Tiny Bubbles in the Veneto
Prosecco bottle has a characteristic shape
With a pleasing mineral aftertaste and hints of pears and apples, Prosecco is a soft and
delightfully bubbly white wine made in the Veneto region of northeast Italy. This fairly low
alcohol wine (usually about 11%) is great as an aperitif, a summertime mixer as part of a classic
Bellini cocktail, or just a happy-to-be-home sipping wine. Prosecco can be classed as a
"fun wine" in which the fairly restrained bubbles are both a cause and a symbol of the wine's
subtle, relaxing charm.
Lacking the solemnity of French champagne, Prosecco is perfect for celebrating the small
pleasures of everyday life, such as sharing food with friends. And another event to celebrate is
our new full day wine excursion, Veneto: The Land of Prosecco. It unfolds in the gently
rolling hills between the villages of Valdobbiadene and Conegliano, about an hour’s drive from
Venice, and will introduce you to the D.O.C.G. growing region where the best Prosecco is
produced. Since Prosecco grapes ripen later than most other grapes, September and October
are the ideal months to visit this area.
Prosecco vineyards near Conegliano
Leaving from Venice, Verona or Vicenza, this nine-hour tour includes guided tastings at two
celebrated wineries and a delicious lunch of local specialties at a trattoria with a
panoramic view of the vineyards. Photo opportunities abound in this landscape of stepped vineyards
backed by the dramatic, snow-covered expanse of the Alps. You'll see picturesque villages like
Rolle and Pieve di Soligo, as well stop at an ancient grist mill in the Lierza valley that dates
back to the 17th century.
And of course you'll get to drink lots of wine and learn how Prosecco is made using the
Charmat method in which the wine is refermented in large steel containers to foster the
development of bubbles (the Charmat process is named after the Frenchman who patented it
in the early 20th century although an Italian, Federico Martinotti, may actually have invented the
There is quite a rivalry between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene as well. These two towns have given
their names to the Prosecco Denominazione di Origine Controllato and wine labels usually
specify one or the other. According to Italian wine authority Burton Anderson, wines from around
Conegliano tend to be softer and creamier while those from Valdobbiadene are drier and crisper.
You can decide for yourself since the excursion stops at vineyards in each of the two D.O.C.G.
production areas so you'll get to try both. Give us a call at 1-800-877-1755 to
add some brio to your next trip to Italy!
Cast a Line in the Mediterranean
Traditional fishing boats on the beach in Cefalu’
Italy is blessed with more than 4,700 miles of coastline facing on three seas – the Tyrrhenian,
the Adriatic and the Ionian – all part of a larger entity referred to as the Mediterranean. That
means no matter where you are on the Italian peninsula, you’re not more than a three or four hour
drive from the coast (and in Rome you can even get to the beach by subway!).
Saltwater enthusiasts have no lack of activities to keep them entertained on the high seas:
sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, wind surfing and aquascooters are just some of the choices.
However, a "new entry" that's steadily gaining in popularity is
pescaturismo (fish-tourism) and Italy is in the vanguard in this form of coastal
agri-tourism that emphasizes fishery related traditions and customs. A chance for local fishermen
to improve their income, fish-tourism is also an excellent way to introduce tourists to the local
fishing culture from the perspective of experienced fishermen who, generation after generation,
spend over 200 days a year at sea.
Colorful fishing boat in Portofino
In Italy about 800 fishermen currently use their fishing vessels for pescaturismo
excursions lasting from a few hours to several days. The activity takes place year round,
day or night, according to the fishing method and what kind of fish are being sought.
Tourists are always returned to their place of departure and all boats have the necessary
safety and hygiene equipment. Some even have facilities right on board for cooking the
just-caught fish: an al fresco lunch of fish and seafood consumed on the high seas
is a meal to remember!
Italian fish-tourism is conducted with success in Campania, the
lagoons of the Veneto,
Tuscany, Sicily, Sardinia and along the Liguria coast (the Adriatic is off limits for any kind of fishing
until September 30th of this year to allow the fish stock to be repopulated). Especially thrilling
is night fishing along the Amalfi Coast – called totanara, this unique form of squid
fishing takes place on hot July and August nights, and consists of a line with unbaited hooks and
bright lights that is thrown overboard to attract these tasty little cephalopods.
Fishing for mahi-mahi, tuna and striped sea bream at Cefalu' in Sicily or for spiny lobster
and red mullet offshore from the Cinque Terre is an ideal way to spend a few hours elbow to
elbow with professional fishermen and learn what life at sea is really like. Guided by their
love of seafaring, these fishermen are happy to share their heritage of culture, tradition
and lifestyle, together with their knowledge and intuition. Fish-tourism is a perfect
activity for the 21st century since it propagates eco-awareness and the principles of
sustainable development by both parties involved – operators and customers, fishermen and
Fish-tourism is a great way to explore the Italian coast at its most authentic, as well as
to learn about fishing traditions directly from experienced fishermen whose home is the sea.
Call us today at 1-800-877-1755 to book an excursion.
Select Italy Signs Strategic Agreement with CCTV
Jacopo Sertoli (left) and Zhu Tong (right)
Select Italy is pleased to announce the signature of a strategic contract between CCTV,
Chinese state television, and Select Italy China. On August 4, 2011, in the beautiful
Sala delle Bandiere ("Room of the Flags") at Rome's City Hall, Mr. Zhu Tong,
Deputy Director at CCTV for the Internal Distribution Department and Mr. Jacopo Sertoli,
CEO of Select Italy's office in Asia, signed an agreement for the distribution of the
first two of the 42 CCTV channels in 4 and 5-stars hotels in Italy and throughout Europe.
Under the agreement, Select Italy will be operating as CCTV's appointed distributor of
CCTV-News and CCTV-Four in the best quality European hotels. The
objective is to strengthen CCTV's presence in Europe and step up the access of Chinese
media content to the growing number of Chinese travelers visiting the Old Continent and
to reveal more of contemporary China to the world.
Zhu Tong & Jacopo Sertoli at the ceremony
In addition to Mr. Zhu Tong, the Chinese delegation and Mr. Jacopo Sertoli, the ceremony
was attended by Mr. Gazzellone, Director of the Department for the Development of Tourism
of Rome's City Hall (Delegato per Roma Capitale delle Politiche di Sviluppo del
Turismo), Mr. Jiang, Cultural Attache' of the Embassy of China in Rome, Mr. Cappelli
for the International Association of the Hotel Directors and Ms. De Rosa, as representative
of NTV - Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori. NTV is the first private operator on the Italian high
speed rail network and the first operator in the world to use the new Alstom AGV, the
train that currently holds the high speed train record. Select Italy represents NTV in Asia.
Signature of the agreement represents another of Select Italy's growing successes in Asia,
and marks an important strategic alliance that will bring China and Italy a bit closer.
Especially significant is the fact that the agreement was signed during the year Italy
celebrates the 150th anniversary of its statehood.
The undisputed fashion capital of Italy is Milan; our NEW 3-hour tour combines
Prada and castles with Segway for an entertaining look at the city where Italian
style is born.
For the third consecutive year, the long awaited appointment returns with the
special evening opening. Every Friday night until October 28th these spectacular museums will
open their doors after hours from 7 pm to 11 pm (last admission at 9:30 pm).
Big news for the unconventional traveler! The pluri-awarded whaiwhai game tour book is now available for New York City. The
New York Times calls whaiwhai "a high-tech Italian touring game that is part
'Amazing Race' and part treasure hunt, with a bit of DaVinci Code-style storytelling mixed in."
Be one of the first to try it out in the Big Apple!