Remember when I told you all that blogs are THE best way to research for trips? Let me share with you this win, I got thanks to the blog An American in Rome. A quick google search lead me to this blog which as the name implies, is curated by an ex-pat living in Rome. I of course spent hours digging through her content for ideas and found this really cool wine tour through Airbnb Experiences! The tour would take us to a family owned winery called Merumalia Winery in the town of Frascati for a wine tasting. Check out all of the details of our Day Trip to Frascati Italy!
So Airbnb Experiences is run through the regular Airbnb platform. Just pick a city and find a handful of curated activities hosted by true locals. What sold us were the great reviews about the tour and the price! For just $44 USD we would be treated to a tour of the winery and a tasting of four wines. To top it off, our guide Giulia would provide us transportation to and from the Frascati train station. We signed up quick fast and a hurry!
So the first part was getting to Frascati, which is about a twenty-five minute train ride from the Roma Termini train station. Giulia provided us great directions on what train to take and how to maneuver the Roma Termini station which is basically Rome’s Central Station. We arrived early per her instructions and easily grabbed tickets from the self-service machines. We killed some time exploring the shops at the station and then headed to our train platform. Given that it was the holiday, we basically had the whole train to ourselves!
As promised, Giulia was waiting for us at the Frascati train station to transport us to the winery. The funny thing is I kind of imagined that the Frascati station would be bustling as well and could not figure out how I was going to find Giulia who I only knew from the internet. Thankfully the station was small. It reminded me of the old PBS show Shining Time Station, so we easily found Giulia and quickly headed to Merumalia!
The Winery Tour
Merumalia is an organic family run winery. As you can imagine, our hosts are very passionate about their family business. We started the tour in the main office which serves as the tasting room and can be used for events. Just outside we found a beautiful house and terrace. On warmer days, I believe the tastings occur on the terrace which overlooks the rolling hills of Frascati a town known for it’s wineries and production of great white wines.
From there we made our way to the fields used for growing the grapes and olives for olive oil. Giula explained their dedication to organic production which omits things like pesticides and unnatural products. Since it was winter, all of the grapes had been harvested, but I did catch a small batch remaining on the vines. We then followed the production process into the winery and learned about the process including storage.
The Wine Tasting
Finally, we moved on to tasting the wine! After learning so much about their winery, I was eager to see the proof in the product. The Airbnb description promised us four wines for our tasting. I think in the end we tried 5-6 plus an olive oil. Giula took great care to explain Italian rating systems which are different than American’s system. I know feel confident in selecting the best Italian wines f We enjoyed the wine so much that we took a few bottles home!
Lunch in Frascati
Since this experience started super early that day, we were pretty hungry and decided to grab lunch in Frascati before heading back to Rome. Again, our gracious host went above and beyond for us by calling one of their favorite restaurants to ensure they were open and then making a reservation for us. Following their directions, we made our way to a beautiful restaurant called Zaraza. We devoured beautiful pasta dishes and soaked up the Frascati scenery. My sister says her meal here was her favorite of the entire trip. It was certainly worth the visit!
There are a few takeaways here. First, using blogs for travel research truly pays off! You should also note that Airbnb Experiences will probably be the new wave for booking travel excursions. They are priced well and connect you with excellent locals. Finally, if you ever make it to Rome take the day and head out to Frascati for a tour of Merumaila! It was truly one of the highlights of our trip!
For the rest of my Black Girls Who Brunch Guide to Rome head here.