Wines from the Land of Romeo & Juliet

This pre-cruise land program is not yet available for purchase. Specific details for this program are not yet finalized and the tour elements are subject to change. An email announcement will be sent to all confirmed group members 8 to 9 months before departure.


This is your opportunity to visit one of Italy’s great wine regions, and to combine the elements of an exclusive deluxe, pre-cruise experience with the enjoyment and conviviality of traveling with a group of fellow wine lovers.

Food & Wine Trails has created a two-night pre-cruise Verona package that begins with a private car and driver from either the Venice International or Verona Municipal Airports to the beautiful Valpolicella wine region, known for producing Amarone, one of Italy’s biggest and most prestigious red wines and Prosecco, the country’s charming answer to Champagne.

Medieval Verona is situated 50 miles north of Venice along the banks of the Adige River. Just outside of town, set in the vineyards, you’ll spend two nights at a fabulously restored 15th-Century Venetian villa owned by the famed Byblos fashion label. You’ll enjoy sommelier-led wine tours to two of the region’s top Amarone producers with a special wine-paired lunch at a local trattoria.

One of the most well-known tales of tragedy and romance is William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. The story has touched so many hearts over the centuries that even today people come to Verona from all over the world to leave notes for Juliet, to see her balcony and to experience this beautifully intact medieval city.

Day 1 – Independent Arrival in Venice or Verona

Upon arrival at the airport, you will enjoy the services of a private car and driver for your journey to the Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amistà or similar.

After you check-in to your room you will have the evening to dine on your own.

Day 2 – Discovering Valpolicella [B,L]

Enjoy breakfast served in the hotel’s restaurant before meeting your guide and departing for a full day in Valpolicella.

Depart the hotel for a 30 minute drive to the Santa Sofia Estate. Established in 1811, the Santa Sofia winery has its headquarters and cellars in the noble, though unfinished, villa designed by Andrea Palladio in the 16th century. Villa Santa Sofia, formerly known as Villa Sarego, was included as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996 along with other villas built by the architect Andrea Palladio.

Arrive for your guided tour of their historic cellars and a formal tasting of six of their wines served with a selection of local cheeses and salamis. After the tasting, you will have the opportunity to purchase wines. Depart the estate and drive into Verona for a 3-hour, wine-paired luncheon at Trattoria Al Caprini Restaurant. The menu will consist of local specialties with a selection of hard-to-find, local Valpolicellas and Amarones.

After lunch, you return to the hotel and are free to either return to Verona and explore on your own, or just indulge yourself with a treatment at the hotel’s spa. Dinner this evening is on your own.

Day 3 – Valpolicella & Transfer to the Ship [B,L]

Check-out of your room and then enjoy breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant. Meet your guide in the lobby with your luggage and board the motorcoach.

Depart the Byblos Hotel and drive approximately one hour to Corte Sant’Alda for a tour of their vineyard and cellars. Award-winning owner and inspirational viticulturist Marinella Camerani will present her philosophy of living with the land and her choice to conduct bio-dynamic agriculture. Enjoy a tasting of seven of the estate’s wines along with a generous sampling of locally produced cheeses and salamis. Before leaving the estate you will have the chance to make purchases.

Depart the winery for the two-hour drive from Valpolicella to the port in Venice, where you will board the ship in the late afternoon.