No, the photo above was not take in Venice. It's Las Vegas--the Venetian Hotel and Casino. This photo has actually been mistakenly used to represent the real Venice in at least one well known article. It's all stage set, plastic, and chlorine treated pool blue water. “We are not going to build a ‘faux’ Venice,” said Sheldon Adelson, when he first announced plans for his Venetian resort and casino. “We’re going to build what is essentially the real Venice.”
I mean, sure, the London Bridge has been in Lake Havasu City, Arizona since 1964... but it's the actual London Bridge, bought and paid for from England, stone by stone, rebuilt into a modern little town spanning a small man-made lake. But this "real Venice" in Vegas in the middle of Sin-City is all smoke and mirrors--plastic ones at that. Many who have been to the real Venice would tell Mr. Adelson, “You didn’t get the smell right”, (a compliment to Venezia).
Venezia is real. It's history. It's gritty and more than just a little wet during the winter. You can get lost in its back streets in proximity and in time. Vegas is Vegas. It's for gamblers and posers or worse. It for shoppers looking for designer labels or tourist kitsch. It's a casino, a huge hotel and a shopping mall. It's for the lazy tourist.
It's not for real Voyagers.
In this Phony-Baloney Venice, a visitor can pull into the Doge’s Palace driveway and in one glance see St. Mark’s Square with its campanile, the twin columns topped by Saint Theodore and the winged lion of St. Marks, the Campanile, the Sansoviniana Library, the Ca’ d’Oro palace, and both the Bridge of Sighs and the Rialto. There are no driveways in the real Venezia. The Palazzo Ducale (the Doge's real name) has gondola slips just outside in the canal--no driveway.
In the Vegas's Venetian Hotel, the gondoliers have to actually audition as singers and hired as entertainers. This is the primary concern when hiring a phoney-gondolier. In the real Venezia, gondoliers follow a 900 year tradition of fathers to sons (and recently, daughters), essentially being born into the profession. They have to take strict boating exams and are expert in both navigation and weather. Although some are know to have good singing voices, it's not a requirement to get a gondolier's license. In Vegas, their gondo-tainers wear walkie-talkies, boom microphones and perform on a schedule.
In the real Venice, one has to wander, explore, take a gondola or water-taxi perhaps to other islands in the lagoon, or walk the back streets and canals to see all the mysteries and wonders the ancient city offers the real Voyager. That's what real Voyages are... a slow, purposeful exploration. Soaking in the light and smells and colors and tastes and sounds and textures of the environment. There's nothing phony about Italy or Venice.
We suggest turning your back on places like these re-created phony vacation spots, including all things Disney, unless you have 4-7 year old kids. And even then, wouldn't you rather have your child experience walking in real dinosaur prints (yes, in Italy), seeing where real cavemen lived (Italy again), exploring real castles (everywhere in Italy), looking into the crater of a real volcano (Italy), seeing where real gladiators fought to their deaths (yep, Italy) and experiencing real snow-capped mountains (of course, in Italy)? And don't get us started on the authenticity of the food and the people... OK, and don't forget gelato for the kids.
Come on... get real and get to the real Italy.
Castello Scaligero in the commune of Sirmione sits on a thin peninsula jutting out into the southern end of Lake Garda. Essentially, the ramparts of the castle function as a small fortified harbor for what was the Scaligera fleet. The castle has a de facto moat (the surrounding lake) and even a drawbridge through which visitors enter. There are 146 steps which take you up to ramparts of the walls which look down upon the little harbor. There is a small walkway around which bowmen would be stationed to ward off any intruders from the lake in addition to defensive towers.
Castello Scaligero is perhaps the best preserved castle from medieval times in Italy, constructed in the middle of the 13th century on top of the remains of an ancient Roman fortress. Taking over a century to build, two courtyards and an other fortifications were also added. In 1405 the Republic of Venice took control and strengthened the castle even further.
If you decide to visit, consider that in high season Lake Garda can get very busy. Still, there is so much to do in the surrounding area, even water parks and campgrounds if you're so inclined:
Sirmione Historic Center - After visiting the Castello, take a stroll around the old town of Sirmione. There are shops, restaurants, gelaterias, pizzerias and beautiful architecture. Be sure to take in a passaggiata (stroll) at dusk to Piazza Callas and its pier that juts out into the lake.
