Ville Venete. Best Palladian Villas of the Veneto: To Tour, Visit and Explore.

Nothing can quite prepare you for the centuries-old glamor in palladian villas. They get their name from the architect who designed them, Andre Palladio. They have something else in common; they are in the same region too. UNESCO marked veneto villas among other World Heritage Sites in the Veneto region, Italy, in 1996. The area is also popular as the City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto.

Most of these 1500s veneto villas catered to the need for a unique countryside residence. His work got the best of respectable members of the society as bankers to patricians. The houses would reflect one’s wealth and social status. But the design ruled out the necessity for great palaces in the countryside.

Palladio, however, got much of his inspiration from significantly large complexes. These included properties with outbuildings or residential layouts. Some of the designs are actually visible in several palladian villas. Another notable thing about these villas is that Palladio brought together several architectural elements of the time. The barns, for instance, were to face south. This would reduce the possibility for the hay to ferment and burn as it stayed dry.

Well, the Veneto region has a good number of villas that you can try. But here are four of the most fantastic ones that you can visit and enjoy a leap back in time.

1. Ca’ Marcello

Built in the 16th century, this villa makes it to the top of this list with its ancient splendor. It comes in as one of the age-old veneto villas that you don’t have to spend a fortune to visit. The good thing is you will have a whole lot to see and do here. And the 4 bedrooms bath villa has sufficient room for a good number of guests. It has to be a worthwhile visit, especially with the parking close enough to your room apartment. Above all, you will enjoy the special lovely treatment from the hosts.

Where is it located?

The Ca Marcello villa is in Levada, only 30 km and about from Venice. You will only need 35 minutes to get to the countryside house by train. The surrounding historical park adds to the antique touch of the villa. From the villa, you can travel around the Veneto province with all the convenience you need.

What you can see and do there

There will always be a lot to do in Ca Marcello. You can enjoy its rich historical heritage. And have a chance to try great meals and a serene time away from the busy daily life.

The treasures that the family members have added to this villa over the centuries are worth a hard look. The wide range includes paintings, frescos, unique furniture and much more.

The artistic heritage of this villa offers a warm welcoming feeling. Most of the rooms have stucco works decorations. These include some outstanding drawings with exotic animals and mythical characters. The tasteful, decorative furnishings also boast a wide diversity.

Apart from this splendid display, you can always do a lot in this villa. Have a relaxing brush with the peaceful harmony of its outdoor nature at the gardens and parks. But the best you can always count on is a peaceful stay, especially in a private visit arrangement. And of course, you will have many dining options. Get everything from snacks to light refreshment, a seated lunch or dinner. There will always be a window into Venetian dishes at the Ca’ Marcello.

2. Villa Sagramoso

Welcome to yet another amazing destination among the top Palladian villas. This 16th-century Venetian villa will give you every reason to knock on its doors. The Italian countryside experience goes beyond any high expectations you might already have. And the restored state always brings out something excellent and unique about it. Several updates like a private bath, air conditioning, and Wi-Fi also
adds to its comfort.

The location

The Villa Sagramoso is in a somewhat strategic location. It is very close to the bus and train stations and the main squares alike. Located on the mountains of Lessinia, it overlooks the Valpolicella valley. This offers not only an ideal view but also an up-close connection with the natural countryside environment. Not forgetting, the ideal location offers you easy access to Venice and Verona. And that’s the beginning, the real treat is in the many things you can see and do there.

What you can see and do there

Right from the moment you arrive, you will treat your eyes to a wide array of the classical display. From eighteenth-century frescos to its ideal Italian-style gardens, there’s a lot to behold.

It also has excellent wallpapers and counterpanes as well as chestnut beams. You cannot afford to miss the lofty hallway and the stone stair leading to its luxurious suites. That might not meet everyone’s yearning for a great display. But the family antiques, the huge
flowers, and its sweeping terracotta definitely will.

