Worried about Coronavirus?
What can I say about Coronavirus? Every time I update this, it seems like the situation has gotten worse. I know deep down there will be a time when we look back and marvel at how crazy things got, sigh a huge relief ‘that’s over’ and get back to planning our lovely trips. For now, that’s just not possible.
Italy has closed its doors. I was about to write that there is an upside, with the water and air cleaning itself in Venice, but it’s hard – no, impossible – to think of any positives when there has been so much devastating loss of life in the country.
I’m in contact with our lovely drivers in Italy (by WhatsApp and video call) and they’re safe, at home, making pizza and pasta and singing in their kitchens – what else would you expect? Although we can’t currently offer tours in the region, we’re working behind the scenes so that when Italy’s doors (and wine bottles) are open again, we’ll be back, stronger and better than ever.
Coronavirus refund policy
This has been a really hard decision. One that’s kept me up at night, more than once but we’re currently offering customers a re-booking credit rather than a cash refund for their deposit. This is in line with our terms and conditions (and mirrors what a lot of the travel industry is doing right now). We’re not being difficult (or financially greedy!). We know that your trip has been impacted, which is beyond disappointing. We feel you. Our business has also been absolutely decimated. Without the ability to run tours, we’re left with no income, just costs. We’re simply trying to stay afloat so that we’re able to continue to offer Prosecco tours after this silly virus has gone.
If you have cancelled your trip because your country has issued a travel ban to Italy, you may be able to claim on your travel insurance for lost costs. I really am truly sorry.
Got a question?
Hopefully we’ve got the answer here. If not, drop a note in the comments below or contact me.
Can you save a tour date for me?
We do get lots of enquiries so I’m afraid we cannot hold a tour date open for you while you chat/email with your driver. Your preferred date will remain available for booking by other customers until you have booked and paid a deposit. We therefore recommend booking as soon as you have all of the information you need.
What’s the closest airport to the Prosecco region?
Treviso (TSF) is the closest airport (31.6 km | 19.6 miles).
Venice Marco Polo (VCE) is a close second (52.5 km | 32.6 miles)
What’s the best way to get to the Prosecco region from Venice?
I recommend taking the train from Venezia Santa Lucia (Venice Island) or Mestre (Venice airport).
There is a direct train line to the region terminating in Conegliano (where the Prosecco road starts). Your driver will advise the best station to travel to based on the time of your visit and wineries in your itinerary. This might include other, more local stations like Susegana or Cornuda. Don’t worry, your driver will give you the details. Remember: the closer you get to the vineyards, the more time you have for tasting.
Italy’s train system is exceptionally good – trains are clean, fast, have toilets and run on time. You can buy tickets on the day from machines at the station. There’s even an English language option.
You can check out train times and connections on The Trainline website.
How long does the train take?
The train takes under one hour to Conegliano (around 50 minutes). It may take a bit more or less depending where you’re meeting your driver. However, don’t forget to factor in getting to train station from your accommodation. Venice is a water city so getting around can be slow if you need to take a vaporetto (water bus). Rome2Rio is another great website for figuring out the best route. Otherwise, Google Maps and Maps.Me are good for downloading offline travel maps.
Tip: if you want to have a short walk to the station, book a room in the Cannaregio area. It’s also one of the most authentic areas of Venice. Check out my guide on where to stay in Venice if you’re not sure.
Can my driver pick me up from my hotel in Venice?
Although your tour will typically depart from The Prosecco region, you can add a transfer from Venice. However, your driver probably can’t put you up at your hotel. The drivers aren’t being difficult. If you’re staying on Venice Island (where you’ll find St Mark’s Square), there are no roads, only canals. It’s part of what makes Venice magical. It also means you can’t get a hotel pick-up – not by car, anyway.
Your driver will typically meet you at Piazzale Roma or in Mestre to take you to the Prosecco region (for an additional fee). Otherwise, an airport pick-up is also available. See my Prosecco map to understand where things are located in Venice.
What’s the best time of year to visit?
