Join foodie tour host Lori Chisholm on this ten-day adventure into Italy’s most iconic food region. Walking tours, a food tour, a cooking class and farm visits with tastings are balanced with other cultural experiences and lots of free time. We’ll stay in Bologna and Reggio Emilia and wander to Ravenna and Modena. Space is limited to 10 guests.
Please note: walking tours and farm visits range in time from 2 hours to 4 hours on cobbled streets and rough ground. The tour starts at the hotel in Bologna on March 25. We are happy to make flight arrangements for you and encourage you to arrive early and/or stay on after the tour ends.
Arrival in Bologna. The capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, Bologna has a comprehensive food tradition and has one of the widest and most well-preserved medieval historical centres. We’ll meet at our 4-star boutique hotel (www.art-hotel- commercianti.com/ ) in the historic centre, our home for the next six nights. We’ll start our Emilia Romagna adventure with cocktails followed by dinner in a local trattoria.
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll orient ourselves with a historical walking tour of Bologna with a local guide. The rest of the day will be free to discover all the reasons this city is known as “La Dotta, La Grassa, and La Rossa” – the learned, the fat and the red.
Enjoy a light breakfast this morning as we will be heading out for a three-hour foodie tour with a renowned local, Andrea Chierici, who is the go-to Emilia Romagna guide for television productions around the world. He’ll teach us aboutthe Bolognese food culture and introduce us to some of the classic specialties of the region. He will also have lots of great suggestions for dinner on your own tonight.
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll be off in our private coach for a day trip to Ravenna. It’s all about the mosaics here! We’ll meet our English-speaking local guide and visit various sites, monuments and churches. Lunch will be up to you and we’ll have a little free time before heading back towards Bologna. On our way back, we’ll stop in the countryside to learn about the production of extra virgin olive oil. The olive grove lies in the Bologna hills, part of a splendid hill top residence dating back to the 18th century. At the end of the visit, we’ll have an opportunity to do some comparative tastings of extra virgin organic olive oil and two other extra virgin olive oils.
Today is a free day. It is a short and inexpensive train ride to Venice, Verona or Florence. Alternatively, FICO Eataly, a foodie theme park, has just opened up outside Bologna city centre. So enormous is this park, they provide bicycles for you to visit all of the farmers and vendors! Another possibility is the long, uphill hike to Basilica San Luca – you walk under the porticoes the whole way to arrive at breathtaking views of the city and countryside. There is no shortage of activities to occupy yourselves with.
Today after breakfast, we will attend a cooking class in the city centre. Andrea has arranged for a hands-on pasta lessonwith some professional chefs. Naturally, we’ll be lunching on the food we ourselves have produced! Enjoy the rest of theafternoon and evening wandering about this beautiful old city.
We are in for a busy day! After breakfast, we’ll check out of our Bologna hotel and transfer to Reggio Emilia. On the way, we absolutely must stop at Museo Ferrari in Maranello. The museum visit will be followed by a group lunch at a local restaurant close to the museum. After lunch it’s on to Modena, “a masterpiece of human creative genius”. Think: balsamic vinegar, Giuseppe Verdi,Unesco Heritage Sites and the world’s greatest chef, Massimo Bottura. Here we will have a private city tour with a local guide. From Modena, we’ll make our way to Reggio Emilia, better known as “città del Tricolore”, Tricolour City, as the Italian flag - green, white and red – was designed here. We’ll be checking in to the 4-star Hotel delle Notarie (http://www.albergonotarie.it/en/) or equivalent. An enchanting historical hotel located in the town centre, perfectly connected with the most important and interesting monuments of the city. We’ll enjoy a group dinner tonight at a lovely restaurant which serves dishes exclusive to this area of the province.
After an early breakfast at the hotel, we’ll be off on another busy day trip. First, we will appreciate the incredible amount of work and craftsmanship that goes into the production of each wheel of Parmagiano Reggiano as we visit a producer of the King of Cheeses and taste his masterpieces. We may even take part in the production process and of course, we will finish with yummy tastings of the cheese at its various ages. We’ll have a group lunch highlighting all kinds of local products – ham, cheese, bread and the local wine that is designed to go with it all. In the early afternoon, I have something a little different in store. We’ll be visiting a fascinating biodiversity farm to meetthe farmers/scientists who have rejuvenated breeds of pigs and cows and species of olive trees and other indigenous plants. Finally, on the way back, we’ll stop to discover a traditional balsamic vinegar and lambrusco producer. We’ll enjoy sometastings here before heading back to Reggio Emilia for a free evening.
Today, our guide will officially introduce us to Reggio Emilia with a private walking tour including visits to local artisans. Lunch and the afternoon are up to you. Tonight, we have a very special farewell dinner arranged in Reggio Emilia. Within walking distance of the hotel, our restaurant has an interesting back story and some of the most amazing Michelin-quality food you have ever indulged in!
Breakfast at our hotel and check-out for our early transfer to Bologna (train station or airport). Enjoy your flight back to Canada or the rest of your journey through Italy!
- 9 nights’ accommodation in centrally-located, 4-star hotels - Breakfast daily - 4 lunches; welcome dinner Bologna; group dinner in Reggio Emilia with wine; farewell dinner in Reggio Emilia with wine Private cheese, oil, vinegar and wine tastings with visits as described in the itinerary - Private city tours in Bologna, Ravenna, Modena, Reggio Emilia + all associated admissions - Private food tour in Bologna - Private cooking class in Bologna with professional chefs - Ferrari museum, private biodiversity farm visit - All transportation by private coach from tour start to finish as per the itinerary - Driver and guide gratuities *If purchasing air transportation through Pauwels, a 2-hour lounge pass for Toronto airport for booking made more than 90 days prior to departure.
- Ground and air transportation from and to Toronto and transfers to the Bologna hotel Items of a personal nature - Meals not indicated - Beverages with meals unless noted in the itinerary or above - Insurance: please contact Pauwels Travel for rates.
March 05 - 14, 2020
Land only: $3,345.
March 31 - April 04, 2020
$1,575 CAD taxes included based on double occupancy
April 14 - 27, 2020
$4,895 from Toronto, including air, based on double occupancy