The best is in the range of things you can do there. The array of activities here can include a relaxing swim in a large pool. And when it comes to the real treats, this villa has a fair share of them up its sleeve too. From its food to the wine, fruits from the orchard and

butter, you will have a whole range to choose from its bounty.

What’s more, you can rent bicycles to visit Verona and the Lake Garda on an ideal bike path. But if the bike is not for you, then a cooking class might be, or a gymnastic course might be all you need. You might also enjoy flight tours over the lake, or going on a guided half or a whole day tour of the city of Verona. Well, all you need to do is request and have this organized by your hosts.

3. Villa Pisani

You will have a million reasons to visit this prominent villa. Not only does it feature palladian villas traits, it was actually designed by Palladio himself. The 15-room luxury villa has earned itself a position among the top tourist attractions in the Veneto region. There
will always be a whole lot of things to see and do. But above all, the warm reception will get the best of your expectations.

Where is it located

The villa lies along the Riviera del Brenta. This also happens to be an extension of the Venetian Gran Canal. The ideal location is only 20 minutes from Venice, and 10 from Padua.

What to see and do there

Like a kid in a candy shop, this villa will spoil you for choice. Its magnificent 144 rooms have seen its fair share of visits from kings and emperors. You can get a glimpse at the works of art and furniture from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Its gardens boast an age-old maze and an original architecture.

Not forgetting, a collection of citrus fruit is also outstanding. You can amaze yourself with a wide array of plants and flowers around there too. Better yet, the free parking, gym, library and lounge offer all the convenience you would look for.

Another thing you will come to love about this villa is the treats that you can enjoy. From pizzas to sandwiches, ham & cheese tastings, all are on the list. You can also make the most of the ice creams, cakes and pastries tea, and coffee, and a good range of bears as well
as wines.

4. Villa Contarini Camerini

Last on this list of veneto villas, this one is every bit as great. Since its foundation in 1546, this villa has seen its share of good and bad days. But it remains a magnificent destination for anyone seeking to step back in time. It has seen several changes in ownership, and abandonment over the centuries. But this only added to the diversity of its rich history.

Where is it located

Villa Contarini Camerini offers a rather urban environmental context. It lies near the Padua and Vicenza cities. But the most impressive thing about it is the near location to the airport of Venice Tessera.

What you can see and do there

One of the most incredible things about this villa is far from the ideal location and its great history. The villa sees occasional activities. Such events as cultural events, concerts, and hosts conventions are common here. And of course, you can enjoy the countryside flora and fauna here. Not forgetting, you may stay for some days and make the most of the hospitality that the hosts have to offer.

Besides, it offers many services to visitors. They range from shopping, guided tours, lift, congress and event halls and much more. You will also get a chance to enjoy its excellent gardens and caters to people with disabilities as well. The inside of the villa is open to visitors , with the library being the only exception. You can always visit any time in winter or summer. From groups to families, students, seniors and children, all can come here and have a good time.

Any of these palladian villas will always have something to offer. From the long history to the pristine gardens, these veneto villas always impress. Visit any of these ancient mansions, and please your desire for adventure. You will have an ideal getaway from the busy urban life. Which one of these are you visiting next?

Valpolicella Amarone Winery Map: Best Around Lake Garda and Verona

When I say Italy you may immediately think about football. This makes sense. When I talk about the Verona region and Lake Garda region in Italy, the what will you think of? Still football? No, the correct answer is wines! There are a lot of outstanding wineries around these two region, and I will bring you on a journey to the wineries around those regions.

Lake Garda

 

 

Amarone in the Valpolicella area

 

Fratelli Vogadori

Being a major amarone winery, the Fratelli Vogadori winery has years of expertise as well as a passion for tradition and eco-friendly values. They offer excellent wines and the way they produce the wine is the reason why their taste is so special.

