As William Shakespeare wisely observed, “Good company, good wine, good welcome, can make good people.” Add a blissful stay at a stunning, medieval-style villa in Tuscany and a Five-star hotel in Rome, plus an after-hours tour of Vatican museums, and you’ve just won a once-in-a-lifetime experience! In addition to the fine wines you’ll sample in Italy, this lot includes a one-of-a-kind collection of 20 bottles, featuring one bottle from all 20 of the Naples Winter Wine Festivals (2001-2020).
The two lucky couples will join Valerie Boyd & Jeff Gargiulo and Denise & Brian Cobb for five nights in Monteverdi’s molto autentico Villa Muri Antichi, part of a bucolic, hilltop hamlet in Tuscany. Offering panoramic views of the Val d’Orcia region, the villa features six sumptuous bedrooms, a chef’s kitchen, indoor fireplace, wine cellar, indoor and outdoor farmhouse tables, a private deck and a cavernous living room and library. An in-room welcome bottle of Prosecco and charcuterie tray greets you upon arrival, and pencil in time for a 75-minute massage in Monteverdi’s stunning holistic spa, including a private session in the underground heated pool, evocative of ancient Roman baths.
Start each day with a complimentary, made-to-order breakfast in Monteverdi’s fine-dining restaurant, Oreade, and enjoy a sommelier-led wine tasting every evening in Monteverdi’s enoteca. Unique culinary experiences include an immersive cooking class with chef Giancarla Bodoni in Monteverdi’s new, state-of-the-art Culinary Academy; an evening “Chef’s Table” dining event in the Culinary Academy; and a private tour, wine tasting and lunch at famed Brunello producer Casanova di Neri in Montalcino. Your party also gets a unique, private cooking lesson with figure skating legend and Olympic champion Brian Boitano, now host of the Food Network cooking show, “What Would Brian Boitano Make?” followed by a musical performance by “The Iron Man of the Mask” Franc D’Ambrosio, the voice behind the “Phantom of the Opera.”
Beyond the splendid retreat, there’s a group hike to see the formal gardens at La Foce, followed by lunch and an olive oil tasting at Chiarentana. Valerie, Jeff, Denise and Brian will provide exclusive visits to special wineries, and you’ll be cooking with acclaimed chefs and exploring local villages, too. Enjoy a private lunch and viewing of Nicola Bulgari’s collection of vintage American cars housed in Sarteano, a quaint town four miles from the villa, and a multi-course lunch with wine pairings at Giovanni Bulgari’s Podernuovo a Palazzone winery.
Say “grazie” and “addio” to Valerie, Jeff, Denise and Brian as you embark for Rome!
You will then spend two nights at a Five-star hotel in fabulous Rome during a sojourn highlighted by a completely private, after-hours “For Your Eyes-Only” Vatican Museum tour. Behold the breathtaking masterpieces of the Vatican Museums exclusively during an instructive and entertaining tour that takes place after the 5:00pm closing time. Not only will you enjoy a fascinating tour, you’ll also receive interactive service from a passionate, knowledgeable guide who will animate the history of the artwork and cater your experience to your interests. Step into exclusive rooms such as the Cabinet of Masks, the Bramante Staircase and the Chapel, with its impressive frescoes by Fra’ Angelico and golden decorations brought by Christopher Columbus from his journeys. Admire the frescoes by Raphael in the so-called Raphael Rooms before heading to the Sistine Chapel, where you can admire the frescoes of Michelangelo — all with no rush and no crowds.
Although the unforgettable getaway lasts but a week, each winning couple receives a complimentary, six-month membership to Marchay, a curated, membership-based luxury travel concierge whose memberships are allocated, by invitation only and not typically available to the general public. And they can savor their memories while enjoying the 20-bottle collection featuring vintners from each and every Naples Winter Wine Festival since its inception 20 years ago.
Raise that paddle as often as it takes to land this unique getaway with our wonderful NCEF Founders!
Airfare to Italy is not included. All ground transportation throughout the visit to Italy is included. Trip must be scheduled for mutually agreeable dates within three (3) months of the auction and the trip must be redeemed by December 31, 2021. The winemaker dinner in Naples is to be scheduled for a mutually agreeable date based on chef Giancarla Bodoni’s travel schedule in the United States. While at Monteverdi in Tuscany, the experiences with Brian Boitano and Franc d’Ambrosio are only available on mutually agreeable dates during May, June or early July. The group hike to the formal gardens at La Foce will be weather permitting. Lunch with Giovanni Bulgari will be based on scheduling and his availability. The after-hours Vatican Museum tour is based on availability and not available on Sundays.
Monteverdi Tuscany, Denise & Brian Cobb, Valerie Boyd & Jeff Gargiulo, Brian Boitano & Franc D’Ambrosio, Bulgari, Marchay and RomaSI Europe