"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Federico Fellini
Bologna and its Neighbors
The birthplace of Italian cuisine
May 9 - 16, 2021
The 2018 group taking a break in between stops!
Four Star Accommodations in Centrally Located Hotel
Taste of Bologna Foodie Tour
Visit to Parmigiano Producer
Visit to Balsamic Vinegar Producer
Visit to Prosciuttoficio
Visit to Lambrusco Winery
Two Cooking Classes
Gelato Sensory Class
Farm to Table Culinary Experience
Handmade Pasta Making Class
Tour of Ancient Grain Mill
Overview Our spring week in Bologna, in the Emilia Romagna region, promises to be a food & culture lovers delight. Bologna is ideal for anyone wanting to learn all about real, authentic Italian cooking, art and culture. Fondly known as "Bologna La Grassa" or "Bologna the Fat," this city is Italy's culinary birthplace. Our home base for the week is Bologna, and during our time in Emilia Romagna, we will be taking part in numerous day trips to expose you to this region in details. Learn the parmigiano making process from the producers themselves, learn how the prized Prosciutto is prepared, visit an ancient balsamic acetaia where the barrels are hundreds of years old, and enjoy a delicious foodie walking tour in Bologna. Learn all about the gelato making process, experience a full day on a renovated farmhouse foraging for our ingredients for a culinary feast of all senses, all while learning from culinary professionals along the way. By the end of the week, you will be fully educated on how these world-famous products are made and you will better able to appreciate the Italian culture and its products fully.
Arrive at your accommodations in the afternoon. Settle in and unpack knowing you will not have to repack for the entire week. Ward off jet lag with a quick walk to the many specialty shops in Piazza Maggiore, which is steps away from our hotel, and perhaps grab your first gelato for the week. In the evening, we will meet for our first group activity. After a wine tasting, we will enjoy our first taste of real authentic Bolognese cuisine during our group dinner at a carefully selected restaurant.
We kick off our week in Emilia Romagna by introducing you to the indisputable king of cheeses, Parmigiano Reggiano! In the morning, we will visit a dairy farm that produces cheeses to some of the local restaurants. With a small production of only a few wheels a day, this producer is a true artisan. We will learn the entire process from production, to aging to finally tasting. We will also taste some still-warm ricotta, as well as other cheese products. After having our first taste of Emilia Romagna, we move on to its second most prized product, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. We will walk through the vineyards and learn the different types of grapes used to make this prestigious product. After an overview of its production process, we will sample the product, learning a special technique used by the pros.
But the day is not over yet, after learning all about Parmigiano and Traditional Balsamic, we move on to lunch on an agriturismo, where will enjoy some homemade local pasta. After lunch, we move on and visit a LambruscoWinery. After a tour of the vineyards, we will spend the afternoon leisurely in the area.
In the morning, we will get to know our host city, Bologna, during a wonderful city tour of this often misunderstood and under-visited city. Our trusted native guide, whom we've had the pleasure of working with before, will show us around her beloved city and point out all the major attractions such as Piazza Maggiore, Basilica di San Petronio, Neptune Fountain, City Hall and the Twin Towers, which were the inspiration for the fallen towers in NYC.
The afternoon is sure to please all senses as we head towards the hills of Bologna to a renovated farmhouse where we will learn to make local specialty dishes such as tagliatelle, tortelloni and other renowned pastas dishes which this region is known for. We will also learn to make Ragù alla Bolognese from a traditional recipe. After our hands-on class, we will enjoy the fruits of our labor with a few glasses of local wine. The location of this class is just as special as what we will be preparing. Weather permitting, we can spend the afternoon in the beautiful garden, overlooking Bologna.
Time to grab the aprons and make some local specialties!
Day 4 - Visit to Prosciuttoficio
Now that we’ve sampled the Parmigiano and Balsamic, and prepared and ate a few local dishes like tortelloni, it’s time to visit a prosciuttoficio, and learn all there is to learn about prosciutto, one of Emilia Romagna's staple products. We will learn a bit of its history, the breeding practices and how this iconic cured ham is prepared. Generous samples of Prosciutto and other cured products will be offered, so you can learn and compare flavors.
After the prosciuttoficio, we move on to tour an ancient grain mill. We will visit one of only three remaining water-powered grain mills in Italy. Step back in time as visit the mill that was built in 1698. Watch as they grind grains using original grinding stones. We will also sample products produced in their small bakery.
After all the bounty of samples, a light lunch will be served at a local trattoria. Enjoy the afternoon on your own in Bologna, walking off the day’s calories.
The aging room where the Culatello di Zibello rest until ready for consumption!
Day 5 - Foodie Walking Tour of Bologna + Gelato Sensory Experience
Today, grab your walking shoes and reserve some of the breakfast calories for what is sure to be a walk like none others. A walking foodie tour of Bologna is scheduled for this morning and you’re about to eat your way through Bologna’s historic center. The day starts by visiting the only remaining fruit and vegetable market around. After visiting the stands, we move on to historic delicatessens, bakeries and other specialty shops. Enjoy a Piadina, a local flatbread, filled with various cuts of deli and cheeses. Learn the history of tertellini in brodo and the famous Ragu', which you now know how to make yourself! But no walking foodie tour would be complete without dessert. The area’s most iconic desserts will be sampled, such as a specialty rice cake and the addicting chocolate salami.
In the afternoon, we will have a rather "cool" experience Did you know that Bologna is known as the city of gelato? Well, if you have a passion for Italian gelato, than this afternoon’s activity might just be your favorite. Ever wonder what makes for good gelato and what doesn’t? Or how to distinguish the gelato made from powder bases from those made with real ingredients? A sensory analyst and gelato taste judge will be our leader as she guides us along the history of gelato and how it came to be an Italian specialty. Never be fooled again, even while in Italy, as you learn how to tell the difference just by looking behind the gelato case. During our walk, we will visit four of Bologna’s most iconic gelaterie, sampling our way through all the various flavors the city is known for.
May is a beautiful month in Italy and the fields are bountiful with herbs, edible flowers and produce that’s going to be our base for our final cooking class. Today, we visit a dear friend in her private renovated farmhouse and we head in the fields in the hills of Bologna for a farm-to-table cooking class that is not only delicious but also educational. Learn how these herbs were once, and still today, used for medicinal purposes, prepare a delicious lunch with natural ingredients found in the yard, provided by mother earth. Get back in touch with nature, cook, enjoy quality time and appreciate the local natural beauty.
Our time in Bologna is winding down and by this time, we've eaten our way through the food capital of Italy. Today, you'll enjoy some time on your own to shop, visit a museum or simply enjoy Italy's Dolce Vita by relaxing in Piazza Maggiore.
A delicious final farewell dinner is planned for our last evening together.
**Airfare, transportation to our hotel, travel insurance, expenses of any personal nature and tips to local guides & instructors are not included. Tour begins and ends at the hotel. Because many travelers arrive 1 - 2 days earlier and at various times, we do not provide transportation to/from the airport on first and last day. We can assist with making private transportation.
Price & Details 8 Days / 7 Nights $4200 USD Per Person for Double Occupancy / Single Supplement is $500 USD. Pay in full by check and save $100 USD. $1,000 USD Deposit is required to secure your spot. Deposit will be applied towards overall cost of tour.
Francesca Montillo, Native Italian, Owner and Tour Leader Accompanies all Activities Contact Francesca at firstname.lastname@example.org for booking/reservation and further details.
If you would like to reserve a spot for this tour, or have any questions, please use the contact form below and we will send you the necessary booking instructions or additional information.
Email us today for additional info and to obtain your travel contract. And don't forget to check-out the slide show below for images of past trips!