Join Go Get Lost as we journey across two countries and immerse ourselves in the gorgeous landscapes, fascinating culture, exquisite food and excellent wine! We’ll start in Slovenia, an unknown gem with stunning mountains, picturesque valleys, incredible food and wine…and very few tourists! Discover the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, an historical gem straddling a picturesque river, then continue into the rolling countryside of Slovenia’s wine region, which rivals that of anything to be found in Europe. As you explore the cities, towns and countryside, you’ll begin to appreciate the wonderful Slovenian culture, scenery and people. From the vineyards of the Wine Road to the stately buildings of the capital, Ljubljana, you’ll be enchanted by this delightful country.
Next we’ll journey westwards into the Veneto region of northeastern Italy. Italy is the largest wine producing country in the world, and the Veneto produces more wine than any other region in Italy! It’s also home to countless iconic cities and towns. And if the Veneto isn’t enough, we’ll visit two other of Italy’s wine regions…Friuli and Lombardia. We’ll wander through charming small towns like Cividale, and explore Padova, Verona and Vicenza, three of the most fascinating medieval cities of Northern Italy!
This tour is led by Steve and Joan Fafoglia, company founders and two of the most experienced group leaders to be found. They have the same travel bug that infects their entire family. Back in the 90’s, their love of wandering to the far corners, combined with Steve’s ties to his family’s homeland of Italy, led he and his brother Jeff to start a tour operations business aptly named “Lost in Italy”. “Go Get Lost” soon followed, and today, Steve and Joan have logged over two decades of leading adventurous travelers to their favorite destinations of Italy, Ireland, and Slovenia. In between shepherding his loyal flock around Europe, Steve can also be found leading groups beneath the waves as a scuba guide in exotic locales such as Bonaire, Cozumel, Palau, Galapagos, and the Philippines.
“I think it’s amazing to see the difference a trip to a foreign land can make in someone’s life. I never cease to appreciate how lucky I am to be a part of that.”
Tour Dates & Pricing
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Day 1 - Ljubljana
Your Slovenian adventure starts at mid-morning today at our meeting point in the lobby of a centrally-located hotel in Ljubljana. (You'll be provided with detailed arrival and departure instructions to help you coordinate your flights and travel.) With our local guide we will discover the charming capital of Slovenia. All throughout the town, along the river Ljubljanica, among the stately buildings and in the parks and green spaces hide a wealth of stories and interesting venues. As the European Green Capital of 2016, Ljubljana offers a surprising assortment of parks, and the city center is one of the nicest in Europe. You'll notice that although it is the capital city of a country, it still feels like a small town.
From Ljubljana we continue to one of the most famous and the biggest Karst caves in the world, Postojna cave. The perfect place to start understanding the Karst terrain and the limestone rock that gives the unique taste and character to all the wines that are produced in this region. After the cave we will visit one of the local wine producers on Karst. For sure the waving flag of the region is Teran, a wine from the variety Refošk, and the first of many indigenous varieties that we will meet during the week. From Karst we will continue through the picturesque Slovenian countryside towards Goriška Brda, where an excellent dinner is waiting for us. Brda is one of the best known wine regions in Slovenia and will be our home for next few nights.
Day 2 - The Vipava Valley
After breakfast this morning we'll depart Goriška Brda for our short but scenic drive to the Vipava Valley. Our first stop is the city of Nova Gorica, straddling the border with Italy and divided in two parts after the 2nd world war. From Nova Gorica we'll continue to Vipavski Križ. Many call it the pearl of the Vipava valley. Walls, castle, markets, and monastery, ... each of the architectural parts of the settlement tells its own unique story. At the end of the 15th century, they began to build a fort and surround the settlement with the walls. At the beginning of the 16th century, Križ acquired market rights, and soon afterwards was elevated to the status of city, apparently the smallest in the empire at that time. Here we will start exploring the secret of Rebula and Pinela, two local varieties of wine. We'll enjoy lunch and a wine cellar tour here, as we meet with local producers for tasting and discovering the characteristics of the local wines. After visiting the winery will move to a local farm for dinner.
Day 3 - Goriška Brda
We start our day with a visit of a local wine producer in Goriška Brda. As this area is unique, it's fascinating to have a walk in the vineyards to understand how the soil, conditions and characteristics of the region affect the wine. We'll see firsthand how the interaction of the local people, history and cuisine has helped define the vineyards. Later today we'll move to the delightful Slovenian town of Šmartno. Here we'll roll up our sleeves to help prepare some classic local recipes in an old traditional house. As this area is also well known for olive oil, we will have an olive oil tasting of some local producers. After enjoying our typical Slovenian lunch, we'll have an interesting stop at a state cellar, reminiscent of the Communist era when the government of Yugoslavia controlled all wine production. They still produce wine even today, and some of the local families sell their grapes to the cooperative. This visit will illustrate how wine production has changed from times of Yugoslavia to today's modern country of Slovenia and the European Union. We will end our day at home of one of the most known and best wine producers in the region, with a private dinner at the cellar!
