NORTHERN ITALY CULINARY TOUR
Bologna, Italy to Genova, Italy
As part of our culinary series we are introducing a unique culinary tour to the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy. Find yourself immersed in the enchanting history and captivating flavours of Bologna and stay in typical farm houses in the countryside. Visit small organic wineries around Emilia-Romagna, and a Culatello ham cellar and dairy farm in Parma.
You will also experience grape harvesting or participate in a truffle hunting experience with dogs and many other activities related to food and agriculture. Experience traditional Bolognese cuisine during a private cooking class with wine tasting and embrace an enthusiasm for life in the beauty of food, culture and history of Emilia-Romagna!
Bologna - Romagna - San Marino and San Leo - Ravenna - Ferrara - Emilia - Mantua - Motor Valley
* Roundtrip airfare
• Plaza Premium airport lounge pass
• Romagna: four nights 4-star hotel accommodation
• Emilia: four nights 4-star hotel accommodation
• Excursions: Harvest experience with professional assistant or Truffle hunting experience
• Eight breakfasts, three lunches and five dinners including dinner at a local seafood restaurant on the coast, cooking class and dinner at Casa Artusi, a Parmigiana and Balsamic vinegar tasting and a Culatello ham tasting at local producers
• Maranello museum visit
• Private motor coach transportation
• Merit Travel tour host**
• All taxes and gratuities
Level of support:
Merit Travel Hosted
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Day 1: September 19, 2020 | Depart Toronto - Bologna
Board your overnight flight to Bologna, Italy.
Day 2: September 20, 2020 | Arrive Italy
Arrive at Bologna airport and meet your local tour manager for your transfer to a charming farmhouse resort in the countryside. This evening begins with aperitivi in one of the best wine bars on the seaside, followed by a very tasty welcome dinner in a fabulous fish restaurant.
Overnight at Borgo Conde Wine Resort (four nights)
Day 3: September 21, 2020 - Grape Harvest or Truffle Hunting Experience
Breakfast to begin. Today get ready for an unforgettable grape harvest and wine making experience. Accompanied by the wine-maker you will be harvesting the grapes, loading them onto the trailer, taking them to the cellar, helping during the pressing stage and as tradition dictates ending with the wine harvest celebratory lunch.
Alternatively, in the early morning transfer to Sant’Agata Feltria for an amazing Truffle hunting experience in the forest. Led by an expert in truffle hunting and his lovely dog, you’ll enjoy a walk in the woods to learn the skills of finding truffles! Afterward visit a local village and visit a truffle boutique with a truffle tasting before enjoying lunch at a traditional “osteria” with a tasty truffle menu. Later, enjoy free time to relax and enjoy the resorts facilities and enjoy an aperitif at resort with local seasonal goods.
Day 4: September 22, 2020 | San Leo – San Marino
After breakfast to begin, before departing for a full -day excursion to San Marino and San Leo. First stop will be San Marino which has architectural and natural resources including the Government Palace. The Palace was the second of the three towers that were built for defensive and control purposes on the top of Mount Titano. They now host the Museum of Ancient Arms, the Basilica of the Holy, the Church of San Francesco with the beautiful art gallery and museum, permanently exhibiting handicraft of the town.
In the afternoon head to San Leo, a spectacular cliff top town and fortress which dominates the Marecchia Valley. Due to its naturally impregnable position on inaccessible high ground, it was an important strategic stronghold in the Montefeltro area, and through the ages it was dominated and contended for by many, including the Medici and Della Rovere families. The imposing fortress of San Leo was designed by the multi-talented Renaissance architect, Francesco Di Giorgio Martini, and is an outstanding example of military and defensive architecture in Italy. It was here, in the fortress of San Leo that the enigmatic adventurer the Count of Cagliostro was imprisoned for heresy until his death by the Inquisition. In the evening return to the Resort. Tonight, the master chef will prepare for you a delicious dinner with local products, accompanied by famous red wines from Romagna hills.
Day 5: September 23, 2020 | Casa Artusi Cooking Class – Ravenna
After breakfast at the Resort you will go north to the sleepy town of Ravenna, located close to the Adriatic Coast, where you will enjoy a guided tour and marvel at the breathtaking 6th and 7th century mosaics. The Roman Emperor Octavian Augustus built a port here, denoting the strategic importance of Ravenna and later the city was one of the main hubs of Byzantine culture in Italy. You´ll learn all about the town’s history and visit some major highlights such as the mosaics of 5th century Galla Placidia (daughter of Emperor Theodosius), the Saint Francesco Basilica with Dante’s Tomb, the Basilica of San Vitale (with some of the best early Christian art in Italy) and more.
