While packing for your Italian wine tour, it’s best to bring a variety of clothing regardless of the time of year you visit. Since you may encounter different terrains and do a fair amount of walking while touring different wineries, it is a good idea to pack a few pairs of supportive walking shoes, sneakers, or light boots.

Weather Considerations:

Raincoats and umbrellas are important items to pack in the case of rain or inclement weather. Sunblock and hats are also great to bring when spending a lot of time outdoors.

Electrical Considerations:

Throughout Italy, European standard electrical outlets are used. You will want to bring a few adapters and convertors with you so you can charge and utilize electronics from home, such as cell phones and laptops.

Pharmaceutical Considerations:

Pharmacies are readily located in many of Italy’s major cities within the winemaking regions, such as Turin in Piedmont and Venice in Veneto. Older towns and those located on the outskirts of the cities may not have as many options, so it is vital to pack and bring all medications and prescriptions with you on your trip.

Cultural Considerations

Wine is part of the fabric of Italian life, so you will encounter many other wine enthusiasts and friendly winery owners during your trip. Most wineries that offer tours and different wine experiences will have some amenities available, such as an onsite restaurant and restrooms that can be freely used by visitors.

Travel Insurance

You’ve booked your dream vacation, now protect it with travel insurance. A wide range of factors can leave your vacation in limbo. Medical emergencies, inclement weather, and unexpected cancellations can cause turmoil for your trip, so in the unlikely event of a disaster, get the travel insurance coverage that provides peace of mind. To get a quote, visit our travel insurance page.

Flights Via Zicasso

Zicasso Air Desk is an international air ticketing service that eliminates the stress of finding and booking the right flights for your upcoming vacation by employing the same personalized service you can expect from planning a trip with Zicasso. Our competitive flight pricing, 24x7 Service & Support, and Complimentary Consultation of Routing vs. Pricing with an Expert Flight Specialist make finding the perfect flight for your trip effortless.

Travel Documents

It is essential to have all required travel documents with you before leaving on your wine tour of Italy. Being prepared will help to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. Here is a list of some of the most important documents you will need:

  • Passport
  • Airline tickets/reservations
  • Hotel reservations
  • Pre-purchased tickets or passes for tours and activities
  • Emergency contact information
  • Personal health and medical information, including special conditions and prescriptions
  • Required customs forms/documents
  • Travel and medical insurance (see above section regarding this)

Your Zicasso travel specialist will be able to provide requirements that are specific to your trip, though responsibility always lies with the traveler to ensure that all is in order.  Travel requirements can and do change often to no notice, so it is important to stay updated and informed as your trip approaches.

Finances & Tipping

ATM machines and banks can be easily found in Italy’s major cities, including Florence and Venice. Rural areas may not have as many options, but major credit cards are widely accepted, especially at tourist attractions and including wineries and restaurants. Bartering and negotiations are common with street vendors, but not at wineries or destinations along a wine tour. A small tip of a few euros may be left for wait staff who provide great service, but tipping is not considered required in most of Italy. Your Zicasso travel specialist can provide specific guidelines if you wish to leave tips for hotel staff and other guides during your vacation.

Safety and Accessibility of Resources

Italy is considered one of Europe’s safest countries, and you can feel comfortable and secure traveling from one region of the country to the next. If needed, hospitals are available in the major cities, and law enforcement are often also nearby at tourist attractions and events.

Crime Rate

Italy’s crime rates have been decreasing for a number of years, and the country’s landmarks and attractions are usually closely guarded and monitored. Tourists can sometimes become targets for petty thefts, so you will want to keep your personal belongings close while out in public.

Things to look out for

Pickpocketing can sometimes occur at busy attractions and other places where there are a large number of tourists, so it is always best to be aware of your surroundings. This is less likely to occur at wineries and other privately owned establishments, but it’s a good idea to always be sure of your environment and who you are speaking with.

Medical & First Aid

If needed, hospitals and pharmacies are readily available in Italy’s major cities, such as Florence and Venice. If touring outside the main cities or visiting a rural winery, many times there are ambulance services available that can transport you to the nearest hospital. You should always have a list of any prescriptions with you while traveling, and in the event of an emergency, you will want to get to the closest hospital and also notify the embassy if necessary. This information is not intended to be a substitute for personalized guidance from a doctor, and it is highly recommended that all international travelers consult with a primary care physician prior to traveling. This is especially important for wine tours, since alcohol will be tasted and consumed throughout the trip.

Water & Food Safety

You can rest assured during your wine tour of Italy that all of the food and wine of the country are known to be safe and delicious. The water is also safe to drink, even from most drinking fountains. If you have any food allergies, it is a good idea to bring a list of these allergies written in both English and Italian, and to keep it with you while touring

Travel with Zicasso

When planning a luxury vacation, every detail matters, which is why our approach is different. We will match you with leading travel specialists who are the most qualified to make your dream trip happen. They know their country better than anyone, and each travel specialist in Zicasso’s network is among the finest travel agents and tour operators, comprising the top tier of the industry. Experience the wonder of an exceptional itinerary crafted just for you.

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