Picture this: rolling hills adorned with vineyards as far as the eye can see, medieval towns steeped in history, and the crisp, effervescent notes of Prosecco filling the air.
Last year, we embarked on an unforgettable adventure to explore the enchanting Strada di Prosecco, also known as Prosecco Road. This 4-day road trip through the heart of Italy’s Veneto region was full of delightful flavors, breathtaking vistas, and cherished moments with our trusty four-legged companion, Cesar. Join me as I recount the highlights of this unforgettable journey, from medieval towns steeped in history to the rolling vineyards that produce the world-renowned Prosecco.
Our adventure kicked off, in late October, on a 70-kilometer stretch that weaves through the Veneto region, from the rugged hills of Valdobbiadene to the gentle slopes of Conegliano. This ancient wine route is Italy’s oldest, boasting a history as rich as the wines it showcases.
Day 1: Discovering Bassano del Grappa and Charming Castelfranco Vento
We headed towards Veneto early in the moring, making pit stops at Autogrill for a caffeine boost and a moment of rest. Our first destination was Bassano del Grappa, a medieval gem renowned for its Italian spirit, Grappa, and the iconic Ponte degli Alpini, a bridge with a history dating back to World War II. Our footsteps led us to discover remarkable places and their captivating stories.
Highlights of Bassano del Grappa
Viale dei Martiri (we have parked nearby) – we started our walk at this tree-lined avenue with a poignant history, named after 31 partisans hanged during World War II.
Ponte Vecchio (mentioned above) – emblem of Bassano del Grappa. We crossed the bridge to take a glimpse of the mountains, the river Brenta and the historical centre.
Libreria Palazzo Roberti – a unique bookshop inside a Venetian Renaissance-style Palazzo adorned with frescoes from the 18th century. You can find more details about Libreria Palazzo Rober on their official website.
Porta delle Grazie and Porta Dieda – two remaining medieval towers.
Ezzelini castle – a medieval castle full of hidden passageways, dates back to the 12th century and served as a defensive fortification of the powerful Ezzelini family, lords of these lands during the Middle Ages.
We have not visited the Grappa Museum due to the limited time, so we decided to keep it for next time. To plan a visit to Poli Museo della Grappa, check their official website for opening hours and admission fees.
In the afternoon, we arrived in Castelfranco Veneto, our home for the next three nights. Nestled within its medieval walls, this charming town greeted us with open arms. As we strolled through the well-preserved streets, we couldn’t help but fall in love with its character. We stayed at a 4-star dog friendly Hotel Al Moretto located in town centre. It features super cosy rooms with some ouside space, nice relaxing common areas, and free parking.
Must-Visit Places in Castefranco Veneto
Art enthusiasts should visit the Museo Casa Giorgione, the birthplace of the renowned painter Giorgione. In front of the museum stands the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and San Liberale, a canvas for Giorgione’s masterpiece, La Pala di Castelfranco. To plan a visit to Museo Casa Giorgione, check their official website for opening hours and admission fees.
For those seeking green serenity, Villa and Parco Revedin Bolasco beckon with their elegant English-style garden, crowned as the Most Beautiful Park in Italy in 2018.
Our day culminated in a romantic dinner at Osteria Maniscalco, nestled within the city walls, offering a view of the canal and exquisite meal to savor.
Day 2: Prosecco Tasting, Valdobbiadene, and Vineyard Walk
As a Prosecco aficionado, I anxiously awaited visiting one of the Valdobbiadene wineries. I booked a tasting at San Gregorio, Az. Agricola , a small family-run vineyard. Here, we delved into a Prosecco tasting, indulging in four exceptional varieties while immersing ourselves in the natural beauty of the vineyard.
We booked lunch at Trattoria all Cima, perched with a spectacular view of Valdobbiadene’s rolling hills. With a glass of Prosecco in hand, we savored the flavors of the region. The food was quite good, but portions were on a smaller side. We enjoyed another glass of Prosecco that costs little (3 Euros) in this region.
Continuing our journey, we ventured to the Prosecco Hills near Osteria Senz’Oste (Inn without Innkeeper), offering more breathtaking views. Here, you will find the famous– Prosecco vending machine. There is also space to sit, chill out and get more Prosecco.
