Farm to Table in Emilia Romagna

Emilia Romagna is famous around the world for its Parmigiano Reggiano, mouthwatering cured meats, and sparkling Lambrusco wines. Within the region is the lively city of Parma, which is decorated with the beautiful art and architecture of Correggio and Antelami as well as wonderful opera and theatre performances. Travel just 20 km from Parma and you will come to a 5 hectare family run organic farm that embodies the locals’s culinary passion as well as a testament to agriculture preservation.

Your hosts, Valentina and Alessandro, started their organic farm Podere Cristina in 2012 to escape the day-to-day demands of the modern world and to raise their young son in a healthier, nature-filled environment. Today, they grow a variety of vegetables and fruit, including strawberries, blackberries, pears, and plums, which they sell as well as make into jams. The farm is also home to Romagnola hens, an ancient breed of the region, which produce delicate eggs ideal for custards and creams. This family-run farm is the perfect oasis for health conscious travelers looking to embrace organic farm-to-table practices and enjoy a relaxing getaway with breathtaking views from the farm’s veranda.

The farm is located in the Barboj Natural Park, home to several organic farms specializing in growing traditional foods of the region. During your free time, take advantage of the hiking and horseback riding trails to explore the beauty and untouched quality of the park. If you are interested in horseback riding, Valentina has a small stable on their property with Bardigiano horses, a native breed to the area, perfect for beginner lessons or to take in the beautiful landscape (additional cost for horseback rides). Within the park, there is also a unique area with small mud volcanoes that are caused by methane gas surfacing. According to folktales of the region, through the gas bubbles, the earth whispers stories and legends to those who visit. Historically, locals used to believe the mud could be used to cure rheumatism and arthritis. Today, the small mud volcanoes are another site to see in the beautiful Barboj Natural Park.


Latest Review

We gave this trip 5 stars
Darcy & Lana
Hawaii
Trip taken August 2017
The hosts were extremely gracious and very lovely people! The first cooking class was fabulous! We made tortelli with instructions by the chef Evano. We ate the fresh pasta for dinner(along with a zillion other foods/beverages) which was fabulous! The second class ( not by Evano) was supposed to be compote/jam but the there was a drought and no berries-understandable. We were told we would be making fuccacia instead. Sounded great but we were only instructed on basic sour dough bread/bread-sticks -not exactly an exciting Italian cooking experience. We were also served the bread the following morning:/ though the family was so lovely and went out of there way in so many other ways it made up for the disappointing day 2 cooking class. I highly recommend this destination to other travelers! Besides the wonderful hospitality all the meals; obviously made with love and pride, were superb! Best food I have ever eaten with unbound options and good company every meal! Also the excursions were very well put together and fun! The hosts were also flexible and caring about your needs:)) an awesome, unforgettable experience!

Trip Details

Chef Ivano leads your 2 hands-on cooking classes in the well-equipped kitchen featuring ingredients grown on the property. Classes focus around making traditional Emilian recipes or pasta using eggs straight from the henhouse. The chef is very passionate about teaching guests about traditional dishes of the region and how the ingredients can easily be locally grown to best capture the unique flavors of the area. On the weekends, their small restaurant opens up to the locals, who share in the enthusiasm and pride of their gastronomic accomplishments.
Your 2 classes will feature:

  • Traditional Parma/Emilian recipes
  • Homemade pastas


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Itinerary

Day One

Order of activities may change depending on season and availability.

  • Transfer from Parma train station to your accommodations located within steps of Podere Cristina’s B&B. (Please note earliest transfer time is 5:30 pm.)
  • Check in and take your time to explore the property and farm. The veranda provides a great place to view the surrounding Barboj Natural Park.
  • A welcome dinner will be served in the dining room.
  • Overnight.

Day Two

  • Breakfast.
  • In the morning visit a family-run organic farm known for their parmigiano reggiano cheese and enjoy a sampling of their cheeses for lunch with local wine.
  • Return to the farmhouse for your first cooking lesson focused on traditional recipes from the region.
  • In the evening, dinner will be served in the dining room.
  • Overnight.

Day Three

  • Breakfast.
  • Visit a nearby black pig farm to learn about the famous traditional process of salting and curing meat that has been passed down for generations.
  • Enjoy a sampling of locally cured meat for lunch with local wine.
  • After the visit, return to the farmhouse for your second hands-on cooking lesson. Valentina will start by taking you to collect eggs from the henhouse to make homemade pasta.
  • In the evening, dinner will be served in the dining room.
  • Overnight.

Day Four

  • Breakfast.
  • Visit a nearby organic winery with over 20 hectares of vineyard and taste some of their wine.
  • Return to the farmhouse for lunch followed by a return transfer to Parma train station.

