Preparing handmade pasta on an Italy cooking vacation
Parmigiano rounds aging in the cellar as seen on a culinary vacation in Italy
Local products for sale on a culinary tour of Italy
Fresh tortellini pasta on an Italy cooking vacation
Cask of Aceto Balsamico di Modena on a culinary vacation in Italy
Biking through the plaza on a culinary vacation in Italy
Cooking class in Emilia Romagna during a cooking vacation in Italy
Hocks of prosciutto on a culinary tour of Italy
Boards of prosciutto on a culinary tour of Italy
Gnocchi fritti and prosciutto on a culinary tour of Italy
Spianata or Piadina sandwiches on an Italy culinary vacation
Cooking class in Italy featuring homemade tortellini and cappellacci
Visiting a winery in Emilia Romagna during a culinary tour of Italy
The Santissima Annunziata in Parma, visited on a Parma culinary tour
Slices of fresh mortadella on an Italy culinary tour
Squash at the Antica Corte Pallavicina, home during your culinary tour of Emilia Romagna
View from the Bologna Hotel Commercianti, home during your foodie tour on the Via Emilia
Bedroom at the Bologna Hotel Commercianti, home during your foodie tour on the Via Emilia
Bologna Hotel Commerciani, home during your foodie tour on the Via Emilia
Overview

Foodie Tour on the Via Emilia: Parma and Bologna

This trip is eligible for our Worry-Free Booking promotion.

Enjoy a gastronomic Parma food tour, home of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Parma prosciutto ham, and Bologna, considered one of the culinary capitals of Italy, a vibrant city that is also home to Europe’s oldest university. Visit local farms and wine cellars, taste gastronomic specialties, and eat like you’ve never eaten before during this discovery of the Via Emilia!

The Via Emilia, or Via Aemilia, was an old Roman road completed in 187 BC that traverses northern Italy and runs through the fertile Po river plain, the renowned “Pianura Padana,” of the Emilia Romagna region.

Emilia Romagna is known as the “food basket of Italy” and considered by many to be the gastronomic capital of Italy. The products of this fertile land have been praised through the centuries, and you will discover them on a Parma cheese and ham tour. Taste the delicious balsamic of Modena, visit the curing cellars of a world-famous culatello producer, and delight in a Parma parmesan tour during this 7-night trip. These are but a few of the Parma food tours you will enjoy during your stay.

Head to Bologna for a Bolgona food tour and hands-on cooking class discovering the local pastas. Bologna is a beautiful and vibrant city. Stroll through its famed porticos, have a coffee on the main piazza, and enjoy visits to the local markets and gourmet shops. You will have the opportunity to hone your culinary tastes and techniques in two of the most charming cities of this region!

If you do not have a full week at your disposal for our combination Parma Italy cheese tour and Bologna food tour, we can also offer shorter itineraries featuring only Parma or Bologna.

For those looking for shorter, one-day Parma food and wine tours, we also offer a one-day cooking class in Parma as well as a la carte Parma food tours.





Trip Details

Your first cooking class will be taught by the famed “King of Ham” Chef Massimo Spigaroli, one of the world’s experts on Italian cured meats, or one of his trusted collaborators. He runs a Michelin-rated restaurant, as well as the biodynamic farming practices of the farm where your class will be held. Although Chef Massimo does not speak English, a translator will be available. During the class you will learn to make a variety of Italian pastas for which the region is well known: ravioli, agnolini, tagliolini, tagliatelle, stringoni, and pasta rasa, to name a few.
Your second cooking class will be in Bologna either in a private home or at a local cooking school and will include the town’s famed tortellini and other kinds of pasta.

Itinerary

Bedroom at Maria Luigia Palace in Parma for your culinary tour in Emilia Romagna

Day One

Depending on the season and theme, itinerary details and order of activities may vary.

  • Transfer from the Bologna airport to your hotel in Parma.
  • Check in and relax, or start exploring Parma on your own.
  • Dinner tonight on your own, either in town or at the hotel.
  • Overnight in Parma.

Day Two

  • Breakfast.
  • Guided tour of Parma’s old town center, including the Duomo (Cathedral), Baptistry, and Farnese Theater, among other local points of interest that make this city of art famous worldwide.
  • Lunch at a typical trattoria in town.
  • The afternoon is free to explore or shop.
  • Dinner on your own (perhaps ask your guide for some recommendations).
  • Overnight in Parma.