Our love for exploration led us to the towns of Santo Stefano and Combai.
We returned to Castelfranco in the late afternoon, got changed and headed to the main square, where we had some excellent street food at the local festival.
Day 3: Castles, Conegliano, and Vittorio Veneto
On the third day of our itinerary we set our sights on two captivating castles: Castello di Collalto , a strategic marvel from the Middle Ages, and Castello di San Salvatore, an imposing structure that has served various purposes throughout history.
Today at Castello di Collalto you can visit the remains of the fortress after the almost destruction it suffered during the First World War. We walked around the walls and peeked into green areas, and the remains of the tower that were under construction. There was also a church, unfortunately closed. Nearby you can stop in a friendly trattoria, but this time, we decided to head to the next stop.
The second castle serves as a unique venue for events. Guided visits are possible for groups throughtout the year on request. Occasionally, there are extraordinary openings for individuals. Hence we could not visit the castle that day. We had a look from outside and took a walk nearby, as it was a lovely location.
Delights of Conegliano
Our next stop was Conegliano, where we had lunch at Antica Tratorria Stella di Marcon Doris & Figli. It was a super cosy place with great food and atmosphere. You can find more details on their official page.
Post-meal, we embarked on a leisurley uphill walk to Castello di Conegliano, rewarded with tiramisu and captivating views.
Conegliano is an exquisite town with a fantastic panoramic position, from which you can admire the vast foothill scenery, from the Dolomites to the Venice lagoon.
Conegliano has also undergo significant development in the wine sector due to the presence of the Enological school, the oldest one in Italy and Europe.
We enjoyed our afternoon here but decided to move towards the next town – Vittorio Veneto, a place adorned with splendid villas, historic buildings, and backdrop of striking mountains. Created by uniting the cities of Cenada and Serravelle, Vittorio Veneto boasts a wealth of artistic, historical, and architectural heritage. The town is called ”Artistic town” and often becomes the setting for music events.
Vittorio Veneto suprised us with the things that it has to offer. We had no time to visit it all, so we would like to return here in the near future.
Once we found parking, we walked towards Piazza del Popolo, a set of Umbertine-style buildings in a highly evocative setting surrounded by the gardens and the imposing rock mass of Monte Altare.
We stopped at Lux bar for a strudel and a glass of Prosecco, with that beautiful view. Sitting here and enjoying the scenery while devouring a delicious cake was a real treat.
Then, we followed the main street until Ponte Nogarlo and Palazzo Borsoi. This part of the town is splendid, with many antique buildings, arcades, a small canal and a stunning sanctuary of Santa Augusta. It was getting dark, so we decided to head back to the car and drive to our hotel.
In the evening, we joined again the food festival in Castelfranco, with many great choices of international food. We got a pulled pork sandwich, a Brazilian sandwich, and some artisan beer.
Day 4: Ferrara and Journey Back to Tuscany
After breakfast, we checked out and stopped in Ferrara before heading home. In Ferrara, we explored the captivating Castello Estense and wandered along the city walls. Al Brindisi treated us to traditional dishes like Cappellaci di zucca with ragu and tender meat stew with puree. The sunlit streets of Ferrara welcomed us as we continued our explorations.
A Memorable Journey and Thoughts on Future Veneto Adventures
Time flew by, and soon our adventure reached its conclusion. As I look back on this incredible journey, I can’t help but marvel at the magic of Prosecco Road.
It’s more than just a route; it’s a journey of the senses, a celebration of life’s simple pleasures. It’s a reminder that travel isn’t just about the places you visit; it’s about the moments you collect, the stories you gather, and the connections you make.
And so, with a heart full of gratitude and anticipation, I look forward to the adventures that lie ahead, knowing that each journey is a chapter waiting to be written in the book of life. Prosecco Road had gifted us unforgettable memories and the promise of future Veneto escapades. Villa Clementina, more Prosecco tasting, and a stop in Padova await us on our next voyage.
For more ideas on a road trip in Italy, read our Abruzzo blog post.