The Prosecco region is beautiful year round. However, speak to your driver if you’re visiting in August. Many of the wineries close for a quick break ahead of the harvest in September. Some wineries remain open and your driver will be in the know as to where is and isn’t open each day.
Personally, I prefer ‘low season’ which runs from November through to March. The area is blissfully quiet, there is more hotel availability and sometimes better prices and you will likely have the vineyards (almost) to yourselves.
What’s the best day to visit?
You might think the weekend is the best time to go wine tasting (it’s certainly when I drink most of my wine) but actually many wineries close for some or all of the day on Saturday and Sunday. Again, there are some that will be open – you won’t face a dry trip – but if you have some flexibility, aim for a weekday visit. If you do only have the weekend available, Saturday is better than Sunday. And you’re advised to book as far ahead as possible.
What’s the best time of day to visit?
Most wineries are open in the morning from 9am – 12pm, close for lunch, and re-open from 2pm – 6pm. Keep this in mind if you are booking a half-day trip, especially in the morning – the last hour of your tour will fall during the time when the wineries are closed. Don’t worry, your driver will keep you busy with sightseeing or maybe even a visit to the famous Prosecco vending machine.
What’s the ideal wine tasting itinerary?
When my friends visit, I recommend booking a full day tour. You can read more about the full day tour here.
Ideally, you’ll spend the night in the region and your driver will drop you at your accommodation – I have a list of recommended places to stay here. Otherwise, you’ll be taken back to the train station to return to Venice.
If I stay in Prosecco without a car, how will I get around?
Speak to your driver. They are usually able to take you back to the train station after your stay. You’ll pay a small fee but it’s usually cheaper than a local taxi.
Is there Uber in the area?
Nope. Even if Venice had roads, there are currently only one or two cities in all of Italy that have Uber.
And there’s certainly no Uber in the Prosecco region.
Do I need to book the wineries in advance?
Many Prosecco wineries don’t take ‘walk-ins’. However, your driver will make sure the wineries you visit are open and expecting you. All you need to do is meet your driver at the agreed time and place and pay your tasting fee when you get there.
Is there a cost for Prosecco tastings?
Most wineries will charge a small fee for a tasting of 3-7 Prosecco. You can find more details about pricing on the tour pages, Unlike other wine regions in the world, you get a good size glass i.e. value for money, as well as an expert at the winery who will talk you through what you’re tasting.
What’s the cancellation policy?
Forgive me for plucking at your heart strings but each of the drivers I work with are individuals who work for themselves. So, if you cancel, there is no big tour company who is going to pay them for that day’s work. I understand that plans changes and people get sick but if you cancel last minute, you’re very likely leaving a driver out of work for that day. In summer, that’s a day they almost certainly could have filled with another customer.
For that reason, if you cancel your driver within 48 hours of your booking start time, you should expect to pay the entire booking cost and your driver will send an invoice to your booking email address via Paypal. For cancellations up to a week before your booking start time, the fee is 50% of the booking cost.
What should I pack?
I’m working on creating a packing list. In the meantime, don’t forget:
- a warm layer if you’re staying overnight (there is some altitude in some areas adding a bit of chill after sundown);
- flat walking shoes in case you go for a wander in the vineyards or visit the Prosecco vending machine. I usually wear my open-toe Birkenstocks in dry weather and my Converse if it’s wet;
- hayfever medication – this may sounds silly but if you suffer like I do, make sure your nose doesn’t get stuffed up (you won’t be able to taste a thing – food or wine);
- enough space in your case – I guarantee you’ll be taking some Prosecco home.
How can I take wine home with me?
I have written a blog post about exactly this topic and the answer depends on how much wine you plan to buy. Many of the vineyards sell by the half case (6 bottles) so unless you’re splitting boxes between you, you may end up buying more than you plan. Also, it tastes far better than what you can get back home so you’ll probably want to buy more than you plan.
The good news is that after some research and trialling last year, the drivers now have a shipping company that can send you wine home for you. The shipping prices are pretty decent so speak to your driver on the day and they’ll arrange it all for you.
Got any more questions? Let me know in the comments below.