They offer a wide range of wines for you to choose from. One of them is valpolicella classic, which is a ruby-red wine that is pleasant and delicate. They use several types of grapes together with their expertise to make this very product, and it is suitable to drink this type of wine with meat dishes. For dessert wine, they can offer you with Recioto Della Valpolicella Classico. Again, the color of this wine is ruby red, but there are purple hues too for this one. It is not only warm and velvety, but also so sweet that makes it the best dessert wine.

You can visit their winery and join win tasting events held by them from time to time. They regularly organize a wide range of different wine tasting experience. Since the wine to be tasted are all different, you will have a unique experience every time. It is also a way to embrace the history and culture of Valpolicella, according to them.

The Fratelli Vogadori is located at Via Vigolo, 16 Negrar 37024. You can go there directly for tasting wine.

Boscaini Carlo

Boscaini Carlo covers 14 hectares of land over looking the village of St. Giorgio Ingannapoltron. The village is famous for its ancient church and buildings. The winery is founded by Carlo Boscaini who has a great passion in producing wine. He himself died at an age of 102 due to drinking wine with high quality. Now, the winery is run by his nephews Carlo and Mario.

Baoscaini Carlo stressed that they only sell wines from their own grapes production, and they do offer quite a number of wines.

For example, the IGT Molinara Veronese are made the a type of grapes named Molinara, which means from the mill’. The wine is floor-wax pink in color, which is fairly special, and it is delicate on the nose if you smell it. It is an easy drinking wine for cold cuts or BBQ meats.

The Zane is another product offered by them. Since it has a well-rounded and soft finish on the palate, it is the best accompaniment to red meat dishes. The wine is made from four different type of grapes using a traditional method known as Ripasso’.

They can receive guests and visitors who come to their winery to taste wines. It is coupled with causal chat and informal talk about the passion to wine. If needed, tasting sessions and guided tours can also be provided to a group.

valpolicella panorama primavera

Zenato

Zenato company is located in the middle of Lugana and Valpolicella. There is mild climate and unrivalled charm there, which also made Zenata one of the greatest winery in Italy. The winery covers 75 hectares of land which allows them to produce different types of wine in mass volume.

The founder of Zanato is Sergio Zenato who tried out new techniques of wine making and invested in native vines hoping to get the best quality of wines. This lead to the establishment of Zanata in 1960.

Lugana San Benedetto DOC is one of the best selling wines offered by them. It is a white with a very strong personality, coupled with fragrant scents. It is made of Trebbiano di Lugana and purely from this type of grape only. This type of wine is good as an aperitif with cold dishes and starters.

Cresasso Corvina Veronese IGT is a wine that is a tribute to the varietal features of different native grapes in Valpolicella. This is 100% made of Corvina Veronese, and comes from very careful research and experiment. You can try some of the IGT when you are also eating meats like roasts and sausages. They work well together.

The Chardonnay Garda DOC contains some aromatic elements, and it is extracted from Chardonnay purely. You need to ferment it for 15-20 days in a steel of controlled temperature, and then wait for another half year for it to be ready. Customers can enjoy this type of wine with freshwater fish particularly.

Zenato had also organized several wine tasting events in the pursuit of promoting their wines to the world. You can take a lot at their newsletter (available on their website) for their newest actions.

Brunelli Wine

Brunelli  has based themselves to San Pietro in Cariano, which is the central and the main village of the Classic area in Valpolicella. With the mineral soil, grape varieties and a nice climate with breezes, Valpolicella is just the best place to set up a winery—and this is why Brunelli Wine is set up here.

According to Allento Brunelli, the current owner of the winery, the art of transforming grapes into wine and then fashioning them into a perfect product has an important effect on his dreams and desires, and this inspired him to succeeded his ancestors as the owner of the winery. He also said that many wines offer a complex personality, and each type of wine is just like one of his relatives.

One of the wines offered by them is the Custoza. It is a refreshing fruity white wine made from five type of grapes. This gives this type of wine a surprising complexity and a refreshing structure. It is recommended that you drink this wine risottos and fish dishes.

