Near Milan there is a region where the lakes and medieval cities are a break from the city crowds. Milan is also located very near to the lovely Franciacorta wine country where the bubbly italian “Champagne” is made, and is the perfect destination for a short weekend.
The picturesque wine region of Franciacorta is a relative secret, virtually untouched by non Italian tourists, and is a fantastic destination for short weekends, as it is only a little over an hour from Milan. Franciacorta is famed for its bubbly, and the wines are considered to be on a par with the finest champagnes. The region is full of picturesque vineyards on rolling hills and medieval villages.
The name probably refers to the order or ‘corti’ of monks who cultivated the land and protected the town of Brescia from attack by northern barbarians. For this they were exempt, or ‘franche’, from paying tax.
Others suggest it refers to the short or ‘corta’ attempt by the French to take the territory in the 13th century.
Whatever the truth, the modern success of the wine is thanks to the new production techniques introduced from the Champagne region of France.
It was Pope Leon X who first picked up on the wine thanks to repeated attempts by the local powers to win his favor by sending him samples of the local output. They must have succeeded.
Thinking about taking a relaxing holiday to escape the stresses of everyday life? Then go to Franciacorta and you will be rewarded with the uniquely magical atmosphere of the Nature Reserve at Torbiere del Sebino, with scented hillsides cloaked in vineyards and peaceful lakeside views of Lake Iseo. Hotels, spas and restaurants who pride themselves on offering superb food and fine wines will make sure you have everything you need for a relaxing holiday.
Over the next few days, your base can be at a wonderfully secluded hotel, set in a fairy tale setting amid the vines.
A gala welcome dinner at Two Michelin starred Gualtiero Marchesi’s restaurant can be a major highlight.
You will also be received at one of many immaculate small high-end wineries, where a VIP wine tasting is on the menu, followed by a convivial lunch in a pretty vaulted dining room. There will be enough free time to enjoy the spa, walk in the vines and at the pretty Lake Iseo.
You can combine your stay in Franciacorta with the one day visit to Bergamo Alta, a lovely medieval city.
This is a relaxing trip and the perfect way to wine and dine your best clients and staff, or to enjoy the place at your leisure for yourself.