Trip Extensions

Franciacorta Extension: Italy's Other Sparkler

Meander through the Franciacorta region, as you hike, bike, and explore the charming towns and vineyards that blanket the area. Plus, discover Franciacorta the sparkling wine, explore Lake Iseo, and relax in the lap of luxury at your 5-star spa hotel!

Trip Overview

Franciacorta is a beautiful and relatively untouristed region, covered with vineyards forming verdant rolling hills.  South of the prealpi, or foothills of the Alps, the region extends from Lago Iseo to the south, down to the flats where the Oglio River flows toward the Po. This sunny amphitheater is not only covered with vineyards, but also olive groves, vegetable gardens, meadows, and woods – a spectacular landscape to explore. Towers, castles, palaces, noble villas, rural churches, sanctuaries, and abbeys dot the hillsides and comprise the townships throughout the region, their stones recounting the regions fascinating history. Just 60 kilometers 37 miles) from Milan, noble families built their country residences here in past centuries, where they would enjoy long periods of rest. The sumptuous villas are ever present, surrounded by magnificent gardens full of centuries-old trees. 
Monastic courts also possessed magnificent estates, dating back over a millennium, leaving behind numerous country churches, monasteries, and abbeys that can be visited today.
Grave cultivation and wine making in Franciacorta dates back to the Middle Ages, and continued uninterrupted through the Roman, the Late Classical, and the medieval periods. The mild, temperate climate, combined with excellent soils, have helped viticulture here to remain an unbroken tradition. Unlike Prosecco, Franciacorta sparkling wines are made using the traditional French méthode champenoise, or “Classic Method,” with the second fermentation in the bottle.
In 1995, Franciacorta was the first Italian sparkling wine produced exclusively by the Classic Method to win official status as a Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG). Today, the front label on the wine reads simply “Franciacorta”: this one term defines the growing area, the production method, and the wine. All of Europe boasts only 10 such privileged wines, and only three of them are made by refermentation in the bottle, Cava, Champagne, and Franciacorta.
Today, the area’s venerable wine cellars have transformed themselves into cathedrals of modern winemaking technology. They proudly produce the four categories of Franciacorta sparkling wines – Millesimato, Rosé, Satèn, and Riserva – as well as Franciacorta’s still wines.  And you thought the only sparkling wine in Italy was Prosecco!?

Highlights

  • Discover Italy’s other sparkling wine – Franciacorta – named for the beautiful region which it is grown
  • Hike or bicycle on country roads through the beautiful vineyard landscape of Erbusco
  • Explore Lago Iseo, one of the least explored Italian lakes
  • Luxuriate at Condé Nast’s 2013 Most Excellent Hotel Spa

Day By Day

Trip itinerary may vary based on weather conditions, fitness levels and abilities of participants, and/or the recommendations of the Dolomite Mountains Team and your mountain guide. Daily mileage and altitude gain may vary depending on the device used.

  • Day 1

    Relais & Chateaux Hotel in Erbusco

  • Day 2

    Relais & Chateaux Hotel in Erbusco

  • Day 3

Accommodation

Great hotels with Dolomite Mountains. Whether intimate lodge, family run B&B, or luxury spa resort, our hotels are unique, eminently local, and hard to leave.

At Dolomite Mountains, we hand pick accommodations that best reflect the style of each region, to provide you with the most authentic experience of the unique cultures found in the different cities and towns where we travel. We work directly with the owners of each property, forging strong relationships to ensure you receive the best service and care during your stay. Regardless of whether it is a five-star luxury hotel or a cozy bed and breakfast you desire, we choose the best-in-class accommodations within each category, providing you stays at the most sought after hotels in each region. And, we always make sure you have access to inspired, regional cuisine!

Cost

All itineraries are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control including, weather, road or trail conditions.

Call for prices.

Helicopter Sightseeing & Airport Transfers – There's Nothing Else Like It!
Take to the skies for an aerial look at the spectacular Dolomite Mountains, and make memories to last a lifetime! Whether on a panoramic sightseeing ride or an airport transfer, you'll appreciate a bird's eye view of the stunning scenery aboard state-of-the-art single engine helicopters. With over 30 years in operation, our experienced pilots and ground crew employ the utmost safety standards, quality, and service. Contact us for a quotation.
Rides are weather dependent. Heli-transfers from/to airports require advanced reservation. In-resort rides can be reserved with shorter notice.

Cost includes:

  • 2 nights accommodation in 5-star hotel in Erbusco
  • All breakfasts
  • Tourist Tax
  • Italian VAT Tax

Airport transfers available on request
Wine tasting, bicycle rentals, and ferry rides included on request (additional fee)

Dolomites Map