The Ultimate Food Tour of Italy

Italian food October 16 – 22nd, 2020 • 7 Days/6 Nights

October 16 – 22nd, 2020 • 7 Days/6 Nights Price: $4500

OVERVIEW

Emilia Romagna is considered the bread basket of Italy. It is for this reason we’re heading to this stunningly beautiful region to sample the exceptional products that are made and produced here by family farms and local businesses. Many of these fresh products will never reach our foreign shores but you’ll be able to buy and bring back some items home.

I recently traveled to this region for the first time for a tourism conference and I fell in love. I’ve paired up with a fellow female-owned tourism company who specializes in Italy and together we will be offering you the tastiest-ever tour of Italy for fans of Italian food at its finest. We’ll also learn a little local history, do some shopping, explore a castles or two and do some truffle hunting. In 2020, Parma is the European City of Culture – so we couldn’t have picked a better time to explore Emilia Romagna.

ITINERARY

We’ll be staying at two very special places during our stay.

In PARMA Palazzo Dalla Rosa Prati see more pix here. This palace is dead in the epicenter of Parma next to the Duomo which is famous for its incredible mosaics. Read up on the Palace’s history.
 
COUNTRYSIDE – We’ll be staying at an agricuolturismo (a farm hotel) near the town of Viano which is actually quite grand. They have a very good rustic Italian restaurant serving hyper-local food, as well as a lovely spa with sauna, steam, jacuzzi and treatments. My co-host Janet has stayed there and she has very discerning taste!

Day 1 Friday October 16: PARMA

  • Arrival transfers and check into our boutique hotel in the heart of historic Parma
  • Free time to recover from the journey
  • Early evening Welcome Drinks in the hotel to meet your fellow travelers and your hosts
  • There will be a group dinner in a nearby trattoria, specializing in local Parma delicacies.

Day 2: Sat. Oct 17: PARMA – RIVALTA CASTLE – PARMA

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • HISTORY & CULTURE – A walking tour of Parma this morning introduces us to the fabulous Palazzo Pilotta, an amazing historic palace and unique library. For over 300 years Parma was a royal kingdom.
  • A ‘tasting lunch’ is included today at a local osteria, where you’ll try the famous Parma ham – prosciutto and locally produced parmigiano cheeses, that’s Parmesan in english!
  • Afternoon – a bicycle tour of Parma for the more energetic. Time for shopping and relaxation, if you prefer.
  • Evening drive out to the riveting Rivalta Castle for a private tour of this exceptional, historic castle.
  • Visit the medieval tower, quirky military costumes museum (like a Hollywood film set)
  • Enjoy dinner and meet the owners (if they are in residence, and they usually are).
  • Return to Parma for overnight.

Day 3: Sun. Oct 18: PARMA – PROSCIUTTO FARM – PARMA

  • Breakfast in the hotel
  • DISCOVERY – A short drive out into the countryside today, just south of Parma to visit an authentic prosciutto (Parma Ham) maker. This is an amazing experience, and demonstrates the history and quality of this world famous product. You’ll see the hams being prepared, flavored, stored and matured – often for years.
  • There will be a pasta-making class before lunch, where guests can try their hand at making tagliatelle and ravioli. Lunch will focus on local products including our freshly made pasta.
  • Return to Parma in the mid-afternoon.
  • Early Evening – A Tour of Parma’s fabulous opera house and theatre including a behind the scenes visit.
  • Pre-dinner drinks and stylish ‘modern Italian food’ meal this evening in the heart of historic Parma.

Day 4: Mon., Oct 19: PARMA – REGGIO EMILIA – VIANO

  • Breakfast in the hotel
  • LOCAL PRODUCTS – We’ll get an early morning start today as we head east to watch Parmesan cheese being made, live in real time! We have to be there at 07.45 when the first batch of fresh milk arrives for the day!
  • Then we’ll continue into Reggio Emilia, the most perfect small Italian city. Fashionable, stylish and oh so Italian!
  • Time for coffee and a little bit of shopping! This city is home to the fashion brand, Max Mara!
  • Free time for lunch in one of the many smart cafes in the town.
  • This afternoon continue into the hills to our glorious ‘Agriturismo’ Country House accommodation
  • Enjoy a welcome dinner in the countryside at a proper, authentic pizzeria. See your pizza being made and customize your toppings.

Day 5: VIANO – TRUFFLE HUNTING – VIANO

  • Breakfast in the hotel
  • EXCEPTIONAL – A fascinating local experience this morning as we go for a walk in the woods.
  • We will spend the day with a couple of local truffle hunters – they know these hillsides like the back of their hands. We’ll learn how the guys work with their dogs and the amazing connection that exists between the pups and their owners. We will almost certainly find some truffles, but this is truffle-hunting in the wild which is increasingly a unique opportunity as most truffles now are farmed. We’ll say a prayer and hope for the grand prize, a white truffle! The truffles found in these hills end up on the menu of restaurants all over the world.
  • Lunch will be at an authentic local trattoria where the chef will prepare our truffles with freshly made local pasta. A unique and completely delectable experience.
  • The rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy the spa and indoor pool at the hotel.
  • Dinner this evening is a casual buffet style dinner in the cantina of our country house. We’ll meet the chef and he’ll let us in on the secret hyper-local ingredients he prefers to use as well as the local obsession with quality produce!

Day 6: VIANO – BALSAMICO – MODENA – FORMIGINE CASTLE

  • Breakfast in the hotel
  • A leisurely start to the day. There’s a traditional miller next door to the hotel. We will watch wheat and barley being ground to create the freshest flour.
  • There’s also a very small organic cheese maker – just ten minutes from our hotel where we’ll visit to learn their techniques.
  • Next, we’ll head into the historic and beautiful city of Modena with it’s magnificent Duomo and superb historic piazzas. We’ll visit the city and enjoy an absolutely superb lunch of Modena delicacies.
  • In the afternoon we’ll visit a family-owned Balsamic Vinegar maker. This is a fourth generation ‘fattoria’ farm where the charming daughter of the family (and mother of four children) leads the tours and explains their process of making balsamic vinegar in special oak barrels. This is a real family business with the quality of the products being absolutely exceptional.
  • Tonight our Farewell dinner is in a castle. It will be a very special affair with a wine tasting to start.
  • An expert sommelier will introduce us to the very best wines of Emilia Romagna. Try sparkling Lambrusco (a red sparkling wine) which is unique to this part of Italy and is undergoing a transformation. It could be the next Prosecco but we think its tastier!!!
  • Dinner will feature the products of Emilia Romagna region. A fitting end to an exceptional gastronomic tour of Italy.

Day 7: VIANO – BOLOGNA

  • Breakfast in the hotel
  • Departure transfers to Bologna Airport
  • End of services

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