A favourite Italian oases is the Villa Luppis. About an hour out of Venice, this family hotel sits in the middle of the Veneto farmlands. It’s a stop on the Tour Gastronomico Italiano hosted by TIDES. Having spent ten years working in this region, Steve Duck provides an insider’s journey to boutique hotels, restaurants and wineries, spending time with the locals getting immersed in “la dolce vita”.
The Villa is nestled in the midst of vast farmlands, a peaceful enclave to rest and restore while wandering the gardens. Originally, a monastery was built here, by the Camaldolite monks at the beginning of the 11th century, on the confluence between the river Livenza and Meduna. At the beginning of 1800, the Chiozza – Luppis family acquired the property. Turned into a superb country house, it came an elegant estate and was used by the family ancestors as a place where to carry out the public relations for their industrial and diplomatic activities. The Luppis family still reside in the Villa and host guests in part of the estate converted to a hotel.
Nearby Villa Luppis is the old salt port town of Portabuffole, a Roman-walled village which hosts a weekly market. The village has picturesque ancient market streets that are lined with small shops selling local produce and locally made products. Its Duomo, or cathedral, was originally a synagogue reflecting the diverse history of Portabuffole.
We will be tasting the best of local fare and wine in the Veneto region, the breadbasket of Venice. Our first dinner is with Chef Moreno at the Vecchio Dogna. True to Italian cooking, the integration of local produce is key to the menu. Although simple fare, the combination of fresh, family recipes prepared over an open fire provides for a delicious meal. As a sommelier, Moreno’s expertise around local wines is superb, along with the stories of how the local grapes evolved. A remarkable start to the Tour Gastronomico Italiano