Italian Wines: Variety is the Spice of Life

One of the great joys of cruising is that no two ports are ever the same. And while many countries have wonderful wine-producing regions, Italy, in particular, is a sheer joy to explore both in terms of the variety and quality of wine it creates. With ports spread throughout the country, and with many Mediterranean itineraries stopping at more than one, sampling Italy’s spectacular array of regional wines is a fun addition to your sightseeing agenda.


Few places in the world are as magical as Venice; there’s so much to see and do, you’ll hardly want to stop to eat and drink. Luckily, hidden throughout the city are tiny traditional Italian wine bars called bacari. Designed for a quick nip, rarely do these atmospheric bars even have seats. Perfect for local workers and tourists on the go, most bacari also serve a variety of filling tapas-style snacks called cicchetti. One of the best-known bacari is Cantina do Mori, which opened in 1462 and is conveniently located near the Rialto Bridge.

italian wine

While in Venice Try This:

For a taste of something you might not be able to find back home, try Oseleta. This rare red grape grown north of Verona was close to extinction before being rediscovered by regional winemakers Masi & Pasqua.

italian wine


Many people are surprised to learn that Sicily is Italy’s second-largest wine producing region. Thanks to Mount Etna, which continues to gift the island its supply of nutrient-rich soil, and the hot Mediterranean sun, Sicilian wines are often sweet and fruity. Many of the island’s wines are blends due to their high sugar content, but for a single-source varietal try Frappato. This light and fruity red often features hints of raspberry and goes down easy after a long day of sightseeing.

While in Palermo Try This:

Nero d’Avola, considered Sicily’s pride and joy, is the island’s most widely planted red grape. Indigenous to the island, the taste has been described as jammy with plum flavors similar to a Syrah.

italian wine


The birthplace of modern viticulture, Rome holds an important position in the history of wine. Used to both flavor and disinfect stagnant water, the drink was so popular during Roman times that it spurred the growth of winemaking throughout Europe. Today, the Lazio region is primarily known for its crisp white wines such as Trebbiano and Malvasia del Lazio. These Italian wines are aromatic and refreshing, perfect for an al fresco lunch in the Eternal City.

While in Rome Try This:

Believed to be the wine of ancient Rome, Cesanese is considered to be the perfect expression of the Lazio terroir. Almost impossible to find outside the region, a bottle of Cesanese del Piglio DOCG is an excellent way to taste an influential part of Italian history.

italian wine

Are you ready to sip your way around Italy? Agents at Travel Leaders can plan a personalized journey for your next culinary voyage to try Italian wines. Contact one of our Italian travel specialists today to learn more and begin planning your next vacation.