Walking the Prosecco Hills

ITINERARY

Day 1 Fly from London Gatwick to Venice at lunchtime with British Airways. On arrival at the airport you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.

Our trip starts in Pieve di Soligo, a small village located in the heart of the Prosecco hills, approximately 60km north of Venice. The surrounding area is picturesque, with lush vineyards covering the slopes of every possible hill and old churches, abbeys, villas and ancient castles dotting the landscape. Prosecco has been produced here for centuries, but only more recently, thanks to the surge in its popularity worldwide, has the area captured the deserved spotlight. Nevertheless, still relatively few tourists visit this wine region each year, making it an ideal location for our week of walking, wine tasting and cultural discovery in a still very authentic rural part of Italy. Depending on the group arrival time, there might be some time for a quick orientation walk near our hotel.

Includes: Dinner

Day 2 Morning walk around the medieval villages of Cison di Valmarino and Follina; visit a beautiful Cistercians abbey dating back to the 12th century.

This morning we transfer to the pretty town of Cison di Valmarino, one of the best-preserved villages in the Prosecco area, containing numerous historical monuments and buildings that reveal its past role as major feudal estate. The gentle walk follows a waterway, crossing tranquil woodlands, and passing by the ancient manor and fortress of Castelbrando, which offers panoramic views over the farmland and villages far below. The walk ends in Follina, famous for the Cistercian monastery of Santa Maria, a mystical site enclosing one of Italy’s most beautiful cloisters. The monks were the first to give a boost to the development of the textile sector in this area, weaving wool here from the Middle Ages onwards. In the afternoon we return to the hotel and the remainder of the day is free to relax in the village or you may decide to take an optional short walk along the picturesque river banks in proximity of our hotel.

Distance covered: 10kms / 6 miles

Includes: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 3 Panoramic walk through the alpine landscape of Monte Cesen (1570m): enjoy a 360 degree view of the Venetian Prealps.

Our second walk takes us above the Prosecco hills, to Mt Cesen, a humble, rounded, grassy mountain, and the highest in its small group of Venetian Prealps. Rising just above the Piave River at an altitude of 1570 meters it offers a stunning panorama and popular walking trails which cross mountain pastures, meadows and a landscape which differs completely to the one we will explore later in the week. On a clear day, the views can stretch as far as the Eastern Alps, Dolomites, and Venice. We return to Pieve di Soligo in the afternoon. (7km, 3 hrs walking including stops).

Distance covered: 7kms / 4 miles

Includes: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 4 Circular walk in the heartland of the Prosecco region; visit one of the best local producers for wine-tasting and learn about the wine-making process.

Today's walk takes us to the heartland of the Prosecco hills, namely Valdobbiadene, S. Pietro di Barbozza and S.Stefano. The majority of the winemakers are based right here, amongst the picture-perfect terraced steep hills which are arguably the prettiest of the whole Veneto region. Our walk follows a mix of man-made tracks and paths twisting through the vineyards, and offers spectacular views of the fertile landscape and hamlets perched on the hillsides. During the walk we will have the opportunity to visit of one of the top local Prosecco producers, whose passion for wine making goes back for generations in the family. After a tour of the wine cellars, we will have the opportunity to sample different varieties of Prosecco during a guided wine-tasting (included). We return to the hotel in the afternoon. (12km walking, 5 hours including stops).

Distance covered: 12kms / 7 miles

Includes: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 5 Morning guided sightseeing in the elegant provincial capital of Treviso; afternoon relaxing walk through the Natural Park of the River Sile.

In the morning we transfer to the pretty capital province of Treviso, a real hidden gem often overlooked and perhaps overshadowed by the neighbouring Venice. Rebuilt and restored after Second World War bombing, the town centre is a rambling maze of streets lined with arcaded walkways. The town is circled by a pretty wall and by waterways, which add to its very picturesque and elegant style. After a walking tour of the town's centre accompanied by a local guide, we enjoy some free time to wander around at our own pace and have some lunch (the world-famous Tiramisu was apparently invented in this city, so it is recommended trying some in one of the best cafes in town!). In the afternoon we leave the walls of Treviso behind and follow the water flow of Sile, the longest river of resurgent waters in Europe. This tranquil route through a nature reserve offers the opportunity to explore the local flora and fauna and brings to light many evidences of the age-old relationship between men and this river. Return to the hotel in the evening (10km, 3 hours walking including stops).

Distance covered: 8kms / 5 miles

Included: Breakfast

Day 6 Free day; relax by the hotel's pool, take an optional trip to Venice or spend an afternoon in the pretty town of Conegliano.

Free day to relax at the hotel's pool (seasonal) or spa, visit the lovely town of Conegliano (the other major centre of Prosecco production and wine studies), or take a day-trip to the one and only Venice (only a short train ride away).

Included: Breakfast

Day 7 Visit the UNESCO Palladian Villa Barbaro before ascending to Monte St. Giorgio, originally used as the front line during World War I; walk to the elegant hilltop town of Asolo.

Today we transfer to another gem of the Prosecco area and the start point of today's walk: Villa Barbaro in Maser. The villa is one of the greatest masterpieces of the famous Italian architect Andrea Palladio (1508-80), and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is situated in the middle of a flourishing privately owned estate, and six of its rooms adorned by beautiful frescos are open to the public. After a short visit, we set off for our final walk starting with a climb to Monte San Giorgio, overlooking the villa. The route will then veer west, following one of the original front-lines used during the First World War. The war affected most of this area as well as many other towns around the Prosecco hills. During the walk we are able to see the evidence and memorials of the epic deeds that marked the destiny of generations of people and the course of history throughout the world. Our end point is the elegant hill-top town of Asolo, known as 'the pearl of the province of Treviso', for its beautiful setting and charming historic centre. In the evening, we enjoy a fantastic farewell dinner in one of the best local restaurants located in a panoramic setting in the heart of the Prosecco hills (10km, 4 hours walking including stops).

Distance covered: 10kms / 6 miles

Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 8 After breakfast you have free time before your transfer to Venice Airport for your late afternoon flight back to the UK.

Included: Breakfast

Hotel Conta' On this centre-based trip we stay at the 4-star Hotel Conta', in the heart of Pieve di Soligo's historic centre. It is located in a quiet and picturesque setting overlooking the banks of River Soligo and it is within walking distance to restaurants, bars and other shops. The rooms are tastefully decorated and come with en-suite facilities, airconditioning, tv, safe and free Wi-Fi. Some overlook the river whilst others face the elegant internal patio.

Is This Trip for You? Grade: 2 (Leisurely/ Moderate) Each day, we walk for 3 to 6 hours (excluding the free day).

The terrain and type of path will vary from manmade paved tracks and tarmac, to forest trails and dirt roads. The walks are easy, although some ascents, occasionally steep, and descents should be expected: a reasonable amount of fitness is required. Walking hours stated in the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group. Some of the drives, although short, follow twisty mountain roads.

What to Take - Small daypack (for water bottle, camera etc), lightweight waterproof jacket, walking boots or walking shoes with good grip, long walking trousers (some paths may be overgrown), warm clothes for April and October departures, sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen for summer departures.

Includes Return flights with British Airways from Gatwick to Venice, local transport, 7 nights accommodation based on two people sharing a twin room (£200 supplement for a single room), meals as per the itinerary, local guide for all the walks.

Date & Price

2nd May 2020 - from £1,299 per person

Holiday subject to availability

Tracey Strand