Culinary Journey from the Amalfi Coast to Bologna
Journey from south to north on the ultimate Italian cooking vacation with Chef Dorothy Tague! Your 9-night culinary itinerary will take you from the Mediterranean flavors of Italy’s Campania region, home to the Amalfi Coast, to the stuffed pastas and cured meats of Emilia Romagna!
Dorothy Tague is a Pittsburgh-area culinary instructor and owner of the Chop, Wok, and Talk cooking school. She has lead her culinary students on many international gastronomic journeys, and is delighted to return to Italy in 2024.
Your first stop will be a lovely 5* hotel of only 11 rooms up the hill from Sorrento. These luxury accommodations are surrounded by gardens, a vegetable and fruit orchard, and are a short walk from the center of the village. From here you will explore Capri, the Amalfi Coast, and the flavors of the Italian Mediterranean.
Whether you are taking a dip in the pool, gathering tomatoes from the garden, sipping limoncello on the terrace, or making your own Neapolitan-style pizza in the wood burning oven, your culinary journey in the Campania region will delight all your senses.
Next take the train north to Bologna! Once in Bologna you will explore the stuffed pastas and amazing culinary products of Emilia Romagna. Bologna is a beautiful and youthful city. Stroll under its famed porticos, stop for a coffee on the main piazza, enjoy visits to the local gourmet shops, and a cooking class with a local Bolognese woman.
After two nights in Bologna, you will head to the Emilian countryside for a 3-night stay at the Antica Corte Pallavicina, an estate that boast a 700-year old castle, ancient farming techniques, a Michelin-star restaurant, and some of the most famous cured meats in the world. Featured on Top Chef season 17 (“All Stars”), it is a true paradise for foodies and cooks!
Emilia Romagna is considered by many to be the gastronomic capital of the country. The products of this fertile land have been praised through the centuries: parmigiano reggiano, prosciutto di Parma, aceto balsamico di Modena – all of which you will discover on your Italian food and wine tour.
While the Polesine Parmense countryside is only 20 miles from the center of Parma, it feels like stepping into a whole new world, one where peacocks stroll freely around the rolling hills, where ancient local breeds are still raised, and where the most traditional Italian gastronomic customs continue to thrive.
Join Dorothy in this trip to her favorite destination – Italy – on the culinary journey of a lifetime!
Join Dorothy Tague for the ultimate culinary vacation in Italy! This special and exclusive 9-night itinerary will include 4 nights in the Campania region exploring southern Italian and Mediterranean fare, followed by 5 nights in the northern region of Emilia Romagna. From south to north, you will taste the iconic flavors of Italian cuisine.
Day One – Thursday, August 22
- Group pickup from the Naples airport around 10:00 am and transfer to Sant’Agata.
- Arrival at the charming Oasi Olimpia Relais.
- Time on your own. If you are not jet-lagged, you may wish to take a short walk into Sant’Agata to do a little exploring. This is a charming little town; perhaps stop with the locals for a coffee and one of the pastry specialties of the region, or just stroll along the old streets.
- We can also schedule a massage for you (at an additional cost) if you let us know in advance.
- Welcome dinner of local cuisine at the hotel’s elegant restaurant, Villa Oasi.
Day Two – Friday, August 23
- A lovely buffet breakfast awaits you.
- In the morning you will head to a local farm for an Amalfi Coast food tour, where they produce top quality local cheese, such as mozzarella, provolone, and caciotta. Visit the farm, meet the animals, and then settle in for a cheese-making demonstration! A light tasting lunch will follow, including the wonderfully fresh cheese and other products from the farm.
- Return to the hotel and enjoy a bit of free time – perhaps take a dip in the pool – before your first cooking lesson, which will include a gelato-making demonstration.
- Dinner to follow based on your culinary efforts.
Day Three – Saturday, August 24
- Fantastic buffet breakfast followed by your second cooking class, which will include step one of your limoncello class as well.
- After class, enjoy a light lunch and then depart for an exploration of the Amalfi Coast towns of Amalfi and Ravello.
- Your first stop will be for a local olive oil tasting.
