Decanter travel guide: Valpolicella, Verona, Italy

With its gracious villas and ancient churches, the valleys of Valpolicella harbour as much heritage as they do winemaking dynasties. Local Alessandra Piubello shows how to make the most of this inviting region in his Valpolicella travel guide.

My perfect day in Valpolicella

Morning

Start off with a good coffee and a home-made Amarone pastry at Rossini’s in Santa Maria di Negrar (pasticceriarossini.com), one of the most famous confectioners in Verona. Then proceed to Negrar and, in just a few minutes, you are at Quintarelli in via Cerè 1 (tel: +39 045 750 0016, best to book), a historic, symbolic company with top-quality, internationally renowned wines. Basing its production on traditional methods, this highly awarded company has remained true to its Valpolicella origins. After a quick stop at Caprini’s delicatessen in Negrar for its awardwinning soppressa salami (macelleriacaprini.it), a 10-minute drive takes you to Speri (speri.com) in Pedemonte, another top name in Valpolicella, run by a historic, fifth-generation family whose origins date back to the late 19th century.

Lunch

Ten minutes to Fumane and the Enoteca della Valpolicella (enotecadellavalpolicella.it), where Ada, in a superbly renovated 15th century hayloft, serves high-quality, traditional Valpolicella cuisine with a creative touch, alongside an interesting wine list

Afternoon

Moving on to Allegrini (allegrini.it), you soon arrive at the Renaissance period Villa della Torre, an architectural treasure. The Allegrini family, residents in Valpolicella since the 16th century, founded the company in 1854. While the Allegrinis’ winemaking and entrepreneurial history is impossible to summarise, their contribution in the 1980s was a determining factor in re-launching Valpolicella.

A 10-minute drive brings you to Gargagnago and the Masi company premises (masi.it). Sandro Boscaini, patron of the family-run business (the Boscainis have been producing wine in Valpolicella since 1772) is known globally as Mister Amarone. The world’s most authoritative ambassador of Amarone, Boscaini, a modest man, has brought fame to the territory. Do try, among others, Campofiorin Ripasso, the founding father of a new generation of Veronese wines. Enjoy an aperitif at Red Zone Art & Bar (redzoneart.com), an alternative location with art gallery, music and one of the area’s most beautiful views in the square at San Giorgio in Valpolicella.

Evening and overnight

In 15 minutes you arrive at the Villa Quaranta Park Hotel (villaquaranta.com), a 17th-century villa set among parkland with a sumptuous, 2,500m² spa for a regenerating stay in a magical setting. For dinner decide whether to eat in Borgo Antico, the hotel’s restaurant with its international menu, or cross the road to Trattoria Alla Coà (trattoriaallacoa.it), where the Beltramini family serves typical local dishes in a refined manner.

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