Trip Details

Included in the 3-Night Trip

Accommodations

3 nights accommodation at a B&B near the farm

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 2 tasting lunches
  • 3 dinners
  • Local wine with all meals

Classes & Instructors

Chef Ivano leads your 2 hands-on cooking classes in the well-equipped kitchen featuring ingredients grown on the property. Classes focus around making traditional Emilian recipes or pasta using eggs straight from the henhouse. The chef is very passionate about teaching guests about traditional dishes of the region and how the ingredients can easily be locally grown to best capture the unique flavors of the area. On the weekends, their small restaurant opens up to the locals, who share in the enthusiasm and pride of their gastronomic accomplishments.
Your 2 classes will feature:

  • Traditional Parma/Emilian recipes
  • Homemade pastas

Excursions

  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese producer
  • Black pig farm to learn about the local cured meats
  • Visit to a local organic winery

Transfer Details

  • Round-trip group transfers to/from Parma train station

Accommodation Information

Just a short walk from the family-run farm, this quaint B&B features two double rooms as well a small apartment with a kitchenette perfect for four people, providing an intimate, relaxing experience in the countryside. Each rustic room has its own bathroom, and free WiFi is available throughout the B&B. All rooms have garden views and feature basic amenities. Starting in 2019 there will also be a swimming pool at the property (in season). Please note that there are no rooms with two twin beds – if you do not want to share you should plan to upgrade to the 2-bedroom apartment (+US$80 per person).

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Pricing & Tour Dates

Looking for tour date information?


Year-Round Pricing:

3-night Program
US$1325 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$80 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)
  • Subtract US$275 per person when booking 4 or more people

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!


Tour Dates

Available the following dates, or any dates you chose.

2019
March 3-6
March 6-9
March 10-13
March 13-16
March 17-20
March 20-23
March 24-27
March 27-30
March 31-April 3
April 3-6
April 7-10
April 10-13
April 14-17
April 17-20
April 21-24
April 24-27
April 28-May 1
May 1-4
May 5-8
May 8-11
May 12-15
May 15-18
May 19-22
May 22-25
May 26-29
May 29-June 1
June 2-5
June 5-8
June 9-12
June 12-15
June 16-19
June 19-22
June 23-26
June 26-29
June 30-July 3
July 3-6
July 7-10
July 10-13
July 14-17
July 17-20
July 21-24
July 24-27
July 28-31
July 31-August 3
August 4-7
August 7-10
August 11-14
August 14-17
August 18-21
August 21-24
August 25-28
August 28-31
September 1-4
September 4-7
September 8-11
September 11-14
September 15-18
September 18-21
September 22-25
September 25-28
September 29-October 2
October 2-5
October 6-9
October 9-12
October 13-16
October 16-19
October 20-23
October 23-26
October 27-30
October 30-November 2
November 3-6
November 6-9
November 10-13
November 13-16
November 17-20
November 20-23
November 24-27
November 27-30

Pricing & Dates

Class Pricing

Reviews

We gave this trip 5 stars
Darcy & Lana
Hawaii
Trip taken August 2017
The hosts were extremely gracious and very lovely people! The first cooking class was fabulous! We made tortelli with instructions by the chef Evano. We ate the fresh pasta for dinner(along with a zillion other foods/beverages) which was fabulous! The second class ( not by Evano) was supposed to be compote/jam but the there was a drought and no berries-understandable. We were told we would be making fuccacia instead. Sounded great but we were only instructed on basic sour dough bread/bread-sticks -not exactly an exciting Italian cooking experience. We were also served the bread the following morning:/ though the family was so lovely and went out of there way in so many other ways it made up for the disappointing day 2 cooking class. I highly recommend this destination to other travelers! Besides the wonderful hospitality all the meals; obviously made with love and pride, were superb! Best food I have ever eaten with unbound options and good company every meal! Also the excursions were very well put together and fun! The hosts were also flexible and caring about your needs:)) an awesome, unforgettable experience!
We gave this trip 5 stars
Jan & Stacey
Alaska
Trip taken April 2017
My daughter and I found the setting to be just lovely. We enjoyed the accommodations and liked our walks around the quiet countryside. We really liked our hosts both at the class and the B&B. The food was terrific and the hosts couldn't have been nicer. The kitchen would not be comfortable for a party larger than six. We were able to get the feel of some of the cooking processes which is always good.
We gave this trip 5 stars
Randy & Daniel
Alaska
Trip taken April 2017
We very much enjoyed our experience at Podere Cristina and B&B Villa Rossana. Highlights were all of our hosts, the field trips to learn about hams, cheeses and wines along with the lovely lunches plus the breakfasts and dinners at the farm. The trips were a perfect compliment to the day tour we had done earlier in the week to visit balsamic vinegar producers while in Parma before we joined Podere Cristina. The large van was very comfortable. It was especially nice that they had a relative, Giulietta, accompany us for all of the day activities since she spoke excellent English. Valentina, Alessandro, and Ivano were attentive and enthusiastic hosts. The only observation we would add is that although we were personally not much bothered, you may need to make sure your clients understand that there is a very casual and rustic approach to kitchen activities. For one example, they must be okay with eggs so fresh that some of the barnyard is still on them. It was also fine with us, but there is no daily housekeeping in the accommodations. Having said that, we would not hesitate to recommend this experience to our friends.