Lazio: Cori, Sermoneta and the Pontina plain
Upon arrival in Cori one look at the view will suffice to tell you why the wine here is special. The vineyards on the the slopes of the Lepini mountains are dotted with imposing cyclopean walls, while the eye is immediately drawn to the ever changing colours of the sea. On clear days you can see the promontory of Circeo and the island of Ponza, while the light Thyrrenian winds blow on the hills all the year round, ensuring hot and dry summers, followed by fresh and airy autumns. We are in the municipality of Cori, 400 metres above sea level, a small town of ten thousand souls which in the last few years has become one of the mains centers of wine and oil production in the territory of the provincial capital of Latina, 50 km south of Rome. Bellone, Arciprete, Nero Buono di Cori, are vines grown almost exclusively in this territory, rediscovered and produced in single variety vinification by some entreprising producers, with some bottles labels recalling remote times: Apolide, Castore, Polluce , Pozzodorico, Ercole Illirio. At the entrance to the village visitors are greeted by the vast polygonal walls, attributed to the mysterious people of the Pelasgians originally fron Ancient Greece, who are supposed to have brought the culture of wine to the South of Italy. The vestige of other peoples of long ago, such as Prisco Latinos, Volsci, Roman, cover the rest of this land traversed and visited for centuries by travellers and wayfarers. At the time of the Grand Tour when nobles of northern Europe came to Italy to complete their education, Cori was a must. And for centuries pilgrims travelling along the via Francigena rested here before continuing towards Brindisi, walking slowly along paths, villages and hidden abbeys. Cori’s wines were already well known in ancient times and were mentioned by Ovid and Martial more than two thousand years ago.
Once past Cori follow the via Francigena pilgrims’ way going south to admire the landscape of the Pontine plain. A few kilometres further on is the old Volscian town of Norba just outside the town of Norma; the abbey of Valvisciolo a Romanesque-Cistercian masterpiece; Sermoneta a historic hill town dominated by one of the best preserved castles in Italy, the former residence of the noble Caetani family. A music festival is held in the town each year. In the valley is the famous Garden of Ninfa, an Italian national monument classified by the New York Times as one of the most beautiful and romantic gardens in the world. It was created among the ruins of a medieval city, a sort of medieval Pompei abandoned due to malaria around the 14th century. It is open to the public at weekends during the summer months.
Meeting point in Rome at 9.00 and transfer by minivan to Cori. Check-in at guest house. Visit to the city of Cori and its monuments and lunch in a local restaurant. Wine lesson no. 1 with our professional sommelier on the history of wine and its cultural importance, main vines of Lazio, wine cultivation tecniques, appropriate glasses, tasting of 3 wines. Visit no 1 to one of our secret cellars with guided degustation. Dinner in a local restaurant.
Visit to The medieval towns of Sermoneta and Norma, visit no 2 to a secret cellar with a guided degustation. Lunch in a local restaurant. Walk and enjoy the nature along the via Francigena. Wine lesson no. 2 (how to smell wine, typical scents of white and red wines, how to sharpen your sense again, identifying aroma and bouquet). Visit to a secret cellar with guided degustation. Dinner in a local restaurant.
Visit to Ninfa Garden (in the summer). Check out and transfer to the Pontina plain. Wine lesson no.3 (tasting wine, the senses of tasting, the link beetwen wine and territory). Lunch in a local restaurant. A few hours on the beach, on the mediteranean coast. Last visit to a secret cellar. In the evening return to Rome.
Before breakfast, our more eneregtic guests are welcome to join us on a 40 minute slow jog among olive groves and vineyards. On request Yoga sessions can be provided with Youryogaroma teachers.
The tour will take place with a minimum of 8 participants.
- Visit the town of Cori with its mysterious cyclopic walls built by Pelasgians, originally from ancient Greece.
- Smell the breeze of Tyrrenian sea from the sides of the Lepini mountains.
- Admire the 14th century frescos of the church af Santa Annunziata.
- Taste the red and whites wines of Cori: Bellone, Arciprete, Nero Buono di Cori.
- Follow the old Francigena pilgrims’ way going south, walking along wooded paths past hidden abbeys.
- Visit (in the summer) Ninfa considered by The New York Times one the most romantic and beautiful gardens of the world.
- Stop in the medieval town of Sermoneta with is summer music festival.
- Visit the Pontina plain and taste Merlot, Petit verdot and sweet Moscato.
- Enjoy some time on a Mediterranean beach.
- Learn to love the wines of Lazio through the lessons of our certified sommeliers.
Ask for a quote for this tour. It can change according to season.
Our poposal includes: transport from Rome to Cori and return in Minivan, local transport.
2 nights accomodation in a Country house with breakfast (in dobule room) . 2 suppers (not including drinks).
2 wine lessons with our certified sommelier.
Professional guide tours to historical and artstistic sites. Guided wine tasting in our selected cellars.
Prices are not inclusive of entrance tickets to musems, archeological/ historic sites and other extras.
All lessons and tours are in English. Every member of group should arrange his own travel insurance against theft, loss and medical problems (we suggest Direct travel or Alliance).