Italian Wanderlust | A Travel Diary
above The terraced views of the Proseccohills from Col Vetoraz.
An escape to Italy is always a good idea. Today we are doing just that courtesy of Mille founder Michelle LeBlanc, who recently ventured abroad to shoot a few campaigns for her Minneapolis based boutique and online shop. Their travels took them to a few points in France and Italy including Burano, an island outside Venice and Prosecco Road, a region on the outskirts of Venice with rolling vineyards woven into the hills. LeBlanc said, “We chose Italy mainly because we were already headed to Paris and wanted somewhere we could easily fly to that felt epic and picturesque. I hadn’t been to Venice since 2001 and loved the crumbling grandeur, the palazzos, and had specific memories of being enthralled with Piazza San Marco & Caffe Florian in particular. I knew the tourist crowds might get crazy there, but was sure we could capture the dreamy, decadent side that people come to Venice for. When we realized we could shoot an editorial Resort lookbook in Burano that felt more colorful, and then tack on a day of tasting Prosecco, that sealed the deal. In a further stroke of luck, one of our favorite models, Natalia Bonifacci, turned out to be from Northern Italy and was already in Paris for the season so she was able to meet us there and act as our translator”.
Discovering Italy’s Prosecco Road region
The Prosecco Road region is about a 45-minute drive outside of Venice. We booked our driver through Visit Prosecco Italy and were picked up at Piazzale Rome right outside of Venice as cars cannot drive to your hotel. We were in the mood to just relax and not have to plan too much so we left the winery and restaurants up to them and had a wonderful time.
Our first stop was the picturesque Col Vetoraz. After a delicious wine tasting, we wandered around the vineyards and marveled at the Prosecco vending machines that also contained meats, cheeses and other delicacies. The very charming Osteria Senz’Oste offers a selection of the same with a self-service honor system.
The next stop was lunch at the copper pot covered Locanda da Lino. A pasta feast was just what we needed to soak up our alcohol-fueled adventure and the restaurant did not disappoint.
After lunch, we made our way to two more wineries, then landed at the beautiful, antique laden Villa Abbazia in Follina for the night. After a quick stroll around town to visit the picturesque Abbey and a quick stop at the local bar for wine and chips, we settled into the best meal of our trip at the hotel’s Bistrot La Cantinetta. I wish I could tell you what made it so delicious, but the Prosecco had taken its toll and all I remember was a cheerful argument with our waiter about whether or not the apricot ham chutney had mustard in it or not. Floating on a cloud of a couple of bottles of sublime Ardesco from the local Sorelle Branca, we slept like babies in our cozy suite.
We woke the next morning and descended to the tea room for a sumptuous breakfast spread. Tables were laden with antique plates and linens and heaping displays of pastries, meat and cheeses that made for a perfect last meal in Italy before we headed back to the airport. Viva Italia!
above The tasting line up at Adami for informative and delicious.
above This way to the Prosecco vending machines!
above Osteria Senz’Oste is a self service tavern stocked with meats, cheeses, breads and Prosecco - pretty much everything you need to have picnic lunch in the vineyard enjoying the spectacular views.
Our home for the evening in Follina - not only did we love the plush antique filled rooms at Hotel Abbazia but the restaurant was fantastic as well.
exploring VEnice’s Burano Neighborhood
Burano is a quick day trip from Venice and stands in colorful, quirky contrast to the city’s crumbling grandeur in the Venice Lagoon.
Legend has it that the residents of Burano painted their houses in bright colors so fisherman could see them even in a thick fog - it makes for the most charming rainbow effect.
How to Get There
A quick 30-minute trip on one of the beautiful wooden water taxis (which are easily booked online).
Where to Eat
Stroll the colorful streets and then make sure to score a table at the excellent Da Romano. Run by four generations of the Barbaro family, we were crazy for the art covered walls, the suave waiters, addictive fritto misto and heavenly meringues. It’s a favorite hangout of artists, actors and even Keith Richards.
Where to Shop
Take home traditional Venetian biscuits from the sweet Carmelina Palmisano, delicate lace linens and nightgowns from La Perla and peruse the colorful Dai Fradei with a gelato in hand.
right Even the transportation gets a Burano worthy paint job.
left Most of the doorframes are covered with striped curtains but this was a creative take on that custom. right Colorful meringues at one the many bakeries on the island to match the colorful facades of the houses.
left Not only is the Da Romano dining room unbelievably picturesque but the kitchen itself is covered in copper pots and pottery. The family run restaurant is the perfect spot to stake out a table and spend the whole day people watching as course after course arrives. right Traditional Venetian biscotti made in the Burano since 1928 make for great souvenirs.
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Photography courtesy of Mille