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Art & Culture

Veneto

The Prosecco hills: a land of nature, history and culture

A small, extraordinary land that produces a wine loved all over the world, amidst steep slopes and fascinating panoramas

20 September 2022

3 minutes

The Prosecco hills between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, in the province of Treviso, represent an ancient world that has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019.

Choosing the Prosecco Hills as a destination means admiring small vineyards on narrow grassy terraces called “ciglioni”, beautiful hill ridges, medieval villages and hamlets, forests and cultivations. A rugged but enchanting terrain, long shaped and adapted by man, who has nevertheless thoroughly respected its nature, resulting in a distinctive chequered landscape characterised by rows of vines parallel and vertical to the slope. A destination full of beauty and overwhelming flavours accompanied by good drink.

1. What the Prosecco Hills are and where they are located

Prosecco Hills - Veneto

Prosecco is born in a wonderful place where nature goes hand in hand with human ingenuity. The Prosecco hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene are located in the province of Treviso, Veneto, in the north-east of Italy and encompass a wine-growing area that produces the famous Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG wine.

Made unique by its “ciglioni”, the typical small plots with rows of vines arranged on narrow grassy terraces, it is a popular destination for visiting wine cellars and tasting the fruit of one of the world's best-known sparkling wine techniques.

2. History and information on the Prosecco Hills

Prosecco Hills - Veneto

The borders of the Prosecco Hillswere first delineated in the 1930s  , but they have a long history rooted in the past.

Following the abandonment of the land due to barbarian raids, the Middle Ages saw a return to wine-growing promoted by nobles and monasteries. Thewell-known Società Enologica Trevigiana, which gave rise to a veritable winemaking revolution, dates back to 1868, when it was founded by Antonio Carpenè, while in 1876 came the Scuola Enologica di Conegliano, the first specialist school of its kind in Italy.

In the following years, a new viticulture model took hold in the area, one that was particularly scenic and very interesting from a technical point of view: the “bellussera”, a vine cultivation method based on a ray system developed by the Bellussi brothers.

In 1966 the Prosecco Road, the first recognised wine road in Italy.

3. Why the Prosecco Hills are a Unesco site

Molinetto della Croda - Refrontolo, Veneto

In 2019, the Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List  as a cultural landscape in which the work of winegrowers has created a unique setting.

The particularity of the area lies in its geomorphological conformation: the hogback or reliefs with narrow ridges and steep slopes, have been modified by man since the Middle Ages, assuming spectacular geometries.

4. The most beautiful places to visit in the Prosecco Hills: 7 unmissable stops

Follina, Veneto

Planning a trip to the Prosecco Hills means stopping to appreciate the wineries in the area, but also discovering a few points of interest, all masterpieces.

The first stop, near the Lierza, is the Molinetto della Croda in Refrontolo: it is certainly one of the most evocative corners of the Marca Trevigiana, a typical example of 17th century rural architecture.

Moving a few kilometres to the north-west, one can reach Follina, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, a mainly spiritual destination thanks to the Cistercian Abbey of Santa Maria.

Approaching the Piave River, which embraces the hills to the west, the Cartizze terraces are a must-see destination. This very small area extends in the hilly zone between San Pietro di Barbozza, Santo Stefano and Saccol. This is where the finest type of Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG is produced and where you can visit the famous Osteria Senzenz Oste, a popular inn where you can serve yourself food and drinks and then issue the receipt yourself.

A few minutes' drive away is Farra di Soligo, a municipality bordered by hills whose main attractions are the Credazzo Towers, the remains of an ancient castle of the Da Camino counts.

Continuing along the Prosecco road we find San Pietro di Feletto where we can spend a couple of hours walking along the Giovanni XXIII route, a road named after the pontiff who used to spend his holidays here. The nature itinerary allows you to admire the Cervaro valley, the contours of the vineyard hills and the streets of Borgo Antiga.

5. The typical products of the Prosecco Hills: 2 delightful drinks to sip

Prosecco Hills - Veneto

What better to taste in the area than the renowned Prosecco DOC that the whole world loves and envies?

We recommend trying two in particular, the Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG, produced with a practice called heroic viticulture, and the Prosecco Superiore di Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG. Prosecco Asolo, compared to Valdobbiadene, is more structured and saline and, at the same time, smooth and fresh.

And if the two taste much different from each other, at least it’s the traditions of the two areas to have several details in common, the first being to raise a toast for a special occasion.