Mario Piccinin, a native of Milan, is a graduate of the University of Bologna and is a certified sommelier of Associazione Italiana Sommeliers and master cheese taster of Organizazione Nazionale Assaggiatori Formaggi. He has many years of hands-on experience organizing specialized Italian travel. Mario is also an experienced wine educator and particularly enjoys the wine tasting. One of his favorite areas in Italy is the Valpolicella, famous for its Amarone wine, and frequently takes visitors there on vineyard tours and wine tastings, as Veneto wine connoisseur.
Rachel has been living in the Veneto since 1994, and is originally from Ohio. While working for the Boston University study abroad program in Padova and Venice for many years, she especially enjoyed sharing her passion for all things Italian with students and visiting faculty. As a lover of food and wine, she became a certified sommelier of Associazione Italiana Sommeliers and master cheese taster of Organizazione Nazionale Assaggiatori Formaggi.
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Begrudgingly accommodated my wife and her love of Prosecco and booked this tour. Honestly, I never really liked Prosecco. I AM CONVERTED!!! Mario picked us up in Venice and drove us to two wineries and a trattoria for lunch for a full day of information, drinks, and food. We could not have asked for more. We were so pleased with this tour. The wine was so exquisite we came home to the US with multiple bottles. The wineries were small and the owners were VERY proud of their craft. Mario made it very clear that we were there to see the vineyard and the winery and taste but that we were under no pressure to buy. This set us very much at ease. We felt as if we could simply taste the wine, listen to the process and enjoy a fantastic day away from the city. Mario is incredible! A trove of information. Easily one of the best tours I have ever done. Thank you Mario!
Jackie T. United States
Had a lovely guided tour with Rachel. We arrived via train from Venice, and Rachel greeted us at the terminal. We walked the city and Rachel had a running commentary on the history of the city. We had a chance to taste some local foods, and a guided tour through St.Anthonys (recommend). Would do another tour without hesitation!
My partner and I booked a last minute trip to Verona around Christmas time, and this was certainly the highlight of the weekend. The tour with Mario was truly unforgettable. He is an absolute gentleman, highly professional and knowledgeable about the region and all it has to offer. His choice of vineyards to visit and lunch venue were spot on. We are already considering another cheese and wine tour with Mario in the future - perhaps when our current supply from the region runs low.
a traveler United States
My wife and I spent a wonderful day with Mario on his Prosecco tour (out of Padua). He picked us up promptly at our hotel and provided excellent commentary all the way to the Prosecco wineries. Then, much to our delight, Mario is not only a fine guide, but a trained sommelier! He conducted our tastings himself, along with the winery owners. He also took us to lunch (with more Prosecco of course) at a wonderful little family run country trattoria. We thoroughly enjoyed our day with Mario and highly recommend Venice Day Trips!