If you can't go to Tuscany, Italy … try Napa Valley, California

Rolling acres of vineyards, charming rural towns, and tasting rooms pouring hearty red wines are among the many reasons you might want to visit Tuscany.

They're also found in droves in the beautiful Napa Valle. Like its Italian counterpart, Napa is best known for its wineries and you'll find some 500 of them here, often built in a style reminiscent of those in the Italian countryside.

Among them is Andretti Winery, founded by Italian racecar champ Mario Andretti, whose stone courtyard, fountains, and villa-like tasting room conjures Tuscany at its finest. And Calistoga's Castello Di Amorosa winery is set in a medieval-style stone castle that looks like the centuries-old estates that dot the Tuscan hills.

Not only can you drink like an Italian in Napa Valley, but you can also eat like one, too. Bottega Napa Valley in Yountville serves micro-regional Italian cuisine, with dishes drawn from every region of the country in a rustic setting complete with Venetian-plaster walls and Murano glass chandeliers. Napa Valley also has a long history producing olive oil; try the local stuff at Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing Company, set inside a quaint clapboard barn on the outskirts of St. Helena.

Where to stay

The boutique North Block Hotel sports a fountained courtyard with a relaxing Tuscan vibe, and its downtown Yountville location makes a great base for exploring the Napa wine region.

The warmly decorated rooms have a breezy Mediterranean feel. Deluxe Queens, starting at $315 per night in low season, measure around 350 square feet and feature patios or balconies.

 

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