Board of parmigiano cheese during your cooking vacation in ItalyDay Three

  • Breakfast.
  • Depart for a guided tour of a local dairy farm where the famous Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is produced, including a tasting of this delectable cheese!
  • Along the way stop to take some photos of the spectacular fifteenth-century Torrechiara Castle.
  • Next, visit a plant that produces the famed Prosciutto di Parma ham.
  • Visit a local wine cellar of the Vini dei Colli di Parma (the local vineyards at the foot of the Parma hills), and enjoy a tasting lunch of gourmet products and local wines.
  • Return to Parma for some free time.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight in Parma.

Preparing stuffed pasta in Italy on a culinary tourDay Four

  • Breakfast.
  • Transfer to the Parma countryside known as the “Bassa Parmense” (flat countryside of Parma), where you will be treated to a very unique experience. First you will be welcomed at the farm of Chef Massimo Spigaroli, the “King of Ham,” where you will learn about the prime-cut ham, “Culatello di Zibello.”
  • Next, take a hands-on cooking lesson that is focused on a variety of meats.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts, along with some local products produced on the farm. This is a very authentic Italian experience!
  • In the afternoon, a guided tour of the Rocca Meli Lupi castle in Soragna. This stunning castle is still inhabited by Prince Diofebo Meli Lupi.
  • Free time for shopping at the Fidenza Village Outlet, one of the most exclusive outlets in Italy.
  • After shopping, enjoy an apperitivo and taste the typical specialties from an old cheese stock house in the Villaggio del Gusto.
  • Return to Parma and dinner on your own (if you are still hungry!)
  • Overnight in Parma.

Balsamic vinegar on a foodie tour in Emilia RomagnaDay Five

  • Breakfast and check out.
  • First stop: Modena, where you will enjoy a guided tour of the old town center, including the Duomo, Palazzo Ducale, Piazza Grande and the Estense Gallery. Your tour will also include a focus on the town’s historical gourmet shops.
  • Next, a visit of a producer of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena (the famed balsamic vinegar of Modena). Light lunch at the vinegar plant with a tasting of local products.
  • In the afternoon, transfer to Bologna and check in to your hotel.
  • Free evening and dinner on your own in this vibrant city.
  • Overnight in Bologna.

Day Six

  • Breakfast.
  • Guided tour of Bologna’s city center focusing on the historical gourmet shops and including tastings of local products.
  • Lunch to follow at a typical osteria in the city.
  • In the afternoon, time to explore on your own.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight in Bologna.

Day Seven

  • Breakfast.
  • In the morning, your second hands-on cooking class. You’ll learn how to make perfect tortellini and other kinds of traditional pasta. Lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • The afternoon is on your own to finish exploring and shopping in Bologna.
  • Farewell dinner tonight at one of the most typical restaurants of the city.
  • Overnight in Bologna.

Day Eight

  • Breakfast, and transfer on your own to the Bologna airport or train station.

Day One

Depending on the season and theme, itinerary details and order of activities may vary.

  • Transfer from the Bologna airport to your hotel in Parma.
  • Check in and relax, or start exploring Parma on your own.
  • Dinner tonight on your own, either in town or at the hotel.
  • Overnight in Parma.

Day Two

  • Breakfast.
  • Guided tour of Parma’s old town center, including the Duomo (Cathedral), Baptistry, and Farnese Theater, among other local points of interest that make this city of art famous worldwide.
  • Lunch at a typical trattoria in town.
  • The afternoon is free to explore or shop.
  • Dinner on your own (perhaps ask your guide for some recommendations).
  • Overnight in Parma.

Board of parmigiano cheese during your cooking vacation in ItalyDay Three

  • Breakfast.
  • Depart for a guided tour of a local dairy farm where the famous Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is produced, including a tasting of this delectable cheese!
  • Along the way stop to take some photos of the spectacular fifteenth-century Torrechiara Castle.
  • Next, visit a plant that produces the famed Prosciutto di Parma ham.
  • Visit a local wine cellar of the Vini dei Colli di Parma (the local vineyards at the foot of the Parma hills), and enjoy a tasting lunch of gourmet products and local wines.
  • Return to Parma for some free time.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight in Parma.