Archaeological site of Grotte di Catullo - Ruins of a sizable Roman villa on a peninsula with an olive grove & a nearby archeological museum. Can get crowded in high season but worth a visit.
Camping Village San Francisco
Mantua & Peschiera del Garda - Mantua is a wonder town surrounded by manmade lakes which create a huge moat. Peschiera del Garda is a "water" town--surrounded on all sides by the River Mincio which connects to the lake.
Lake Garda Cruises
GVI Travel Tip: Best visited in the off season.
Palio della Rana
The Palio della Rana is a frog race--well, sort of. It's a wheelbarrow race with frogs. It usually takes place the weekend after Easter in the town of Fermignano, between Urbino and Urbania in central Italy's Marche region. Contestants, representing each of the seven contrade (neighborhoods) dress in historic costume and race with frogs atop small wheelbarrows, trying to reach the finish line before the frog hops off. Each frog is placed on a blue wooden carriola (wheelbarrow). The scarriolanti (wheelbarrow runners) race to the finish line while trying to keep the frogs on their wheelbarrows. If a frog jumps off, the competitor must stop, place the frog back on the wheelbarrow platform, and then keep going. There's also a procession in historical costume and food.
The date of Rome's founding (in 753BC) is celebrated on April 21 so if you're in Rome, watch for festivals, concerts, and special events. There's usually a fireworks display over the Tiber River and gladiator shows around the forum area. Find out more in April Events in Rome.
Palio dei Buoi
In the towns of Asigliano and Caresana on April 23 (the saint day of San Giorgio) the Palio dei Buoi (oxen race) takes place every year. Historically in this area, oxen were used in pairs to tow the plow and to carry out other heavy jobs in the countryside. Both the Caresana and Asigliano races have been held for over 700 years. San Giorgio is the patron saint of farm workers. Recently, the race has been delayed due to protests from animal rights activists.
Festival of San Marco
The Festa di San Marco is a traditional celebration dedicated to Venice’s patron St Mark the Evangelist, believed to be the author of the Gospel of Mark. Several relics from the saint still remain in the city, who is also said to have founded the Church of Alexandria. Festa di San Marco is also known as the Rosebud Festival or Festa del bocolo (rosebud in Venetian dialect) where traditionally men gift the woman they love with a single red rose, to commemorate an old legend connected to the history of Venice. A highlight of the festival occurs in Saint Mark's Square on April 25 including a procession to the basilica. (See Liberation Day below)
International Handicrafts Fair
Since 1931 in Florence, the Mostra Mercato Internazionale Dell'Arginianto, the world's premier market of artistic crafts, will be held from April 21 through May 1. Spread out over 55,ooo square meters in the Fortezza da Basso, over 800 exhibitors from all over Italy and from 50 countries will display and sell their beautiful Italian and international handcrafted items. All sorts of crafts are on display including lamps, pottery, rugs, fabrics, musical instruments, masks and statues. There will also be food to enjoy and taste, with many artisinal products, wines, gelato and more.
The Race of the Ring
The Corsa all'Anello in Narni in Umbria is part of the celebrations held from April 24 through May 13 this year. During this medieval jousting competition, horsemen try to snare rings. There are also a historical procession and other events.
The artichoke (did you know it is an aphrodisiac?) is the object of a three-day Festa di Carciofo (artichoke festival) held from April 12th through 14th in the coastal town of Ladispoli, just outside of Rome in Lazio. It's been a tradition now to honor the Roman Artichoke at this special festival. It forms the foundation of a wide selection of dishes created specially at this event. Visitors can sample the artichoke-related dishes on offer, which contain a delicious and unique combination of flavors.
But the most interesting thing to see is artichoke sculpture competition. Entrants can create anything they wish, from boats to life-sized animals such as tortoises, horses and elephants!
San Biagio Day
San Biagio is the Patron Saint of Avetrana in Southern Puglia. He was known in his time for being a doctor and saver of lives, and for being the Bishop of Sebaste between the third and fourth centuries. He was also known for his firm religious beliefs, and unfortunately, these were to ultimately cost him his own life. Having been imprisoned for his Christian beliefs, he was put on trial and – having refused to renounce his faith – was beheaded in 316. April 28th and 29th sees a two-day celebration of San Biagio with a combination of sombre procession and later upbeat fireworks, luminarie (display of lights) and music from bands as well as street fairs, food and drink.
