Our Journeys

A Food & Art Discovery with Portland-Bologna Sister City Association
October 9 - October 16, 2017


Bologna, Ravenna, Parma, and Modena: A Food and Art Discovery – Fall 2017


DAY 0 - October 8 - Fly from the US to Bologna

DAY 1 - October 9 - Monday - Bologna

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.

DAY 2 - October 10 - Tuesday - 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. Tonight we will attend an amazing music concert. Sleep in Bologna.

DAY 3 - October 11 - Wednesday - Cooking Class

Today we will explore the excellence of Bologna cuisine through a great cooking class followed by lunch. The class will be lead by renowned local chef, Francesca Tori. She will share with us the traditional way of hand-making pasta along with some family recipes. In the afternoon, we will visit an art exhibition. Sleep in Bologna.

DAY 4 - October 12 - Thursday - Ravenna

This morning we will visit Ravenna, a historic city that served as the capital for the Western Roman Empire, the “barbarian” Ostro-Goths and finally the Bizantines. Ravenna’s incredible mosaics were created between 400 and 500 AD to decorate the city’s great churches. These mosaics display a kaleidoscope of rich images of people, plants, and animals - all on golden backdrops that will leave you speechless. After lunch, we will enjoy a hands-on mosaic class taught by a renowned mosaic artist. Sleep in Bologna.

DAY 5 - October 13 - Friday -Parma

This morning we will say goodbye to 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 here. We will also stroll through the city and see the Duomo and the famous Battistero. Afterwards, we will leave for Salsomaggiore Terme, our final destination of the day. We will sleep in Salsomaggiore Terme.

DAY 6 - October 14 - Saturday - Balsamic Vinegar Tasting and Ferrari museum

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 a battery of 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 Salsomaggiore Terme.

DAY 7 - October 15 - Sunday - Salsomaggiore and Milano

You will have the morning to yourself to enjoy some time for spa treatments and/or shopping. Then we'll leave for Milan, where we will meet with our great local guide for a city tour including the main highlights such as Piazza Duomo and Vittorio Emanuele Gallery. After our visit, we will be transferred to our airport hotel near Milano Malpensa. We will sleep near Malpensa airport.

DAY 8 - October 16 - Monday - Fly back to the US, or start your trip extension in Milan

This morning you will be transferred to Milano Malpensa Airport to catch your flight back to the USA.


Trip Details:
4 nights in Bologna
2 nights in Salsomaggiore Terme
1 night near Malpensa airport
Total of 7 nights – 8 days

Price per person for double occupancy
20 and up travelers: $2,145 USD
14-19 travelers: $2,400 USD
Single room supplement: $450 USD

Deposit: 500 USD

What is included in the trip

  • All hotel nights + breakfast at first category properties
  • One main meal per day besides breakfast, inclusive of water, wine and coffee
  • The services of a professional tour leader throughout the trip and local guides as per itinerary
  • Cooking class
  • Mosaic Class
  • Entrances to museums, art exhibitions as per itinerary
  • Music concert or ballet
  • Parma ham tasting, balsamic vinegar tasting, local wine tasting, Parmigiano Reggiano tasting
  • All transportation as per the itinerary inclusive of transfer from Salsomaggiore to Milano Malpensa inclusive of lodging and board for the driver when necessary
  • Licensed Tour manager throughout the trip, inclusive of his/her lodging, board, etc.
  • Licensed local guides wherever needed

What is not included

  • International airfare from and back to the US
  • Transfer upon arrival in Bologna
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips for your Customized Journeys guide, driver, and local guides
  • Post departure medical and travel insurance and cancellation insurance. Travel and medical insurance. Please contact CJ for a quote


    New website coming soon!

    Hi Friends & Travelers,

    Big changes to our website are on the way this year! At times, our website might be down or some pages may be “under construction”. If you have any questions on itineraries or other materials, feel free to email us at info@customizedjourneys.com. We can send you full copies of itineraries and answer any other questions you may have.

    Looking foward to seeing you on an upcoming or future trip!!

    The Customized Journeys Team