Culatello ham on a cooking vacation in Emilia RomagnaDay Four

  • Breakfast.
  • Transfer to the Parma countryside known as the “Bassa Parmense” (flat countryside of Parma), where you will be treated to a very unique experience. First you will be welcomed at the farm of Chef Massimo Spigaroli, the “King of Ham,” where you will learn about the prime-cut ham, “Culatello di Zibello.”
  • Next, take a hands-on cooking lesson that is focused on a variety of meats.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts, along with some local products produced on the farm. This is a very authentic Italian experience!
  • In the afternoon, a guided tour of the Rocca Meli Lupi castle in Soragna. This stunning castle is still inhabited by Prince Diofebo Meli Lupi.
  • Free time for shopping at the Fidenza Village Outlet, one of the most exclusive outlets in Italy.
  • After shopping, enjoy an apperitivo and taste the typical specialties from an old cheese stock house in the Villaggio del Gusto.
  • Return to Parma and dinner on your own (if you are still hungry!)
  • Overnight in Parma.

Day Five

  • Breakfast and check out.
  • First stop: Modena, where you will enjoy a guided tour of the old town center, including the Duomo, Palazzo Ducale, Piazza Grande and the Estense Gallery. Your tour will also include a focus on the town’s historical gourmet shops.
  • Next, a visit of a producer of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena (the famed balsamic vinegar of Modena). Light lunch at the vinegar plant with a tasting of local products.
  • Transfer back to Parma (or to Bologna on request).

Trip Details

Included in the 7-Night Trip

Accommodations

7 nights accommodation (4 nights in the 4* Hotel Palace Maria Luigia in Parma and 3 nights in the 4* Art Hotel Commercianti in Bologna) (If unavailable, comparable hotels will be proposed.)

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 6 lunches (beverages included)
  • 1 dinner (beverages included)

Classes & Instructors

Your first cooking class will be taught by the famed “King of Ham” Chef Massimo Spigaroli, one of the world’s experts on Italian cured meats, or one of his trusted collaborators. He runs a Michelin-rated restaurant, as well as the biodynamic farming practices of the farm where your class will be held. Although Chef Massimo does not speak English, a translator will be available. During the class you will learn to make a variety of Italian pastas for which the region is well known: ravioli, agnolini, tagliolini, tagliatelle, stringoni, and pasta rasa, to name a few.
Your second cooking class will be in Bologna either in a private home or at a local cooking school and will include the town’s famed tortellini and other kinds of pasta.

Excursions

  • Guided tour of Parma
  • Excursion to a local Parmigiano Reggiano producer
  • Visit of a Parma ham producer
  • Visit of a Colli di Parma wine cellar with tasting
  • Full-day excursion to the Bassa Parmense with farm visit, Rocca Meli Lupi castle visit, outlet shopping, and local products tasting
  • Excursion to Modena with guided tour and Balsamic vinegar producer visit
  • Guided tour of Bologna

Transfer Details

  • Arrival transfer from the Bologna airport or train station to your hotel in Parma (Late arrival transfers/early departure transfers may incur an additional fee. We would be happy to confirm transfers with you before you finalize your travel arrangements.)

Miscellaneous

  • Transfer from Parma to Bologna (7-night itinerary only)
  • Transportation as per itinerary

Not Included

  • Transfer from Bologna hotel to airport or train station on day 8 (can be arranged, but usually clients take a short taxi ride).

Included in the 4-Night Trip

Accommodations

4 nights accommodation in Parma (4* Hotel Palace Maria Luigia or similar) (If unavailable, a comparable hotel will be proposed.)

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 4 lunches

Classes & Instructors

Your cooking class will be taught by the famed “King of Ham” Chef Massimo Spigaroli, one of the world’s experts on Italian cured meats, or one of his trusted collaborators. He runs a Michelin-rated restaurant, as well as the biodynamic farming practices of the farm where your class will be held. Although Chef Massimo does not speak English, a translator will be available. During the class you will learn to make a variety of Italian pastas for which the region is well known: ravioli, agnolini, tagliolini, tagliatelle, stringoni, and pasta rasa, to name a few.

Excursions

  • Guided tour of Parma
  • Excursion to a local Parmigiano Reggiano producer
  • Visit of a Parma ham producer
  • Visit of a Colli di Parma wine cellar with tasting
  • Full-day excursion to the Bassa Parmense with farm visit, Rocca Meli Lupi castle visit, outlet shopping, and local products tasting
  • Excursion to Modena with guided tour and Balsamic vinegar producer visit

Transfer Details

  • Arrival transfer from the Bologna airport or train station to your hotel in Parma (Late arrival transfers/early departure transfers may incur an additional fee. We would be happy to confirm transfers with you before you finalize your travel arrangements.)