Another type of tine available is the Valpolicella Ripasso. The wine has a great concentration in the color as well as perfume. This type of wine can mix well with rich stews, chops and mature cheeses.

Brunelli is still experiencing new wines, and is dedicated to continue providing different type of excellent wines to the world.

There are really a lot of great wineries around Lake Garda and Verona. This is just a blessed land naturally for producing wine with good quality. While the above four wineries produce different type of wine on their own, they shared a common feature—that is, they are all passionate at turning grapes into wine, and turning their efforts into the satisfaction of customers from the taste associated with their wine.

google valpolicella amarone map

Where to Eat in Venice: Alle Testiere, Quadri, Alla Palanca

Venice is the epicenter for Italian culture, arts, history, and entertainment. Known as “The City of Romance”, Venice features a myriad of historic monuments and ancient art museums. The city is also blanketed by a number of 5-star restaurants, eateries, and outdoor cafes. From mouth watering appetizers and entrees to fine wines, the area is home to some of the finest dining establishments in the country. Whether you love authentic Italian cuisine or local samples, your taste buds are guaranteed to sizzle courtesy of world-renowned chefs that have received stellar reviews from critics and tourists alike.

eatinvenice
Eat like a Local in Venice – source

 

Alle Testiere

When visiting Venice, Alle Testiere is simply a must. This lavish and elegant ristorante truly captures the allure and essence of fine dining. They feature exquisite and exotic seafood that is perfect for family and corporate luncheons. Located near Santa Maria Formosa, the restaurant also has a full bar and wine menu, along with comfortable seating for 22 patrons in a lovely dining room. Led by Chef Bruno, you are guaranteed the freshest catches of the day and a world class culinary experience. With bountiful flavors that accentuate all dishes, the John Dory fillet is a signature item featuring aromatic herbs and citrus sauces. Prices are around €50 per head.

Quadri

Quadri is another enchanted venue that features true opulence and elegance at every turn. Led by the Alakmo brothers, this dazzling eatery features stunning views of the piazza. Whether for romantic candlelight dinners or brunches, Chef Massimiliano (Max) will truly take you on a culinary journey of a lifetime. From his signature “Uovo Sospeso” dessert to classic Italian and continental dishes, your taste buds are sure to be in for a treat. Enjoy mouthwatering pastas, fish entrees, and succulent beef and chicken dishes set to elegant décor and picturesque surroundings. There is also a great menu for wine lovers, enthusiasts, and aficionados.

Alla Palanca

Next on the menu is the regionally renowned Alla Palanca restaurant. Located in Giudecca, this impressive bar-trattoria features the best bacari and seafood in Venice. The venue is perfect for lavish and elegant dinners, and features an extensive wine and dessert bar. The area is blanketed by contemporary architecture that captures the essence of exquisite dining at its finest. Their signature cuttlefish risotto is a local favorite, and part of a dazzling menu that features grilled tuna specialties and tantalizing appetizers. Whether you are in the mood for classic Italian salads, buffalo mozzarella or grilled aubergines, this unique and classy venue will truly achieve your desired results.

We offer food walking tours in Venice and cookery classes with Rialto Market visits.

Vicenza Palladian Villa Tour

The Veneto Region in Italy is a haven for tourists and locals alike. Whether for corporate functions or family vacations, you and your party will simply marvel over the world famous Palladian Villas. These amazing structures truly capture the allure and essence of fine Italian architecture and the Romance Period. The Region is also home to Vicenza, which is known for its rich cultural traditions and heritage.

Along with the “City of Gold”, your guided tour also includes a visit to the world renowned Andrea Palladio. This unique city is blanketed by ancient Italian and contemporary art monuments. If you are looking for a vacation quite like no other, the Veneto Region features breathtaking scenery and Villas that will simply leave you speechless.