In the afternoon participate in a special cooking class at Casa Artusi. This is where the gastronomist from Forlimpopoli, Pellegrino Artusi made the gastronomic culture famous, through being devoted entirely to Italian home cooking. Dinner will be at Casa Artusi with the meals you have prepared. Return to the resort for overnight.
Day 6: September 24, 2020 | Bologna and Ferrara
Breakfast at the Resort. Depart for Romagna heading to Emilia, the northern part of the region. First stop will be Bologna, for a private walking tour with a local art guide, who will lead you through some of the highlights. You will see the Two Towers, the Piazza Maggiore and Piazza del Nettuno, the Jewish Ghetto, and the fascinating 16th century Anatomical Theatre in the Archiginnasio Palace. This was the ancient home of the University of Bologna. Also visit Piazza Malpighi where stands the apse of the Gothic church of St. Francis next to the graves of Glossatori, the first professors at the University of Bologna.
In the afternoon continue to Ferrara for a panoramic tour of the perfectly preserved city walls, and of the Renaissance quarter, the so-called “Addizione Erculea”, with the magnificent Piazza Ariostea. The guided tour starts at Palazzo dei Diamanti, a real gem of the Renaissance architecture of Biagio Rossetti, whose double facade is decorated with a marble composed of thousands of “marble diamonds”.
In the evening arrive at your Resort immersed in the lush countryside of Albareto. Check in and enjoy dinner.
Overnight at Borgo Casale (four nights)
Day 6: September 25, 2020 | Parmigiano & Balsamic Vinegar Tastings
After an early breakfast visit an authentic Parmigiano Reggiano producer for a cheese making session. You will also visit a dairy farm in Reggio Emilia, about one hour from Modena. The visit is complete, and you will be an expert by the end of the cheese tour. You´ll see all elements of the Parmigiano production from the processing of milk in the vats, the molding of the curd, the salting and then the ageing process of the photogenic cheese wheels.
After this fascinating visit you will head back to Modena for a visit to the 11th century UNESCO heritage preserved Duomo and relax over an aperitif of bubbly or vino bianco. Enjoy lunch at local trattoria, right in the heart of Modena, tasting traditional cuisine. After lunch, you will visit a beautiful Acetaia, a real Aceto Balsamico cellar, where you´ll learn the history and production of balsamic and taste a few aged balsamic varieties. Return to the countryside for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: September 26, 2020 | Mantua
Surrounded by three lakes, Mantua was the seat of the Gonzaga family from the 14th century. The impressive architecture of the Palazzo Ducale and the Palazzo Te reflects the ambitions of the family. Renaissance art is in abundance; the Gonzagas were patrons to well-known artists including Andrea Mantegna and the architect Giulio Romano. Mantua is an impressive example of how Italian cities evolved from the 13th century through to the unification of Italy in the late 19th century. Independent lunch.
After lunch you will return to your resort in Modena area, and you can relax and enjoy the stunning views or join a guided tour of the resort’s farm and cellar and taste the local red wine, Lambrusco. Dinner and overnight.
Day 8: September 27, 2020 | Culatello Ham Tasting – The Motor Valley
After breakfast at the hotel you will head towards Colorno, in Parma province, to visit a small and upmarket Culatello cellar producer. Taste some slices of the Crème de la Crème prosciutto of Italy, finishing with an elegant lunch focusing on local specialties. Sample dishes, including Culatello di Zibello and a selection of the best charcuterie accompanied by recommended wines.
After lunch enjoy a digestive passeggiata in Parma, a small gourmet town that was also the home of Italy’s famed composers Giuseppe Verdi and Arturo Toscanini. Don’t miss the wonderful Duomo, the great Teatro Farnese and the art gallery renowned for its paintings by Correggio. On the way back to the Resort, along the Via Emilia, you will have an interesting tour of the most important factories and museums dedicated to Ferrari (Maranello), Lamborghini (Modena), Maserati (Sant’Agata Bolognese) and Ducati (Bologna).
When in Maranello, learn all about the ‘prancing horse’ and visit the museum, to see over 40 real models such as Formula 1 race cars from across the decades. For Ferrari fans, there is an opportunity to visit a Ferrari shop and have a chance to enjoy a test drive (Ferrari California or Ferrari 458 Italia)! Return to the Resort for dinner and overnight.
Day 9: September 28, 2020 | Depart Genova - Toronto
After breakfast, board your transfer to the airport for your departure flight home.
*CDN$ p.p. dbl. occ. Taxes included. Single supplement: $1,900. Airfare available from most Canadian airports, please enquire. **Minimum 12 passengers required for a Merit Travel tour host. ON-4499356/4499372 | BC-34799 | QC–7002238 | 111 Peter Street, Suite 200, Toronto, ON. M5V 2H1 | ®Merit Travel is a registered trademark of Merit Travel Group Inc. All rights reserved.
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