Liberation Day (National Holiday)
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the day that Italy was released from the Nazis and the rule of Mussolini by Allied troops. The following year in 1946, the first national holiday was held to mark this occasion. The country will come together to remember those that fell in the war and to honor the dead. In addition, there will also be festivals, concerts and bands to mark the day.
In Venice, it will be a doubly special day – in addition to Liberation Day, Venetians will also be marking the Festival Of St Mark, the city's patron saint. Bands and musicians will provide a series of aural treats, while markets and carnivals will add to the fun. The famous boat race, Regata di Traghetti, will also see teams of gondoliers competing to win first prize while ferrying passengers.
When the Carnivale di Viareggio began, there was a modest parade of festively decorated carriages in the heart of the old beach side resort town. The carnival's roots go back to 1873 when the bourgious of the town were protesting high taxes. They decorated carriages in a mocking fashion to poke fun of politicians in power. At the beginning of the 20th century, the parade moved to the wide Promenade where its popularity as well as the festive floats continued to grow, until today the displays are gigantic in size--some over 60 feet tall!
In 1954 the infant RAI TV broadcast the first ever live scenes of the carnival and in 1958 the event was covered throughout Europe on the Eurovision network. Due to their popularity and the floats growing dimensions, huge aircraft style hangers were built to store and construct them on Via Marco Polo.
The Carnival in days past
In 2001 the new, 800 foot long, elliptically shaped Cittadella del Carnevale was opened, an extraordinary architectural complex entirely dedicated to the creation and preservation of the Carnival of Viareggio. It's "Hangers" (still the term used) are immense, and while each bay's door is about 45 feet tall, the finished floats can be even taller--up to 60 feet--with their top parts being added by dedicated cranes after they are rolled out of their hangers.
Today the Viareggio Carnival claims to be the largest Italian folk event with a budget of € 5 million per year. The "Hanger" itself is also used for concerts and other public events throughout the summer.
Every year during the Mardi Gras season, the Carnival of Viareggio is live on national television (RAI 3) bringing its color, pageantry and humor to millions. Many famous celebrities, sports figures and even politicians come to Viareggio to admire their cartapesta (papier mâché) effigies, some poking polite fun, others with more blatant political or social commentary. The Carnival lasts for an entire month's worth of both daytime and nighttime festivities with parades of allegorical floats, local parties, masked balls and festivals. The sociopolitical commentary and satire is obvious (and sometimes shocking) in the design of many floats.
The main ingredient of the flats are characters--animals, people, monsters and characters from the likes of Swift, Andersen, the Brothers Grimm, Disney or even from popular films and graphic novels (comic books). The floats are usually accompanied by dozens of dancers and singers, and believe it or now, these huge creations are animated! (The videos below are worth watching... Cast or Stream onto your smart TV to watch the entire parade).
Viareggio is on the northern coast of Tuscany, about 12 miles north of Pisa and would be a wonderful way to spend the Mardi Gras season in Italy.
Carnivale di Viareggio website.
Seventeen year old Giacinto Consiglio attends the Leonardo da Vinci high school in Bisceglie, Puglia. He designed the Florence Duomo and Baptistry entirely in Legos and will build the scale model, from the size of 60" long, 24" wide and 24" tall in the Tuscan capital on October 21 at the Opera del Duomo Museum, from 10am to 7pm .
The project will require over twenty thousand bricks of ten different colors, divided into about 400 different shapes--parts contributed by Lego enthusiasts from all around the world living in nine countries. Giacinto's work can be followed step by step by the public.
From October 22 to November 9, 2017, the model will be displayed in a room of the museum for which an entrance fee will not apply. On November 11 and 12, the play cathedral and baptistery will moved to Obi Hall for the Bricks in Florence Festival.
Young Giancintois supported by members of the AFOL group (Adult Fans of Lego), TuscanyBricks enthusiasts and the Italian Lego users group.
It never ceases to amaze me how interesting Italy is, and how far back its culture goes. In fact, nearly every region has its share of evidence of man in the earliest days of prehistory, such as the images carved into the bald rock face at the
Parco Nazionale delle Incisioni Rupestri (Incised Rocks National Park) in the alpine Valle Camonica, Lombardy. There you will find prehistoric images of hunters and their game, warriors, a primitive chariot, grass huts and other neolithic symbols.