Tour Itinerary and Details

Your Veneto tour commences at the Villa La Rotonda, which is a true symbol of art and spirituality. Located in the Valley of Silence, the Villa is synonymous with captivating and compelling architecture that simply cannot be missed. This is a true icon of Palladian architecture that is perfect for all art enthusiasts and aficionados. The Villa Valmarana ai Nani is only five minutes away and is the next stop on the tour. This enchanted villa features a myriad of frescoes by Giambattista Tiepolo.

Visit Palladian Villas
Palladian Villas – source

 

 

The tour then moves on to the Berici Hills, which showcases the Villa da Schio. This is a 17th century structure that features an abbot on the hillside area. This is truly a picturesque landscape with wood decorated walls and a garden. The latter includes ancient ruins and the popular airy divinity statues and monuments. There is also a fully functional winery situated inside the hill. Guests and visitors will be able to sample local and regional wine flavors, while enjoying world class entrees and delicacies in the garden restaurant.

Book Your Palladian Villa Tour

The Veneto walking tour features expert guides at every turn. If you want to experience the magic of the Veneto Region, now is the time to book your tours.

Tour at Venice Rialto Market and Cooking Class With a Chef

The art of Cooking with a professional chef in Venice.

rialtomarketfoodtour

 

Half a day or Full day programme

The Chef will escort the guest at the Rialto market where he will explain how to recognize the best local products , from fruit to seasonal vegetables , fresh fish of the day and shellfish , etc. Then return to the location (to be defined ), the Chef will teach the art of Italian cuisine with an emphasis on Venetian cuisine , explaining a starter and two main course one with pasta and one with fish or meat.

Please enquiry for pricing.

The half-day package includes :

Lesson with a chef cooking for 3 hours
Visit at the Rialto market and back to the location by walking, if the guest wants a different location we will have to talk about conditions, a supplement will be charged ) Guests will Taste what they prepare and will be servd a Flute of prosecco or wine glass.
Attendee certificate
The lesson recipes
Chef Assistance in Italian and in English

rialtomarketvenice
Rialto Market – source

 If you are a real foodie and want to know where to eat in Venice should you check this article out. Or check our bacari food tour in Venice.

Walking Tour in Padova Full Day

Padua is perfect for everyone and anytime! With this tour you’ll be able to admire and see the most important sites of this city, full of history, ancient building, porticoed street, churches but also fashionable shops and elegant cafès and restaurants. Continue reading

Discover the charming city of Padova, 30 km away from Venice.

We start our tour admiring the St. Anthony Basilica, full of treasures of art of all kinds, from the Donatello’s bronze artworks, medieval frescoes and Renaissance Venetian marble sculptures.
After a pleasant walking inside the daily market in the major squares, we continue inside the majestic Palace of the Reason (Palazzo della Ragione), medieval building completely decorated with frescoes.
The University and its ancient courtyard (15th century) and the historical Caffè Pedrocchi, wonderful example of neoclassical architecture.

padova
Walking tour of Padova – source

 Lunch break in a typical restaurant.

Visit of the Scrovegni Chapel, a jewel of art and history, frescoed by Giotto at the beginning of the 14th century.

Duration of the tour: 4 hours (lunch break included)
Meeting point: Bus and car parking in Prato della Valle or pick up at the guests’ hotel.

Why visit Padua.

Padua is perfect for everyone and anytime! With this tour you’ll be able to admire and see the most important sites of this city, full of history, ancient building, porticoed street, churches but also fashionable shops and elegant cafès and restaurants.

Visiting Soave for wineries

The next time you visit Italy take the time to visit the charming and ancient town of Soave, just 23 km east of Verona in north-eastern Italy. If you thought you had to travel to Tuscany to see a walled hilltop village you are mistaken – Soave has all the necessary attributes and more!

Soave
Soave in Italy is well worth a visit – source

 

Soave Wine

Most people will be familiar with the name Soave – the wine of the same name, produced all around the town, is world famous and probably the best known Italian wine after Chianti.

