Join us on a ten-day exploration of Italian food & wine culture this fall. We’ll learn about centuries-old balsamic vinegar traditions, visit the Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano producers, and stroll around the beautiful Renaissance plazas of Bologna. You’ll be mesmerized by the beauty of the Piedmontese countryside where we’ll visit some of the best Barolo and Barbaresco producers, meet extraordinary cheesemakers, and attend the International Truffle Fair.
Fly from USA to Bologna, Italy
Upon your arrival in Bologna, you will make your way to your centrally located hotel. In the late afternoon we will meet our fellow travelers and tour leader for a welcome talk and have dinner together. We will sleep in Bologna
We will start the day with a guided tour of Bologna, home of the western world’s oldest university and a long-time European capital of culture. You will marvel at the awesome Piazza Maggiore and at the city’s unique medieval towers, the symbols of Bologna. After visiting a local market, we will stop for lunch to sample some local specialties and you will then have time on your own to discover hidden corners of this beautiful city. Sleep in Bologna
Today we will go to the countryside near Modena to sample its world-famous balsamic vinegar. Traditional Modena vinegar is one of the most delicious dressings ever conceived, and it is so valuable it was once an integral part of a young bride’s dowry. This very special dressing is made from a reduction of pressed and cooked Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes. The resulting thick syrup is subsequently aged for a minimum of 12 years in seven barrels of successively smaller sizes. Fortunately, the people of Modena still respect the roots of this long and patient production and you will be able to really experience it. After lunch, we will stop in Maranello to visit the Ferrari Museum. Sleep in Bologna
Today we will explore the excellence of Bologna cuisine through a great cooking class followed by lunch. The class will be lead by a renowned local chef who will share with us the traditional way of hand-making pasta along with some family recipes. Sleep in Bologna
Our first stop will be a visit to a “Prosciutto di Parma” (dry-cured ham) and “Parmigiano Reggiano” (parmesan cheese) producer, followed by a tasting and lunch. In the afternoon, we will head to Parma for a guided tour of the city. Parma is one of the most important Opera centers in the world and you will learn about the famous theatres and opera culture that is so prominent there. We will also stroll through the city and see the Duomo and the famous Battistero. We will sleep in Bologna
This morning we will say goodbye to Bologna and the Emilia Romagna region, and head to Piedmont. This region’s culinary and wine-making traditions are world famous and we are sure you will greatly enjoy them! We will start our wine exploration by paying a visit to a local small-family wine producer. We will then visit one of the main castles that dot the Piedmont hills and that were home to the Savoy aristocracy. Dinner will feature some of the best dishes of Piedmontese cuisine including “ravioli del plin”, “vitello tonnato” and “carne battuta al coltello”. Sleep in the countryside, near Alba
Today we will visit one of the best wineries of the region where we’ll learn about the two full-bodied reds that are produced from the local Nebbiolo grape: Barolo and Barbaresco. We’ll have lunch at a small-scale organic creamery and sheep farm that produces “formaggio del pistone.” The owner, a true local character, will explain to the group what it takes to make the business fully self-sustainable. We will also learn from the cheesemaker about the history and mission of the Slow Food movement that was started nearby by Carlo Petrini in 1986.
In the afternoon, we will visit a renowned chocolate producer and sample several different kinds of chocolate and pralines while learning the secrets about a local favorite: chocolate liqueur. Sleep in the countryside, near Alba
Today will be all about truffles! Weather permitting, we will be participating in a real truffle hunt. You will learn firsthand how truffles are searched for and harvested and the role of the truffle dog during the search. We will then sample delicious specialties -- all truffle based -- which will be paired with some of the great local wines. Afterwards, we will head to the red-bricked city of Alba where we will attend the International Truffle Fair - now in its 87th year! We will visit the fair and also have time to meander through the lively city. Full of street stalls selling local specialties and delicacies, it will be something to remember! Sleep in the countryside, near Alba
Today we are poised to discover a different area of Piedmont where the white Gavi wines are produced. We will visit a local winery owned by three very smart and friendly women and learn about their family business and production. After the tasting, we will head to a great local restaurant where we will enjoy a very special farewell lunch. We will then head to Milan and check in at our airport hotel. Sleep near Milan Malpensa airport
This morning you will transfer to Milano Malpensa (MXP) to catch your flight back to the USA. Please note that there are two main airports in Milano, Malpensa and Linate. Most international flights depart from Malpensa, hence the choice of an airport hotel.
5 nights in Bologna
3 nights in the Piedmont countryside
1 night near Malpensa airport
Tot. 9 nights – 10 days
Price per person in double room: 2,975 USD
Single room supplement: 590 USD
Price based on a small group of 12 to 24 travellers