Valle Camonica was settled by primitive tribes 15,000 years ago, at the end of last Ice Age, after the melting glacier first carved out the valley. It is likely that the first humans visited the valley in epipaleolithic times, and appear to have settled by the Neolithic period. When the Ancient Romans extended their dominions north of the River Po, they encountered a people called the Camunni, of unknown origin, populating the valley. About 300,000 petroglyphs survive from this period.
This was the first Italian archaeological park focusing on the carvings in Valle Camonica, opened in 1955, and is the primary site in a network of similar rock art parks that has grown up since the 1970s in the area. It contains 104 engraved rocks at an altitude of about 1200 feet. The engravings are seen on exposed outcrops of purple-grey colored Permian sandstone (Verrucano Lombardo), smoothed and shaped by ancient glaciers. After the glaciers finished their work polishing and exposing the mountaintop, the prehistoric inhabitants who live in the valley, ions before Christ walked the Earth, took over and decorated them with both illustrative and symbolic images, showing their connection to both the natural and spiritual worlds.
Interestingly, most of the engravings were made by striking the rock surface with a hammer-stone, chipping small pieces out as they carved images into the stone's surface. There are also a smaller number of images made by scraping techniques.
Most of the Naquane engravings date from the Neolithic (5th millennium BC) to the Iron Age (1st millennium BC). The phenomenon was particularly common during the latter period, when the valley was inhabited by the Camunni, although historical-era engravings, Roman and modern, are also present.
The road leading to the park passes by additional rock carving sites of Dos de l’Arca and Le Sante, finds from which may be seen in the Capo di Ponte museum (MUPRE).
As illustrated in the photos below, I'm amazed at how accurate some of the drawings are when compared to their real world counterparts...
Parco di Seradina-Bedolina
The Municipal Archaeological Park of Seradina-Bedolina was set up in 2005 and, located on the right bank of the river Oglio, collects inside its rocks primarily engraved with the Bronze Age (2000 BC) and the Iron Age (1000 BC ).
Il Parco Archeologico Nazionale
dei Massi di Cemmo
In the small valley of Pian delle Greppe, not far from the hamlet of Capo di Ponte, rises the National Archaeological Park of the Cassie Massi, an archaeological area of great importance in the history of the studios of Camuna peoples rock art. There are hundreds of carvings in this park, some dated back to the ninth millennium BC.
Parco di Interesse Sovracomunale
del Lago Moro Luine e Monticolo
The archaeological site of Luine boasts purple colored stone outcrops with engravings dating to the Mesolithic period, along with stone huts and dry stone structures used by one or more prehistoric communities to conduct collective ceremonies.
Il Parco Archeologico di
The Asinino-Anvòia Archaeological Park is located in the heart of the Ossimo-Borno plateau. The site is characterized by standing stone alignments from the Copper Age (3rd Milennium BC).
Riserva Naturale Incisioni Rupestri
di Ceto, Cimbergo e Paspardo
The Reserve is the largest protected archaeological area of Camonica Valley, extending over 750 acres spanning the three municipalities of Ceto (with Nadro village), Cimbergo and Paspardo. The engraved rocks, some as old as the 5th millennium BC, are nestled in a natural mid-mountainous environment alternating at places with man-made structures. You can spend hours to days exploring this area.
But what really makes me pazzo is the thousands of tourists who put
Casa di Giulietta (Juliette's House) on their must see list when they visit the beautiful Renaissance city of Verona. Here's a reality check so you don't waste your time
(and € 6.00) on #faketourist stuff when there is so much amazing history and beauty all over Italy:
For me, this pilgrimage is totally bogus and a waste of time. I've been to Clos Lucé in France and stood at the bed where Da Vinci died pondering his death mask made minutes after he passed on. Real. I've been a to a dungeon where Joan of Arc was held prisoner. Real. I've been to see and feel the actual desks where the Framers of the U.S. Constitution penned that great document. Real. I've stood under the great ceiling in the Sistine Chapel where Michelangelo climbed his scaffold for four years. Real. I stood where the Caesars stood in the Colosseum watching blood sports. Real. I visited each room under the Seven Gables in that famous house. Real. I visited the apartment where Victor Hugo penned his Hunchback story. Real. I've even picnicked at the spot where George Washington crossed the Delaware--a few miles from our home. Real.
But Romeo & Juliette in Verona? Go see their amphitheater instead--or re-read the play.
When wandering around Rome, you will occasionally come across little miracoli (miracles). Some happen... well, by happenstance, while others are well thought out. Many appear to be mysteries, with no one really knowing how they came about. One of the more interesting miracoli is also one of the smallest... a small keyhole. The Aventine Keyhole.
