Our Italian Wine Adventures begin in the city of Brescia. We were not familiar with this city until we decided to attend the European Wine Bloggers Conference. It is one of those hidden gems that somehow remain relatively undiscovered by tourists. Brescia is mostly an industrial city but the city centre is magnificent with its beautiful Duomo, Piazza della Loggia, and the Santa Giulia City Museum, which is also the conference headquarters. Brescia sits in the Lombardy region at the northern end of Italy. Here lies Franciacorta wine territory, an area most famous for its sparkling wine, a wine that rivals that of Champagne and Cava. Like Champagne and Cava, by law no sparkling wine can be labeled Franciacorta unless it comes from this region and bears the DOCG designation on the label. We will be heading to Franciacorta wineries on Friday afternoon for a tour, tasting, and a fabulous Italian dinner.
Our hotel is the Hotel Vittoria in the middle of the city center. Here we can walk to all the main sights and to lovely shops and gourmet restaurants. We spent our morning touring the city on foot and spending two hours at the Santa Giulia Museum.The museum is a former convent and then a monastery which has been expanded over the years and now houses an incredible collection representing over 3,000 years of history. The archeological ruins that were discovered during excavation have remained in place and are a look into daily life during pre-historic times. The mosaic work on the floor and walls is stunning. The most impressive pieces displayed from the Roman period are the Aphrodite Winged Victory statue and the bronze gilt busts of several Emperors.
We will be in Italy over the next two weeks. We will explore the wine areas of Franciacorta, Alto Adige, Chianti Classico, Soave, and Piedmonte.