Delicious Emilia Romagna
Day 1: Arrive Italy (D)
Arrive at Bologna airport and be met by your tour manager; transfer to a charming resort in the countryside, check in and relax some time before dinner. 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.
Return to the resort, overnight.
Day 2: Harvest (B,L) (AVAILABLE ONLY IN SOME SEASONS –PLEASE REFER TO ALTERNATIVE ACTIVITY)
Breakfast at the Resort. Today will be dedicated to the grape harvest and wine making. Accompanied and supervised 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.
In case you won’t travel in harvest season, you will visit a special Biodynamic cellar (“Tenuta Mara” ) and focus on the biodynamic techniques for the wine production. A wine tasting will follow.
The afternoon is free, you will can either decide to go shopping in one of the various fashion outlets in the surroundings or come back to the resort and relax in the swimming pool. Independent dinner, overnight.
ALTERNATIVELY: In the early morning transfer to Sant’Agata Feltria for an amazing Experience: TRUFFLE HUNT in the woods!! Led by an expert in truffle hunter and his lovely dog, you’ll enjoy a walk in the woods learning how to hunt the truffle! Then transfer to the small village and visit a truffle boutique with a truffle tasting. Lunch at a traditional “osteria” with tasty truffle menu. In the late afternoon back to your resort, free time to relax and enjoy facilities. Aperitif at resort with local seasonal goods.
Day 3: San Leo – San Marino (B,D)
After breakfast at the Resort, leave to a full day excursion to San Marino and San Leo. First stop will be San Marino: in just 61 square meters, San Marino has a large number of architectural and natural resources which are a pleasure for the eyes of the visitors. The guided tour will show you the beauty that should
not absolutely miss inside the walls of the Republic. Let's start from the center: here you will find the Government Palace, the second of the three towers that were built for defensive and control purposes on the top of Mount Titano and that now hosts the Museum of Ancient Arms, the Basilica of the Holy; the Church of San Francesco with the beautiful art gallery and museum located inside; the Church of the Capuchins; the permanent exhibition of handicraft of the town. You will surely find interesting also the Museum of Modern Weapons, the one of the Vintage Cars and the inevitable Wax Muse- um and the Museum of Curiosities.
Independent lunch and 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. Overnight.
Day 4: Casa Artusi Cooking Class – Ravenna (B,D)
After breakfast at the Resort you will go northern to the sleepy town of Ravenna, where you will be taken back by the breathtaking 6th and 7th century mosaics, all with your own private art guide. These are some of the most gorgeous mosaics in the world. Located close to the Adriatic Coast, Ravenna is a town with a whole lot of history! 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.
We suggest you have a light lunch, since in the afternoon we organized a special cooking class experience at Casa Artusi, the first center of gastronomic culture devoted entirely to Italian home cooker founded in the name of cultured gastronomist from Forlimpopoli, Pellegrino Artusi, author and restaurateur and recognized father of the Italian cooking. Visit the famous cultural center dedicated to home cooking Italian cuisine and attend a practical course (hands-
on-cooking class) for preparing traditional Italian menu, using top quality ingredients.
Dinner will be at Casa Artusi with the meals you have prepared. Return to the Resort, overnight.
Day 5: Bologna and Ferrara (B,D)
Breakfast at the Resort, this morning you will leave 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 such as the Two Towers, the Piazza Maggiore and
Piazza del Nettuno, the Jewish Ghetto, and the fascinating 16th century Anatomical theater in the Archiginnasio Palace ancient home of the University of Bologna “the learned”, that shows on its walls one of most precious heraldry collection in the world. Also visit Piazza Malpighi where stands the apse of the Goth- ic church of St. Francis next to the graves of Glossatori, the first professors at the University of Bologna.
Independent lunch: we have suggestions for many wine bars and restaurants.
Proceed to Ferrara then, city of the Renaissance; you will have a panoramic tour of the perfectly pre- served city walls, and of the Renaissance quarter, the so-called “Addizione Erculea”, with the magnifi- cent 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”.
Walking through the elegant Corso Ercole I d’Este, reach the imposing Castello Estense; from here, passing through Piazza Savonarola, you will arrive at the medieval center with its Palazzo Ducale (now hosting the Town Hal) and with the Cathedral of San Giorgio, whose Romanesque-Gothic façade introduces to a late –
Renaissance and Baroque interior. From the old Piazza delle Erbe (today’s Piazza Trento Trieste), embellished by the imposing bell tower and the old merchant’s shops, you can reach the medieval area of the Jewish Ghetto and the evocative Via delle Volte. In the evening arrive your amazing Resort in Modena’s countryside, it will be your base for the remaining 4 nights. Check in, dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Parmigiano & Balsamic Vinegar Tastings (B,L)
Early bird breakfast this morning! Today you will leave your Resort extra early in order to get to an authentic Parmigiano Reggiano producer by cheese making time (roughly 8AM). There are dairies in an array of cities and you´ll visit a dairy 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 the wealthy little Modena for a visit to the 11th century Unesco heritage preserved Duomo and relax over an aperitif of bubbly or vino bianco, outside if weather permits.
Lunch today is at local trattoria, right in the heart of Modena, tasting traditional cuisine. After lunch, you will probably want to enjoy a short little digestive walk! Before returning to the hotel, you will visit a beautiful “Acetaia”, a real “Aceto Balsamico” cellar, where you´ll learn about the interesting history and production of this liquid gold and taste a few aged balsamic. This is a treat!
Return to the countryside, dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Mantua (B,D)
Surrounded by three lakes, Mantua was the seat of the Gonzaga family from the 14th century. The impressive architecture reflects the ambitions of the family, in particular the Palazzo Ducale and the Palazzo Te. Renaissance art is in abundance; the Gonzagas were patrons to a number of well-known artists including Andrea Mantegna and the architect Giulio Romano. Mantua is an impres- sive example of how Italian cities evolved from the 13th century through to the unification of Italy in the late 19th century. Independ- ent lunch.
After lunch you will return to Modena area, at your elegant resort; you can either decide to spend some time soaking up some sun in the swimming pool (out of season in winter time, you could enjoy the beautiful and modern wellness center) or experiencing a guided tour of the resort’s farm and cellar, finally tasting the home-grown Lambrusco (a modern red wine, with a lively effervescent froth, an intense, persistent fragrance and a rich taste enhanced by good tartness).
Dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Culatello Ham Tasting – The Motor Valley (B,L)
Breakfast at the hotel and then head towards Colorno, in Parma province, to visit a small and upmarket Culatello cellar producer’s; you will taste some slices of the Crème de la Crème prosciutto of Italy, finishing with an elegant lunch focusing on local specialties. Sample dishes will be offered, including Culatello di Zibello d.o.p. and a selection of the best charcuterie. Superb wines will be chosen
for you from the encyclopedic wine list.
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. Also, you can’t miss 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 engines such as Ferrari (Maranello), Lamborghini (Modena), Maserati (Sant’Agata Bolognese) and Ducati (Bologna).
When in Maranello, learn all about the “prancing horse” and visit the museum, which is quite large, and you can see over 40 real models such as Formula 1 racecars from many different decades. For Ferrari-philes, there is also a Ferrari shop and you can also have the chance to enjoy a test drive (Ferrari California or Ferrari 458 Italia)!
Arrival at the Resort, dinner and overnight.
Day 9: Arrivederci Italia (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport to take your flight back home.