Day 4 - Padova and the Collio Region
The stunning wine landscape of Goriška brda is divided in two parts by the Slovenian-Italian border, and on the Italian side the vineyards continue into the wine producing area known as the Collio, part of the Friuli region. Now it's time to start our exploration of the Italian side! We'll start at the home of a local wine producer to see how the change in cultures has influenced the wine. For lunch we will stop at a local farm to enjoy the typical cuisine of Furlania, and hope that the housewife will tell us some secrets of the recipes handed down through the generations of her family. After lunch the nearby town of Cividale will be the perfect place to explore this afternoon. Situated on the picturesque river Natisone, Cividale was formerly an important regional power. Today it is an quiet, small town, with a pleasant medieval center. Perfect for a stroll and a coffee.
Later today we'll arrive in Padova, where after a short sightseeing walk we will have free time to explore on our own and to enjoy this stunning Italian city.
Day 5 - Vicenza and Valpolicella
After breakfast we will turn our wheels towards lively city of Vicenza. A thriving and cosmopolitan city, Vicenza has a rich history and culture, with many museums, art galleries, piazzas, villas, churches and elegant Renaissance palazzi. With the Palladian Villas of the Veneto in the surrounding area, and his renowned Teatro Olimpico (Olympic Theater), the "city of Palladio" has been listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994. After a visit with a local guide, we'll stop for a lunch and experience some typical plates of the cuisie of the Veneto region. After lunch we'll continue westwards into Valpolicella, a viticultural zone of the province of Verona, east of Lake Garda. This hilly agricultural and marble-quarrying region of small holdings north of the Adige river is world-famous for wine production. Valpolicella ranks just after Chianti in total Italian Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) wine production. Red wine Valpolicella is typically made from three grape varieties: Corvina Veronese, Rondinella, and Molinara. We'll discover the wonders of this blend as we relax in the scenic countryside vineyards.
This evening we'll check into our hotel in the center of Verona, a striking city with a lively pedestrian-only medieval center. Tonight you're free to wander the town to find the perfect place to have dinner.
Day 6 - Verona and Franciacorta
In the morning we will explore the city of Verona. The magnificent Roman Arena and story of Romeo and Julia will be just the right introduction to the day in the Franciacorta region. This afternoon we'll drive into the Italian region of Lombardia on the other side of Lake Garda, where this unique sparkling wine is already waiting for us. The DOCG of Franciacorta declared vineyards extend 5,400 acres and the distribution of permitted grape varieties are 85% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Nero and 5% Pinot Bianco. Nonvintage Franciacorta (NV) may not be released until at least 25 months after harvest, of which 18 months must be in contact with the yeast in the bottle (compared to 15 months in the case of Champagne). Franciacorta Vintage or Millesimato may not be sold until at least 37 months after harvest, of which 30 months must be in contact with the yeast.
Some bubbles are just what we needed to end our wine week. Tonight we'll enjoy a sumptuous farewell meal as we celebrate our last night in the amazing wine country of northern Italy.
Day 7 - Arrivederci
Your Go Get Lost adventure will end at the hotel this morning after breakfast. Verona has easy connections by rail and air, your guide can assist you with any other travel plans you may have.
- 3 Nights double occupancy accomm in the countryside of Goriska Brda at the 3-Star Hotel San Martin (or similar)
- 2 Nights double occupancy accomm in Padova at the 4-Star Hotel Majestic Toscanelli (or similar)
- 2 nights double occupancy accomm in Verona at the 4-Star Hotel Colombo D'Oro (or similar)
- 6 Breakfasts
- 5 Lunches, water and local wine included
- 3 Dinners, water and local wine included
- Cooking class with olive oil tasting
- 11 Wine tastings
- Guided visits of Ljubljana, Goriska Brda, Vipava, Cividale, Padova, Vicenza, Verona
- All tips, except for the primary local guide
- All transportation once the tour starts
What´s not Included
- Meals not specified in itinerary
- Beverages at meals unless specified in itinerary
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption and Medical Insurance (strongly recommended), call for details
- Single supplement charge
- Items of a personal nature; phone calls, laundry, etc.
- Arrival and departure transfers
- Airfare package
- Early arrival room