Soave is a white wine produced from predominantly Garganega grapes grown on the many hillside vineyards all around the town of Soave, and has been awarded DOC status.

Soave is produced in large quantities and in the past few decades the quality has been a little inconsistent. The introduction of stricter requirements for a Soave Superiore (minimum of 70% Garganega grapes, minimum alcohol content of 11.5% and at least 8 months maturation) has resulted in the production of some very fine Soave wines with much more character and flavour than was the case in the past. Some of the very best wines from the region are produced on family-owned and operated wineries and some of them are open to the public for cellar tours and tastings.

What to see and do in Soave

At the very top of your to-do list should be a cellar tour and tasting! Three of the foremost Soave wineries that you can visit and tour are:

Rocca Sveva: A visit to this winery is an experience you should not miss even if you are not a wine lover. You will be amazed at the sight of hundreds of meters of tunnels that have been excavated into the hills of the countryside – these tunnels are filled with thousands of oak barrels lined up along cool underground walkways. At the end of your cellar tour you will be treated to a tasting and both lovely Soave and other local products such as Olive Oil and honey are on sale in the winery shop

I Stefanini: A completely different experience awaits you at Il Stefanini where the last generation of the Tessari family, who have farmed the land since the 1800’s, have decided to combine elements of the old traditions and modern technologies. No Oak barrels here…(traditional Soave was never matured in oak)

Instead expect massive stainless steel tanks; not as romantic perhaps, but their wine is gaining acclaim in all the major guides and reviews.

Coffele Winery: This is one of the oldest wineries in the area and is situated right in the heart of the town. Their Soave Classico is a very well-balanced wine with an exceptionally mild acidity making it a perfect accompaniment to fish and risotto dishes. They also make two other complex Classicos and are well worth a visit.

After you have toured a couple of wineries, it is time to explore the town of Soave. The Castle and Medieval Walls are superbly intact and are the main attraction in the town. The castle is a traditional elevated defensive structure and dates from around 934. The medieval walls were a much later addition; they surround the town and lead up to the castle. On your visit to the castle you can see the remains of a 10th century church, visit the various castle rooms and the museum.

Also worth a visit are the Palace of Justice in the centre of town and the Palazzo Cavallli and the Scaliger Palace. There are also a few churches where you can see examples of 16th and 14th century art.

When it comes to food, you will not be disappointed. There are several good restaurants serving regional cuisine with plenty of emphasis on Risotto (Italy’s best Risotto rice is produced in the area) and Polenta, rather than Pasta, the more well-known Italian basic.

Make sure to accompany your meal with a glass of Soave made just around the corner!

Soave Classico Doc, Monte de Toni 2008
Soave is one of the most recognised wined around the world – source

Gourmet food and wine tours around Verona

The Verona province is blessed with wonderful places to visit each holding its unique speciality. From the hilly regions of Valpolicella and Prealps to the relaxing Lake Garda, you can spend a pleasant holiday in attractive tourist destinations and appreciate their culinary traditions.

Don’t think twice to enjoy one-day tasting tours to learn more about the following three gourmet food typical of Verona province: Amarone wine DOCG, extra virgin olive oil Garda DOP and Monte Veronese cheese DOP.

The unique flavour of Amarone wine DOCG

Zeni one of the most renowned Amarone producer in the Valpolicella
Zeni one of the most renowned Amarone producer in the Valpolicella

This extremely robust red wine made from dried grapes, gained DOCG recognition in 2009 and is appreciated for its bitter and fruity taste. The fine wine is the result of a blend of three grape varieties: Corvina – which gives the fruity flavour -, Rondinella and Molinara.

To be an authentic Amarone, the grapes must grow in the hillside areas mentioned below which best guarantee the deepness of their roots. After the harvest, the grapes are put in special rooms to let them dry for about 120 days, while the wine fermentation takes about 30-50 days.