High above Rome, on the top of Aventine Hill, a surprise view waits for your eye and camera. If you come early enough, or perhaps late enough, you'll pretty much be alone, but some tourists have caught on to this magical view and you might find a line leading out into the street in front of locked doors. Then as you get closer, you'll discover how thousands of people peering through this keyhole have worn away the paint right down to the bare wood, and the metal of the keyhole itself is worn and polished from thousands of peering eyes and pressing camera lenses.
Still, this view is a treat, albeit a bit touristy, just as la Bocca della Verità is worth standing on line to take a picture of you with your hand shoved in it's mouth, or how you'll be compelled to "hold up" the Leaning Tower of Pisa while a companion snaps your picture.
Just after the Orange Garden, the Keyhole of the Gate of the Priory of the Knights of Malta offers the most popular and picturesque view of Saint Peter's dome. Looking at it through the ornate keyhole gives a magical view--an alignment, really--of St. Peter's dome framed by hedges of the gardens of the Priory.
The Priory of the Knights of Malta, is a Roman Catholic religious order of crusader knights that originated in Jerusalem in the 11th century. It is the oldest surviving chivalric order in the world and is a sovereign entity under international law. The estate also hosts the embassy of the Order of Malta to Italy.
The property was constructed in the Piazza Cavalieri di Malta, by Giovan Battista Piranesi in 1765. The Aventine Hill, according to legend, represents a sacred ship setting course toward heaven. There are many nautical elements in the design. For example, the ornamental door is the entrance to this ship's deck, the manicured gardens and trees represented the rigging of the ship.
The property lies in the piazza Cavalieri di Malta, designed by Giovan Battista Piranesi in 1765. According to Roman legend, Aventine Hill was imagined as a sacred ship that would eventually set sail for the heavens, so Piranesi incorporated many nautical elements and symbols into his designs. The ornamental door symbolized the entrance to the ship deck while the manicured gardens within were the ropes and riggings of the ship. Although the position of the door itself and the hedges obviously align with a view of St. Peter's Basilica, the view through the keyhole--although indeed heavenly--was more than likely mere happenstance. Still, some historians claim that Pirasesi purposely aligned the view through the keyhole (curiously, it isn't keyhole shaped at all, but round) to act as a long lens of a sea captain's telescope, foreshortening the view of the dome of St. Peters to look as if it was right at the end of the allée of trees and not miles away, as it really is. Perhaps inferring that the Voyage to Heaven isn't as long as one would think?
While up on the Aventine Hill, pay a visit to the Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Gardens). There you'll find a wonderful park with more amazing views of Rome. Before you enter the gardens, look for a beautiful mask fountain to the left of the gate.
Aventine Hill, Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, 3 Rome
From the Ponte Palatino on the Tiber River, walk up the Via della Greca, the turn rightand continue up the Clivio dei Publicii. You can visit the rose gardens of Roseto di Roma Capitale on the left. A bit further on, bear right onto Via di Santa Sabina, to a small park on the right filled with orange trees, the Giardino degli Aranci. Enjoy the views of Rome. The Church of Santa Savina (next to the park) dates back to 450AD. Continue further along the road to the Piazza Dei Cavalieri di Malta--on the right hand side you will see an old green door with paint is peeling off. If you look through its keyhole, you will see a beautiful tree-lined path and at the end of the path is a framed view of St, Peters Basilica. Plan your visit on a clear, sunny day with blue sky for the best view.
Isola Santa is a very old, Medieval village, built around a hospital for travelers and pilgrims on a cliff overlooking the river Turrite Secca. Before 1950, the borgo was sitting on top of an outcropping, but the construction of a dam for hydroelectric power and the resulting man made lake put the buildings at the level of the lake. The hydroelectric project forced the inhabitants to leave their homes. In recent years, a restoration project brought life again on the shores of the lake but Isola Santa has the feel of a Ghost Town, with most of the houses laying empty and only a few trout fishermen and trekkers passing through. The surrounding forest is full of chestnut trees and porcini mushrooms.
Although tiny, the place is magical and very photogenic. The Church of San Jacopo, built in 1260 boasts a wonderful bell tower, and there is even a restaurant to indulge in a meal or two--Casa del Pescatore. Hikers and climbers can head off toward the peaks of the Apuan Alps from the village. And although it might look like snow in summer, those mountains are made of marble, as is nearby Carrara where Michelangelo saw his David in a huge chunk of the white stone.
