Arguably one of the most indulgent destinations in Europe, and one of the finest countries when it comes to food and wine, luxury comes as standard in Italy. For those who consider travel a passion, there are few places in the world that offer such as an unforgettable experience.
Spectacular cities with ancient ruins, a vast countryside with rolling hills, and a glamorous coastline that acts as a magnet to the rich and famous - these are just some of the reasons why Italy is the perfect place to enjoy an extravagant escape.
From the country’s historical significance in forming modern human civilization to housing the rarest and expensive works of art on the planet, this is a country that everyone should travel to at least once in their lifetime. Its remarkable wine culture and regional food are proudly shared by chefs and family cooks who hold onto tradition and pass it down through the generations.
Italy never loses touch with its past, and that is evident in its food-obsessed culture. We can’t think of a more magical place to start your wine and gastronomy journey.
There are just so many regions worth visiting when you come to Italy. One of the most popular areas is Tuscany, a province that is renowned for wine-making and its spectacular countryside. Home to cities like Florence and Pisa, it’s a meeting point for citizens of the world, and it holds the key to famous Renaissance art and architecture. To the east is Emilia Romagna, a destination with links to the Roman Empire and serving up the best lasagna in the country. While in the north, there are regions such as Lombardy, Piedmont, Trentino alto Adige and Liguria, each with their own unique charms when it comes to food and culture.
Lombardy is crowned by Milan, a city with a contrast of rustic and glamorous neighbourhoods, and the region is well-known for its high-end shops and restaurants. Piedmont is a gateway to the Alps, bordering France and Switzerland, and home to the gorgeous Lake Maggiore. Trentino alto Adige, on the other hand, borders Switzerland and Austria and encompasses part of the Dolomites. Then there’s the Italian Riviera in the Liguria region, where colourful fishing villages and beaches line the coast.
For canals, carnivals and romantic gondolas, book your stay in Venice in the Veneto region. The seafood here is excellent and the beautiful streets are simply enchanting. Or further south, we have Puglia and Sicily, two destinations that deserve an extended stay if you have time. Puglia is perhaps one of the most underrated areas in Italy, with hidden gems around every corner and authentic restaurants run by passionate locals. While Sicily oozes a unique culture all of its own and produces more wine than Austria and Hungary put together.
Italy has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. For beaches and coastal breaks, the summer months are usually busy with tourists. Temperatures can be very high in most parts, making the spring months an ideal time to visit if you prefer milder weather. Arrive in April or June to escape the extreme summer heat and also to beat the crowds.
For wineries and vineyards, the months of March to May promise the best scenery, while the winter months (January and February) are much quieter.
Wine holidays in Italy offer so much variety. Each region has its own unique wine-making styles and distinctions, and we can help you create the perfect tour package for winery visits and tastings.
Piedmont's Langhe and Monferrato have a hilly landscape of ancient soil, producing some of the best full-bodied reds. Varieties like Barolo and Barbaresco are the best bottles you can buy here, as well as perfumed wines like Barbera and Grignolino, and also whites like Gavi and Arneis.
The Lombardy region is where sparkling wines have become famous due to the high-quality Champagne-making method. Berlucchi, Ca ‘del Bosco and Bellavista wine is among the best there is. Or for the most widely appreciated sparkling variety worldwide, enjoy a tour of Veneto, home to the ever-popular Prosecco.
Tuscany wins when it comes to scenic vineyards, and Tuscan wine tours are perfect if you’re interested in learning more about Chianti wine country. It is Italy’s oldest wine-producing region, dating back to the 8th Century BC and wine blends are often made with native Sangiovese grapes, known for creating tannic, acidic wines.
For one-of-a-kind wines, we recommend wine tours in Sicily. The cooler areas produce the fantastic Nero d’Avola, while other areas create lovely light-bodied reds such as Frapatto. White Catarrato is Sicily’s most widely planted grape, and the less common Moscato is known for its dessert wines.
Finding the perfect place to stay for your luxury holiday in Italy is easy with Wine Paths. From charming country houses and family villas with pools to grand "castelli" and elegant boutique hotels, our team can help you discover that ‘home away from home’ with vineyards on your doorstep.
We have hand-selected a number of hotels, villas and stylish properties for their amenities and on-site facilities. Whether you want an award-winning spa, breath-taking views from your window, or activities such as a wine-tasting weekend and cooking schools, our featured accommodation will certainly inspire you.
A bad meal in Italy is near impossible. Even in the busiest tourist zones, authentic restaurants are everywhere - you just have to know where to look. Each region boasts a unique take to what we know to be ‘Italian cuisine’ and guests often find these regional distinctions charming and enlightening on their travels.
For the best of Tuscan food, dine at Sala dei Grappoli on the Castello Banfi estate – or Osteria del Grigio where traditional cooking methods live on through its inspired menu. Another Tuscan favourite is Chianti’s Poggio Rosso, a restaurant led by executive chef Fabrizio Borraccino, where dishes are created to have perfect flavour balance.
In Sicily don’t miss Locanda Nerello, with a kitchen that is dedicated to the Slow Food Movement.
Wine Paths helps travellers make deeper connections on their journey through gastronomy, wine and cultural activities. To find out more about tailor-made luxury holidays to Italy, contact our local experts Filippo, and Christian.