Amarone della Valpolicella being its full name, clearly indicate the area of production, in the province of Verona. So if you love to visit vineyards and wine cellars you should book a gastronomic tour in the towns of the Valpolicella area – such as San Pietro in Cariano, Negrar, Fumane – but also in Valpantena, Val Tramigna, Val d’Illasi and Val di Mezzane. During the tasting tours you may heard about the Recioto della Valpolicella – the sweeter and less fermented version of Amarone. It is actually said that Amarone was only produced by chance because a Recioto bottle fermented longer than usual!

The golden olive oil from Lake Garda DOP

tour the olive oil museum in Bardolino
tour the olive oil museum in Bardolino

Always in the province of Verona, you can enjoy the wonderful countryside during a visit to olive grooves and oil mills in the surroundings of the magic Lake Garda. This corner of Verona province holds a long tradition in oil making dating back to the Romans. Today it is produced extra virgin olive oil Garda DOP characterized by an intense golden colour similar to green and by almond flavour.

There are many oil mills that you can visit to learn more about the king of the Mediterranean diet. We suggest to book an inspiring tour to the Olive Oil Museum of Bardolino founded in the eighties next to Lake Garda and to an ancient oil mill. The Museum exhibition is very interesting because you can learn more about history and culture of olive oil.

The gourmet Monte Veronese cheese DOP

Monte Veronese cheese tour from Verona

The mountainous region of Lessinia awaits cheese and nature lovers. Prepare for a journey into this surprising territory part of the Prealps, where the cheese method of production apparently never changed: cow’s milk rigorously coming from cattle bred in the Lessinia area. You can find up to three varieties of Monte Veronese cheese on the market, each varying for hardness and taste – depending on the ageing length.

Book a tour with Emilia Delizia to the dairy factories in the Verona province to visit in person the ageing rooms but also the countryside from where this tasteful cheese with a delicate aroma of grass originates.

 

Monte Veronese Cheese, a delight of the Veneto Region

The intense flavour of Monte Veronese DOP

This fabulous cheese is produced in the northernmost part of the Verona province since medieval times, when the Lessinia valley was occupied by the Germanic tribe of Cimbrians. Other say that its production was introduced in this area by immigrants from Lombardy.

20130601-094409.jpg

The hilly region of Lessinia is part of the Prealps chain and is a tourist destination all year round for its great natural places – in particular the Regional Park of Lessinia – where visitors can do excursions, birdwatching and have fun at the Malga San Giorgio ski resort.

A gastronomic tour is recommended to gourmet travellers to find out the typical product which gained the DOP recognition in 1996: the Monte Veronese cheese. Furthermore, the Consorzio di Tutela del Monte Veronese was founded to preserve its territory of origin, its method of production and, indeed, its authentic flavour.

A great way to taste it is to visit the town of Zeno di Montagna – province of Verona – during the food festival dedicated to San Zeno chestnuts, Bardolino wine and Monte Veronese cheese. You may also enjoy tours in the dairy factories of Peschiera del Garda, Lazise, Bardolino – all close to the marvellous Lake Garda – Bussolengo and San Pietro in Cariano, to name a few.

20130601-094437.jpg

How Monte Veronese is produced

Monte Veronese DOP (or POD) is made only from cow’s milk. But the factor that makes this cheese so unique is that the milk is exclusively taken from cows bred in the Lessinia valleys. This element, together with the period of ageing – safeguards its organoleptic properties and original aroma of grass. You can recognize Monte Veronese varieties by the label colour and by the denomination clearly marked on them.

Monte Veronese Aging period and varieties

20130601-094458.jpg

Monte Veronese made from whole milk needs an aging time of 25-40 days and can be recognized by the light green label. Your palate won’t forget its sweet long lasting flavour. Try it with marmalade to enjoy the contrast between bitter and sweet.