This is also Karst country--making this an area rich with caves. Worth a visit is the impressive Grotta del Vento (on Garfagnana), and the 1 mile long Antro del Corchia, which is the widest cave of whole Europe (on Versilia). This cave system contains over 30 miles of chambers and tunnels in its system. The Karst geology in the area also created streams that disappear into underground caves, only to reappear elsewhere as springs. Just before reaching Isola Santa is La Pollaccia, one of the more important natural springs in Italy.
If you are into hardcore mountain climbing, this is really the area for you. The mountains are rugged, they are world class with many peaks requiring a high level of climbing skills and equipment. If you're up to it, think about climbing Monte Forato just to the south of Isola Santa. It's got a prize at the top--a huge, natural land bridge forming a hole right through part of the ridge.
In the area north of Trieste on the Carso (Karst) Plateau in the northeast Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the land is made up of limestone caverns, rugged cliffs and soils... a perfect place to grow fine wines. The region is an ethnic blend of Italian, Slovenian and Austrian influences. In fact, some of this region used to be part of either Austria or Yugoslavia. The advantage to the Voyage here is having a blend of wines, cheeses, salumi and other gastronomic treats.
A great way to get a taste of the specialties produced in the area is to search out the many local Osmize (osmizza, ossmizeri), a sort of home-based tavern where you can sample the formaggio, prosciutto, meats, sausages, eggs, grappa, pickles, olive oil and other things produced by small scale farmers. And of course, there are the local wines: mostly Teran, Vitovska, Malvasia, both reds and whites served in carafes and in no-nonsense glasses without stems. The people serving you are the same people who grew, nurtured, bottled, aged and otherwise perfected the delights they offer. They will slice the prosciutto off the huge hams and make your omelette to order for you. These are small family farms, pretty much hidden in suburban areas, often having a series of picnic tables in their backyard, tables tucked under the olive trees or even rustic taverne built into their cellars or patios, complete with wooden wine barrels, overhanging arbors, fire grills and even musicians to entertain you with accordion, guitar or hand drum. Everyone joins in the singing, even if they don't know the words...
History of Osmize
The name itself is of interest: Osmize (also Osmizza, Osmica) is a word based on the Slovenian osem, which means "eight". A short history of the custom of Osmize will explain... Historians can trace the existence of osmize back to medieval times in a document from 1430 shows that wine sold in bulk by peasant producers near Trieste would not be taxed. This was reinforced in 1784 by Joseph II of Hapsburg who decreed that farmers could sell bulk wine from their homes for periods of eight days each year. The custom stuck, only nowadays, the farmers themselves decide when they are open or not. They are also opened all year round, with the warmer months being favored due to the beautiful weather to enjoy the al fresco experience.
How to Find an Osmiza?
This is where the fun starts. You see, Osmize don't advertise. They don't have prime locations on the main roads. They are located in the countryside and amid the suburban sprawl outside of Trieste and around the towns of Longera, Piscianzi and also across the border in Slovenia. As you drive trough the area by car or bicycle (a very popular way of seeing the area) you will start to see a small wooden arrows with a cutting of ivy branches tacked to poles, walls or fences. It's sort of like when you follow a series of signs in the U.S., like way-points, to find a remotely located barn sale. There will be several signs leading you to the osmiza. When you arrive, don't be surprised at how unassuming it might appear. You might at first think you're in the wrong place, and trespassing into someone's home. But that's the point. These are peoples' homes.
The wines grown in the Karst will include the sour, black-red Terrano with an intense flavor; Vitovska, a light, fragrant white wine with hints of almond; and the aromatic Glera the its deep yellow color and aromatic flavor. You will be able to buy cases of wine, bottles or simply enjoy a carafe and enjoy the wines in a more casual way.
So if you are looking for a more casual way to go wine tasting, consider a drive north of Venice into the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region and set out to "Visit the branches", as the locals say. Slow down... drink, eat, relax and discover that wine tasting doesn't have to be in a tall, thin stemmed crystal glass, slurping isn't necessary and you can enjoy the vino with the people who grew the grapes, aged the wine and bottled it. There are no pesticides on the food served. You can sit among strangers and feel like lifelong friends within the hour. The seasons change, the views can also change, but the feeling is all famiglia.