Miscellaneous

  • Transfer from Parma to Bologna (7-night itinerary only)
  • Transportation as per itinerary

Not Included

  • Transfer from Bologna hotel to airport or train station on day 8 (can be arranged, but usually clients take a short taxi ride).

Accommodation Information

Decorated in classical decor, Parma’s 4* Palace Maria Luigia is named after the wife of Napoleon, Marie Luisa. When not exploring the city of Parma, enjoy the patio on the La Piazzetta square or relax in one of 101 rooms and suites, which are furnished in both contemporary and traditional styles. (If unavailable a comparable hotel will be proposed.)

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The 4* Art Hotel Commercianti in Bologna is in what was originally a 13th-century guild hall. It is next to the Basilica of San Petronio and is a short walk to the Piazza Maggiore. The elegant rooms feature marble en suite baths, WiFi, satellite TVs, and minibars. (If unavailable a comparable hotel will be proposed.)

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Pricing & Tour Dates

Looking for tour date information?


2020-2021 Pricing:

7-night Program
US$3500 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$750 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)

30% deposit due to confirm booking.

This trip is eligible for our “Worry-Free Booking” promotion*, which means your deposit is fully refundable up to 31 days prior to the trip start date. Questions? Please contact us!

*See our terms & conditions for details and exclusions.


Tour Dates

Available most of the following weeks for a minimum of 2 people.

Please inquire with specific dates to confirm availability.

2020
October 10-17
October 17-24
October 24-31
October 31-7
November 7-14
November 14-21
November 21-28
November 28-December 5
December 5-12
December 12-19
December 19-26

2021
February 6-13
February 13-20
February 20-27
February 27-March 6
March 6-13
March 13-20
March 20-27
March 27-April 3
April 3-10
April 10-17
April 17-24
April 24-May 1
May 1-8
May 8-15
May 15-22
May 22-29
May 29-June 5
June 5-12
June 12-19
June 19-26
June 26-July 3
July 3-10
July 10-17
July 17-24
July 31-August 7
August 7-14
August 14-21
August 21-28
August 28-September 4
September 4-11
September 11-18
September 18-25
September 25-October 2
October 2-9
October 9-16
October 16-23
October 23-30
October 30-November 6
November 6-13
November 13-20
November 20-27
November 27-December 4
December 4-11
December 11-18
December 18-25

Looking for tour date information?


2020-2021 Pricing:

4-night Program
US$2875 per person based on double occupancy

    30% deposit due to confirm booking.

    This trip is eligible for our “Worry-Free Booking” promotion*, which means your deposit is fully refundable up to 31 days prior to the trip start date. Questions? Please contact us!

    *See our terms & conditions for details and exclusions.

    Single occupancy supplement: please inquire.

    3 night itinerary in Bologna also possible. Please inquire for details.

    Pricing during fair periods: please inquire.


    Tour Dates

    Available most of the following weeks for a minimum of 2 people. Not available January. 

    Please inquire with specific dates to confirm availability.

    2020
    October 11-15
    October 18-22
    October 25-29
    November 1-5
    November 8-12
    November 15-19
    November 22-26
    November 29-December 3
    December 6-10
    December 13-17
    December 20-24

    2021
    February 6-10
    February 13-17
    February 20-24
    February 27-March 3
    March 6-10
    March 13-17
    March 20-24
    March 27-31
    April 3-7
    April 10-14
    April 17-21
    April 24-28
    May 1-5
    May 8-12
    May 15-19
    May 22-26
    May 29-June 2
    June 5-9
    June 12-16
    June 19-23
    June 26-30
    July 3-7
    July 10-14
    July 17-21
    July 25-28
    July 31-August 4
    August 7-11
    August 14-18
    August 21-25
    August 28-September 1
    September 4-8
    September 11-15
    September 18-22
    September 25-29
    October 2-6
    October 9-13
    October 16-20
    October 23-27
    October 30-November 3
    November 6-10
    November 13-17
    November 20-24
    November 27-December 1
    December 4-8
    December 11-15
    December 18-22
    December 25-29

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    We Can Help Plan It All

    Flights, additional nights and tours, Transportation, and Much More

    We might not be able to pack for you, but there are tons of things we can help with to make your vacation that much better.

    Contact us for more information, or you can indicate your interest during check out and we will follow up directly!

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