I'm glad you found your way to The Wine Ship! I am a Denver-based Sommelier with a passion for discovery and teaching through experiences. My blog captures wines I'm loving, virtual experiences, travel inspiration, food pairing guidance, and information on clean, sustainably-made products.
Now, can I get you a drink?
~ Montana Rae, Captain
The planning aspect of all of this doesn't mean that I keep a rigid schedule. I don't! But I do go into the trip knowing where I plan to stay and specifically how I am going to get from one place to another. On this trip, I had planned to visit Cinque Tierra, but changed my plans mid-trip because of severe rain in that area. Flexibility is key!
In Europe, I usually rent a car, but I definitely always find myself on a train or 10 as well. It's much easier to navigate rental locations, schedules, and tickets when you are not under the pressure of trying to physically catch a ride I don't necessarily choose the exact car or train before I go, but I do find the details, figure out how I'm going to pay (sometimes you need cash), and I drop the location onto my Google map, along with any necessary links.
You might think that I would get lonely on a trip by myself, but I'm not really alone! This is where the WINE comes into play. As part of the planning process, I add all of the wineries I want to visit to my Google map, then I build the trip around their locations. I reach out to each winery individually as soon as possible to plant a seed about my visit. I may only know the dates of the overall trip at that point, but it's important to let them know. Especially if you plan to visit during high-season or harvest, as these are the busiest (but best) times to be there. If you are wanting to stay at a winery, they tend to book up quickly during these times. The people I meet at the wineries become life-long friends.
On this trip, I visited the below wineries. If you are curious, or would like more info on any of these specifically, please reach out and I will be happy to share my experience!
The trip wasn't all winery visits though. I also always include sightseeing to significant landmarks, museums, nature, and shopping. Of course I'm going to make time to see the David and the rest of the masterpieces in Florence!
I am a big fan of Airbnb when I travel. I have stayed at tons of listings and I have almost always had a good experience. I choose well-located, safe. and simple lodging. I don't need anything fancy since I spend that majority of my time out and about exploring.
Somewhere during each trip, I like to splurge and treat myself to a special hotel or flat. This makes the basic Airbnb stays even more acceptable, as I am happy to save the money for something really special. In Italy, I stayed at the most incredibly delightful place, Villa Cora in Florence. I was treated like a princess! I absolutely recommend this beautiful property and will definitely return some day.
Of course, Italy is incredible. My next trip will definitely be to explore the south! I want to check out Sicily and Naples!! Below the trip gallery is my rough itinerary, in case you are planning a visit to the area and would like a sense of how I moved around. Reach out with any questions or for more details on any leg of the journey!
Saturday, October 27
7:35Pm - DEN-LON British Airways 218
Sunday, October 28
10:35am - Arrive LONDON | 2:55pm - DEN- Milan | 5:55pm - Arrive Milan
Wednesday, October 31
Friday, November 9
Saturday, November 10
7:30am - MILAN-LONDON British Airways 561 - Arrive 8:40am
12:15pm - LONDON-DEN British Airways 219
3:10pm - Arrive Denver
Montana Rae Neiley