Monte Veronese d’allevo – made from skimmed milk – is called “mezzano” if aged for more than 90 days. Its savour slightly spicy makes it perfect to serve grated on many gourmet first courses such as risotto all’Amarone or as filling in ravioli. It’s great also with the radicchio rosso di Verona IGP (PGI). Check the light blue label when you buy it.

If you’re looking for strong flavours, then the Monte Veronese d’allevo vecchio – which period of aging goes between 6 months and 2 years – is the one for you. Labelled with a black tag, you will soon recognize it also by its pleasant flavour of almond. You’d rather enjoy it at the end of the meal matched with great Italian red wines such as Bardolino or Valpolicella.

There is another variety, called Monte Veronese di Malga, that can be served with other food (eggs, pears, walnuts) to emphasize its flavour or with other kind of cheeses. It is the ideal ingredient of recipes based on polenta or salty pies since it gives an intense taste to the dish. It is superb if matched with the strong flavour of truffles.

Emilia Delizia Monte Veronese cheese tour from Verona.

Are you ready for a gourmet travel in the Verona province? Our company organises cheese tours from Verona, Bardolino and the Valpolicella area. With our food experiences you can discover this magnificent products during your holidays in Italy.

20130601-094650.jpg

20130601-094709.jpg

Venice: a gourmet guide to its culinary traditions

Everybody knows that Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. But the local gastronomy is not so renowned as tourists usually concentrate on succulent dishes based on pasta and pizza. Nevertheless it is worth knowing more on culinary traditions such as fegato ala venesiana, sarde in saor and bigoli in salsa. If you are in Venice for your holidays you might consider taken some cooking classes or simply a food crawl in the city. Below we have listed some of the dishes that you might want to try

Fegato ala venesiana, an old recipe

The local Venetian dialect is widely spoken in the area and “Fegato ala venesiana” is the name of the typical recipe. The translation means liver in the Venetian way. It dates back to the Roman times when liver used to be cooked with figs in order to hide the strong smell it usually has. Over time the fruit was replaced by onions and it has become one of the most popular in Veneto. If you dare to prepare it, you must cut the onions into very thin slices and cook them in a pan with some olive oil and butter. After ten minutes, add up some vinegar and the liver cut into thin pieces. It will be prepared in five more minutes. Then you can add some salt and pepper and serve it with lemon slices. It must be eaten warm and never re-heat it to avoid the liver becoming too hard.

Sarde in saor, the taste of the sea

Sarde is the local word for sardines, the main ingredient of the recipe. While the fish is being fried, the other ingredients are prepared. Raisins are soaked for thirty minutes and onions are cut into thin slices and cooked in a pan with olive oil for ten minutes. Then some vinegar is added and cooking goes ahead until the onions are soft. Then the fried sardines are seasoned with plenty of vinegar in container and covered with the onions, sprinkled with pine nuts and raisins. Several layers of fish and seasoning are prepared and then marinated in a cool place for at least one day.

The result is a sweet and sour dish usually served as an appetizer. Back in the days of sea travel, sarde in saor was a way to preserve food for the seamen spending long time out on boats.

sarde in saor (con cipolle rosse)
sarde in saor – source

 

Bigoli in salsa, pasta in an original recipe

This recipe used to be prepared during days such as Christmas Eve or Good Friday. It is a very simple pasta dish to prepare but it is also really tasty and delicious. The main ingredients for the seasoning are onions again but this time accompanied by anchovies. And even if the pasta looks to you as spaghetti, it is not so. They are thicker and they have a rougher surface. That causes a difference in the taste and the sensation. And do not forget that the quality of the olive oil is important to obtain an exquisite dish.

If you enjoy Venetian gastronomy, you might be interested on other recipes such as risi e bisi (rice with peas), polenta, gnocchi or baccalà (codfish). And as dessert you can always try the sweet tiramisu or the typical pandoro.
Emilia Delizia oganises food activities in Venice that includes the typical cicchetti tour, cooking classes, and food and wine tours. If want to try the specialities listed above you can contact us and we will provide the best culinary experience in Italy.