Prosecco, Anyone? How to Visit Italy’s Famed Sparkling Wine Region

Everything you need to know about this UNESCO World Heritage site.

View of green vineyards and mountains

Follow the “Prosecco Road” to discover the area’s beauty and bounty.

Photo by Thomas Possamai/Shutterstock

The prosecco region in northeastern Italy, in the Veneto (about 40 miles north of Venice), was finally recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2019. The area’s 50,000 acres of neatly terraced vineyards, rolling green hills, and scenic medieval towns fan out from the city of Treviso. UNESCO praised “the protection of the rural landscape, the maintenance of vineyards, banks and other fundamental characteristics for the conservation of local traditions and the protection of biodiversity.”

If you’re planning a visit (and we suggest you do), you’ll want to focus on the two villages of Conegliano and Valdobiadene and everything between them. Thankfully, they’re connected by a road called Strada del Vino di Prosecco, or Prosecco Road, and if you follow it, you can’t miss the region’s beauty and bounty. The famous Primavera del Prosecco Superiore festival runs from March to June, with plenty of events, tastings, and activities, but a visit outside of the festival months is equally fun. Read on for how to get to Italy’s prosecco region and how to get around, where to stay, where to eat, which vineyards to visit, and other things to do while you’re in the area.

Getting there and around

Carriers like American Airlines, Finnair, and British Airways run direct flights to Venice from the United States; next, rent a car or hop on a one-hour train to Conegliano. Once there, you can hire a driver or perhaps rent a bicycle; you may want an e-bike because it’s hilly. Or you could take a fully guided trip with the likes of Imago Artis Travel, which offers three different prosecco trips. (Avoid the one-day package tours offered by other operators from Venice, which are generally overpriced and on which you’ll be thrown together with dozens of tourists on a bus.)

Where to stay

This idyllic region has plenty of charming bed-and-breakfasts and inns, plus a few larger hotels (but nothing that large, really).

Foresteria Borgoluce

To experience the farm life, stay in one of the agriturismos, like Foresteria Borgoluce in the village of Susegana, which produces its own wine (your first winery visit, done!), buffalo mozzarella, honey, cured meats, and beer.

Duca di Dolle

Duca di Dolle is a luxury inn inside a former 16th-century hermitage on a wine estate. There are nine rooms in an ancient monastery, and in 2022 the hotel added two suites in a separate building amid the vineyards.

Hotel Villa Abbazia

If you’re looking for luxury, the best option is undoubtedly the opulent Hotel Villa Abbazia, a Relais & Châteaux hotel in Follina—with the region’s only Michelin-starred restaurant. Also upscale is the historic mansion Villa Soligo, which dates back to 1782 and has hosted the likes of Sophia Loren in its past. It was completely renovated in 2020 and its original Palladian structure was turned into a new concept hotel with a modern design, gorgeous spa, and gourmet restaurant.

Relais le Betulle

For a more affordable option, Relais Le Betulle in Conegliano has a lovely swimming pool and reasonable prices.

Ca’ del Poggio

To rent a home, try the rustic and charming three-bedroom Casa nel Cuore del Prosecco, which is in Valdobiaddene. Ca’ del Poggio in San Pietro di Feletto is a small resort, with 28 rooms, a restaurant, a large outdoor terrace with Jacuzzi, and a spa with a Finnish sauna, Turkish bath, and tiny gym. It also rents bikes and will help plan your route.

Green prosecco grapes on the vine

Prosecco is made from the glera varietal.

Photo by WJarek/Shutterstock

The prosecco vineyards you have to visit

Not all proseccos are created equal, and if you’re visiting their native land, you’ll want to have the best of the best. The first thing to understand is that if you’re here in the Prosecco Hills, you’re already in the DOCG region (as opposed to DOC, which encompasses a larger area of Veneto). This means that the grapes—a varietal called glera—are blended from a smaller, more focused growing area in Prosecco. There are two subcategories of DOCG: Superiore, which indicates the grapes were grown in the 43 villages between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, and Rive, which refers to wine from the steepest hills in that area—you’ll notice these impressive terraced hills right away.

Rive grapes must be harvested by hand—about the only way to do it on these steep hills, ensuring batches are small. Cartizze is even more specific and is considered the “Grand Cru” of prosecco. Most of the vineyards along the Prosecco Road are small and family owned and operated for generations. But there are more than 100 of them in the area, so to help you narrow it down, a few of our favorite vineyards to visit and drink at include:

Be sure to check the hours listed on their websites before visiting—many are closed during lunch.

For a truly unique experience, check when La Vigna di Sarah is hosting its night harvest, which it does annually by full moon, at an event open to the public.

Where to eat

While wine is likely your focus, you’ll need something to soak up all that bubbly. As you make your way down Prosecco Road, stop at Ristorante Da Gigetto, which Luigi “Gigetto” Bortolini inherited from his grandmother more than 50 years ago. Today, it offers a gourmet menu. Its award-winning cellar showcases some 1,600 bottles of wine, with a focus on local production: Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, white and red wines from the hills of Conegliano, and wines of the Piave and Torchiato di Fregona.

Another great lunch option is Ristorante Enoteca Salis in Valdobianne, named after the type of rock and soil that makes up the terroir of the region. Dine on regional dishes like spaghetti à la chitarra with prawns and artichokes, rosemary rabbit with snow peas, and tiramisu as you enjoy panoramic vineyard views. For something more casual, head to Osteria Senz’Oste for self-serve charcuterie and cheese boards that you can nibble on at one of its picnic tables with magnificent views. A prosecco vending machine provides the bubbly!

If you must have pizza—this is Italy, after all—try Pizzeria Barbato in Follina, which makes Neapolitan-style pies or Da Pino in Treviso, one of the most famous pizzerias in Veneto. For a gelato break, stop at Boutique Del Gelato and try its prosecco gelato for another spin on the local delicacy. For dinner, make a reservation at the one-Michelin-starred La Corte, inside the Hotel Villa Abazzia for a traditional Venetian meal amid fireplaces and frescoes.

Tiramisu was invented in Treviso, supposedly at a spot called Toni del Spin, which also serves classic Treviso seasonal fare in its restaurant—the tiramisu is offered in the adjacent tea room. There is also a large wine shop.

The Mill of Croda

The Mill of Croda was in operation until the 1950s.

Photo by Vinicio Tullio/Shutterstock

Other things to see and do

While the focus of your trip is probably the local vineyards, make time to stop at historical sites like the Abbey of Follina and the 17th-century Mill of Croda. The area has a number of hiking and biking trails; a good one to try is the L’Anello del Prosecco, a well-marked five-mile loop from San Pietro di Barbozza that traverses through the villages of Santo Stefano and Saccol before returning to San Pietro di Barbozza.

Devorah Lev-Tov is a Brooklyn-based food and travel journalist who has been published in Afar, the New York Times, National Geographic, Vogue, Bon Appetit, and more.
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