Arrive independently in the historic city of Bologna, and check into your hotel before getting the chance to explore and find somewhere to eat dinner.
After enjoying a delicious breakfast at your hotel, you will be met by a private guide for a walking tour of Bologna, the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region. As well as being known as the heart of gastronomy in Europe, Bologna is also home to the oldest university in the western world, and has a history that has been influenced by the Romans, Etruscans and the Gauls.
Your guide will take you around Bologna on foot, allowing you to notice the lively details of the city and traverse its little alleyways. The tour features visits to the Piazza Maggiore; Bologna’s largest and liveliest central square, and the Basilica di San Petronio which looks out over the square.
Your afternoon will be spent taking part in a local cooking class, where you will learn to either make classic tagliatelle al ragu or tortellini instructed by a trained expert. After this, enjoy a traditional dinner in an osteria; an eating establishment that emphasises local produce and small but exceptional menus.
You will return to your hotel in the evening for your second night in Bologna.
Today your tour of the Emilia Romagna region will begin with a private driver-guide picking you up from your hotel and taking you to the nearby city of Faenza.
Here, you will visit the groves of the established olive oil brand Brisighella PDO, and then experience an expert wine tasting session. The most famous wine in the region is Lambrusco; a sparkling red that is named after the grape grown in several of Italy’s wine regions, famous for its very bright colour.
This session is followed by a delicious lunch, featuring the chance to taste the famous local Squacquerone PDO cheese. Your driver will then escort you to the city of Ravenna in the afternoon.
Ravenna is a haven of culture and history, best known for the colourful mosaic decoration that covers many of its buildings. It’s a fantastic place to see classic Byzantine architecture and enjoy visiting famous locations such as the Basilica di San Vitale and the Mausoleo di Galla Placidia.
You will be driven back to Bologna in the late afternoon, and are free to choose where you want to spend your evening enjoying more of the city’s tremendous cuisine.
On your fourth day, you will be met by your private driver-guide again and travel to the countryside surrounding the city of Modena, where you will be spending the next two days. En route, you will get the chance to visit Modena and receive a tour of a traditional cellar that stores balsamic vinegar, which the area is famous for.
After your cellar tour, you will enjoy a balsamic vinegar tasting session followed by a classic Italian lunch of tigelle bread and cold cuts.
Your afternoon in Modena includes entry to the Ferrari Museum, home to the classic Italian sports car and its fascinating history. You will then return to your driver and arrive at your accommodation in the countryside that overlooks the city.
Today’s culinary experiences are rounded off by a gourmet dinner in the hills, featuring incredible local ingredients and accompanied by sensational views of your surroundings.
After breakfast at your countryside hotel, you will travel to Parma with your driver-guide. This journey includes a stop at a Parmigiano-Reggiano PDO cheese factory, where you will be treated to a tasting session of this regional speciality.
After this, you will continue your drive to Torrechiara Castle in the Parma province for some free time to explore independently. Another traditional lunch will be served in a farmhouse close to the castle, after which you will journey on to the village of Langhirano to learn more about and taste another local delicacy; Parma Ham.
You will return to Modena in the late afternoon for your last night in this area.
On the morning of your last full day of the tour, you will be met by your driver-guide again and travel to the small city of Parma. This university city is picturesque and full of charming attractions, such as a Romanesque cathedral that features frescos by the famous Parama painter Correggio.
After spending the morning exploring places such as the city’s Baptistery and Farnese Theatre, you can enjoy your final gourmet meal of the tour at Corale Verdi, which is a traditional, informal trattoria right in the middle of Parma. You can spend the rest of your afternoon enjoying the city, and spend your last night in a local hotel.
After your final Italian breakfast at your Parma hotel, you will travel back to the airport or train station independently to either return home or continue your Italian holiday.