Culinary Traditions from Bologna to Parma
November 1-8, 2017
The wonderful city of Parma, located in the Emilia-Romagna region, is renowned for its art and architecture, but especially for it local foods. Our local culinary expert Alice, born and raised in Parma, is passionate about sharing her insider secrets of Emilia-Romagna’s food traditions. Each day provides different cultural and culinary experiences as we explore the Emilia-Romagna region. Best known for the three kings of Italian food—Parmigiano-Reggiano, Parma ham, and Traditionale Balsamic vinegar—this region of Italy is truly a food haven.
We take a walking culinary tour in Bologna, considered the capital of gastronomy in Italy. We’ll visit small artisan food producers of the region. See organic Parmigiano-Reggiano made at a family-run dairy and find out how they make their world-famous cheeses plus learn to cook with them. Discover the secrets of Culatello, one of the most unique and expensive Italian cured meats, and Prosciutto di Parma. Meet a truffle hunter and his dog to hunt for rare and delicious truffles. Enjoy several hands-on cooking classes that focus on the best of Italian cuisine, using finds from our daily trips and spiced with lots of tips, philosophy and passion.
Discover the passion of the people of Emilia-Romagna and the stories behind the food they make. There are just eight places available for this trip. The small number keeps the trip personal and allows for serendipity. Join me for an unforgettable guided tour and enjoy food, laughter and memories.
Bologna –Welcome Dinner
We meet in Bologna and check into your 4-star hotel. You’ll have free time before dinner to relax or explore the sights and shops of Bologna. This evening the merriment begins with aperitivi at the hotel followed by a welcome dinner in Bologna.
Bologna--Full Immersion into the Culinary Traditions
We start our morning exploring Bologna’s culinary scene from a local’s perspective with our culinary guide. It’s considered the capital of gastronomy in Italy. Our tour will mix the history, food culture and traditions of Bologna. Enjoy a light lunch between visiting artisan food shops. We’ll watch the famous “sfogline ladies” make handmade tortellini, and learn the proper way to make tortellini. When we leave Bologna for Parma we’ll visit one of the leading producers of Traditionale Balsamic vinegar for a tour and tasting, before heading to our villino in Parma. After check-in at the villino we will join a local wine expert for an exploration of local wines paired with traditional foods from the region. Our hostess will prepare a light dinner to pair with the local wines.
Explore the Heart of Italy's Food Valley
After breakfast, we visit Parma with Alice, our local food expert, to discover the culinary traditions, history and secrets. Parma is full of heavenly gastronomic shops, filled with eye-popping food displays—a paradise for foodies. We will stroll through the city and
gather ingredients for our evening class. Lunch will be at one of the top trattorias in Parma. This evening we join Elena our hostess and Julie for a hands on cooking class; dinner is based on the cooking class menu.
Parma Ham & Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
After a short drive through the countryside, we arrive at a small organic dairy farm. Here, we will go behind the scene to watch the cheese makers transform their organic milk into the king of cheeses. We’ll learn what it takes to produce an organic homestead authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano and learn what this traditional cheese should taste like along with a tasting of their other signature cheeses. Then we travel along the beautiful hills of Langhirano to visit a prosciutto factory. Here we’ll find out what makes this most famous of Italian hams so special and delicious. Relax at a local trattoria for lunch. We’ll explore the amazing 15th century Torrechiara castle one of the best preserved castles of the region to discover the love story hidden by these medieval walls! We wrap up our day with a cooking class with Julie, followed by dinner.
Castles & Wine in Piacenza Hills
We’ll enjoy the vistas as we head to the Piacenza hills–the landscape used in many Italian movies. We will wander through the beautifully preserved medieval village of Castell’Arquato. Enjoy lunch at a traditional family-run trattoria in the village of
Castell’Arquato and explore the local foods. After lunch we visit one of the most beautiful Italian castles in Vigoleno. The medieval village surrounding the castle, is the setting for many Hollywood films. Here we find the smallest DOC wine production in Italy. Learn what it takes to make Vin Santo wine with its complex taste and aroma as we toast to their uniqueness. This evening we enjoy dinner at a Parma restaurant to further explore the local food.
Rare and Precious Truffles
Today we visit a small agriturismo to learn about black truffles their chef will show how to cook with them. Followed by a truffle lunch paired with local wines. After lunch guided by our chef/truffle hunter and his dog, we hunt for precious black truffles** Free time to shop in Parma followed by dinner in the city center.
**If it is raining at the time of the hunt, another activity will be substituted
Culatello and Wine in Parma Valley
Visit where they make the most expensive and rare ham in Italy—culatello. Learn how it is produced then enjoy a tasting. Afterwards we visit a winery in the valley for a private tour and tasting of their excellent wines paired with local specialties for lunch. After lunch we depart for Bologna, where we check into our four-star hotel. Free time for shopping in Bologna.
On our final day enjoy breakfast at the hotel before check-out. Transportation is provided to Bologna airport or train station.
Price per person based on double occupancy:
$4,500 for participants in the full program sharing a room
$6,000 for a single room
A deposit of $1,500 per person is required. A reservation will be considered confirmed when we (CwJ) receive the deposit and reservation form.
Travel insurance is the best way to protect your investment. Life throws curve balls and these unforeseen circumstances never happen at the right time. Travel insurance can provide reimbursement for non-refundable trip payments and deposits in case you need to cancel your trip. Google “travel insurance reviews” to learn more.
Villino di Porporano, a restored 18th century stone barn surrounded by a beautiful garden, is located just outside of Parma. The interior is bright and airy. It is elegantly furnished throughout with antiques and family heirlooms plus all the modern conveniences, making it a charming combination of old and new. There are 5 rooms with en suite bathrooms and lovely veranda. Elena, the owner, is the consummate hostess.
The Intimate size of 8 Guests
My trips are created to connect you to your destination which is why the groups are limited to just 8 guests. This allows me to introduce you to the kind of people
and places inaccessible to other travel companies. It also enables me to choose smaller, boutique properties that don’t accommodate large groups and ensure
more one-on-one interaction.
• Week-long immersion in Emilia Romagna
• Culinary tour of Bologna
• Wine tastings
• Cooking classes with local cooks
• Cooking classes with Julie at the villa
• Visits to artisanal producers of wine, Parmigiano
Reggiano, Traditionale Balsamic vinegar,
Culatello, Parma ham, and Vin Santo
• Truffle cooking class
• 7 nights accommodations, with en suite bathroom
• Includes: all meals (and local wine), travel services
within the tour itinerary, service charges and VAT.
Airfare to and from Bologna is not included.
Disclaimer: The abundance and presence of truffles cannot be guaranteed and are very much dependent on nature and on specific conditions at the time of the forage.
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This is an experience you don’t want to miss. Share it with someone special to create a memory of a lifetime.
Please note that accommodations for special food needs may not be possible.
Passports & Visas
A valid passport is required of all participants. It must be valid at least 3 months after date of return to the U.S. The name on your reservation must match the name on your passport. Non-U.S. citizens must consult with the appropriate consulates to determine if any visas are needed.
It is suggested that all passengers, regardless of the passport they hold, check with the appropriate consulates of the countries being visited to determine if any visas are needed.