- Next, Amalfi! Amalfi is a town that seems to have climbed up from the sea like froth and crystallized onto the land. The town is dominated by the impressive Duomo, rivaling in size the cliffs that rise up behind it. You can sit and observe in the Piazza Duomo or wind upwards through the cobblestone streets, exploring the little shops along the way. Next stop: Ravello, a charming town also perched on the cliffs overlooking the sea. It is home not only to the best Amalfi ceramics, but also the lovely gardens of the historic Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo. You will have free time to explore both towns at your own pace.
- Return to the hotel with time to freshen up before dinner based on your morning culinary efforts with wine.
Day Four – Sunday, August 25
- Today will be a visit to the enchanting isle of Capri, weather permitting. You might visit the magical Blue Grotto (sea permitting), walk private paths past secluded villas, shop in Capri town or Anacapri, or book a boat ride around the island. You will have an English-speaking guide to help you with logistics, but transportation costs on the island are not included, to be paid locally.
- Today’s lunch on Capri will be on your own.
- Return to the hotel mid-afternoon, and enjoy a pizza-making class, as well as the conclusion of your limoncello making class.
- Pizza dinner to follow.
Day Five – Monday, August 26
- Buffet Breakfast.
- Time for one last walk into town or one last dip in the pool before packing up and departing around 10 am for the Naples train station.
- Arrive at the train station, and board your train for Bologna! The ride is around 3 1/2 hours.
- Afternoon arrival in Bologna and transfer to your hotel in the city center to check in. You will have a bit of time to stroll through this charming city on your own before meeting for your welcome dinner within walking distance of the hotel. You will discover quickly how the food of the Emilia Romagna region differs from the southern cuisine in Campania!
- Return on your own to the hotel. Overnight in Bologna.
Day Six – Tuesday, August 27
- Breakfast at the hotel.
- This morning, meet your guide at the hotel for your 3-hour guided tour of Bologna’s city center. It will be a cultural tour of the town with a main focus on food and lifestyle: you’ll stop at some traditional food shops and taste the local products such as typical cheese & cured meats, a fresh daily pasta (perhaps tortellini or tagliatelle, both common in Bologna), along with a glass of local wine. You will also learn about the legends, stories and jokes of Bologna.
- This afternoon, time to explore on your own. You might decide to shop or visit one of the city’s museums. Or you can hike through the famed porticos up to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca – a quintessential Bolognese experience!
- This evening, enjoy a hands-on cooking class at a private home within walking distance of your hotel. You’ll learn how to make traditional Bolognese dishes (the focus will not be on pasta, as you’ll make Emilian pasta dishes later in the week).
- Dinner to follow with wine, then enjoy an evening stroll back to your hotel.
- Overnight in Bologna.
Day Seven – Wednesday, August 28
- Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
- This morning head first to Modena, a city known for art, automobiles such as Ferrari and Lamborghini, music, and excellent food, including its famed balsamic vinegar. Enjoy a 1 ½ hour guided tour of the famous and picturesque old town center. Sites you might explore include the Duomo, Palazzo Ducale, Piazza Grande and the Estense Gallery. Your tour will also include a focus on the town’s historical gourmet shops.
- Head to the nearby Ferrari museum for a short visit (1-1 ½ hour) of the museum focused on the life and work of Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the Ferrari sports car.
- Next, visit of a producer of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena (the famed balsamic vinegar of Modena). Learn about this DOP product and enjoy a light lunch with a tasting of local products.
- Head to the Antica Corte Pallavicina, a beautiful country estate with a 700-year old castle, ancient farming techniques, a Michelin-star restaurant, and some of the most famous cured meats in the world. Featured on Top Chef season 17 (“All Stars”), it is a true paradise for foodies and cooks. Check in to your rooms.
- This evening, enjoy a pasta class featuring traditional Emilia pastas. Dinner to follow based on your efforts.
- Overnight at the Antica Corte Pallavicina.
Day Eight – Thursday, August 29
- Depart around 8am for a guided half-day gourmet tour. Head first to a local dairy farm, about 45 minutes away, where the famous Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is produced, and have a tasting of this delectable cheese!
- Along the way stop to take some photos of the spectacular fifteenth-century Torrechiara Castle.
- Next, visit a local producer of the famed Prosciutto di Parma ham, and enjoy a tasting.
- After the Prosciutto visit, enjoy a short winery visit at a nearby winery, along with a three-course lunch with wine pairings.
- Next, head to Parma, a small but prosperous city full of old world charm and Romanesque buildings. Arrive around 3 pm and have a 2-hour guided tour of Parma’s old town center, including the Duomo (Cathedral), the pink-marbled Baptistry, and the Farnese Theater, among other local points of interest that make this city of art famous worldwide. Parma, although very well-known and very beautiful, is small, and you will have time to stroll through its picturesque streets for a bit of shopping.
- Return to the Antica Corte Pallavicina and time to freshen up for a tasting dinner at the Michelin-star restaurant.
Day Nine – Friday, August 30
- This morning, head back into the kitchen to cook with the chefs of the Michelin-star restaurant, learning to make some of the restaurant’s iconic dishes.
- Lunch to follow based on your efforts.
- This afternoon have a short visit of the farm and museum to learn about the production of culatello, one of the most famous cured meats of Italy!
- Time after the tour to enjoy the grounds, take a walk through the forest, to pack, or to relax with a glass of wine.
- Dinner this evening with be a 3-course menu at a local restaurant about 500 meters from the property.
Day Ten – Saturday, August 31
- Check out and group transfer to the Florence airport (arrival at airport around 9:30 am).
Included in the 9-Night Trip
- 4 nights at the 5* Oasi Olimpia Relais in Sant’Agata
- 2 nights at a centrally located 4* hotel in Bologna
- 3 nights at the Antica Corte Pallavicina country estate in Emilia Romagna
Food & Beverages
- Daily breakfast
- 6 lunches
- 9 dinners, including one Michelin-star dinner
Classes & Instructors
Your ultimate culinary vacation in Italy will include 6 hands on cooking classes including:
- 2 cooking classes featuring southern Italian and Mediterranean cuisine
- a pizza-making class
- gelato and limoncello making
- a class featuring Bolognese dishes
- 2 cooking classes with the staff of the Michelin-star restaurant of Antica Corte Pallavicina, including one featuring dishes from their starred menu
- Farm/cheese producer visit near Sorrento
- Olive mill visit with tasting
- Excursion to Amalfi and Ravello with time to explore on your own
- Visit to Capri (with guide assistance)
- Food & culture tour of Bologna
- Guided visit of Modena
- Self-guided visit of Ferrari museum
- Balsamic producer visit
- Visit of artisanal producer of Parmigiano Reggiano
- Visit of artisanal producer of Prosciutto di Parma
- Photo stop at the Torrechiara castle
- Guided visit of Parma
- Farm and cellar visit at Antica Corte Pallavicina
- One group arrival transfer from the Naples airport to the hotel in Sant’Agata – based on 10: 00 am arrival time.
- One group transfer to the Naples train station for your train to Bologna
- One group transfer from the accommodation to the Florence airport on departure day (with arrival at the airport around 9:30 am)
- If you cannot meet the group transfers, additional transfers can be booked at an additional cost of approximately 150 Euros per car, per transfer
- Train tickets Naples to Bologna
- City tax, paid locally (a few Euros per person per night)
- Meals not mentioned
- Additional wine with meals or beverages outside of mealtimes
- Trip insurance
Start with 4 nights at a beautiful 5* villa hotel. Situated just outside the town of Sant’ Agata sui due Golfi, the villa boasts six rooms and five suites that are beautifully furnished. The hotel for our Italy cooking vacations also offers access to wonderful amenities, including a 15-meter swimming pool, jacuzzi, wine bar, outdoor dining, tennis court, and lush Amalfi Coast vegetation.
The 4* Art Hotel Commercianti in Bologna is situated in what was once a 13th-century guild hall. It is ideally located next to the Basilica of San Petronio, just a short walk to the main square of Bologna. The elegant rooms feature marble en suite baths, WiFi, satellite TVs, and minibars.
The Antica Corte Pallavicina estate highlights the 16th century origins of the property, but with all the modern amenities. The elegant bedrooms have coffered ceilings as well as modern furniture and period furnishings. Every room offers a beautiful view of the Emilian countryside.
Pricing & Dates of our ultimate Italy cooking vacation
Find pricing and dates for our ultimate Italy food and wine tour below, and contact us for availability or to book.
US$5980 per person based on double occupancy
- Add US$700 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)
30% non-refundable deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 90 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!
This exclusive culinary itinerary is available August 22-31, 2024, for a minimum of four people.
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