Combining two powerhouses of Italian wine and cuisine, this will be an unforgettable journey. The quintessentially Tuscan charm of the Chianti and Crete Senesi rolling hills, the artistic and gastronomic highlights of Bologna and the signature creations of Italian gastronomic excellence: from Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma to Brunello…
- Trip Outline
Combining two powerhouses of Italian wine and cuisine, this will be an unforgettable journey.
The quintessentially Tuscan charm of the Chianti and Crete Senesi rolling hills, the artistic and gastronomic highlights of Bologna and the signature creations of Italian gastronomic excellence: from Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma to Brunello di Montalcino, a unique journey to the red (like Ferrari, which you can visit as well) heart of Italian excellence and hands‐on experiences. Enjoy the warm welcome of historic countryside mansions and elegant wineries on splendid hills.
- UNESCO world heritage sites included: San Gimignano, Modena, Pienza medieval and renaissance historic centers, Val D’Orcia landscape and wineries, Modena
- Outdoor activities (optional, upon agreement with participants and subject to meteorological conditions): light hike across wine hills and castles in Chianti or “Via Francigena” and Torrechiara, truffle hunt with dogs and professional hunters
- “Super Tuscans” together with Brunello di Montalcino, Barolo and Amarone , are among the flagships of Italian red wine excellence. You will have the unique chance to create your very own Super Tuscan in a wine-blending lesson by an expert sommelier in an historic winery famous as well for their Brunello di Montalcino, and bring home a custom labelled bottle.
- Have you ever “played” a cheese? During our Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma experience you will learn all the traditions and secrets of the preparation of these delicious symbols of Italian gastronomy directly by the makers . An entertaining and informative day topped by a wine tasting in a family run winery overlooking rolling hills and the splendid Torrechiara fortress, often a movie set. And yes, “playing” a cheese wheel with a special hammer is one of the ways to make sure it is perfect!
This itinerary starts and finishes in Bologna, or we can arrange a transfer to anywhere else in Italy for a self-guided extension.
Bologna to Parma hillsYour flight or train should arrive in the morning in Bologna where you will meet the rest of the group and your guide/driver. A welcome to the region is offered by splendid Bologna, which you will explore with a relaxing and interesting stroll with a local guide, sampling some of the best local delicacies which you will soon learn to love. In the afternoon we will drive to our first overnight destination, close to the city of Parma in the Emilia Romagna region. Upon arrival at the agriturismo (a tastefully renovated medieval building in scenic countryside) you will have some time to rest before a traditional dinner to savor a sumptuous selection of home-made traditional dishes and the world-class Parma specialties such as Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma accompanied by a selection of the DOC locally produced wines such as Malvasia and Rosso dei Colli di Parma. Meals included: L, D
Parma hills, “the food valley”After an early breakfast including a choice of home-made cakes, we will make a guided visit to a local producer of the famous Parmigiano Reggiano to discover its traditions and techniques. A real unique experience in a temple of Italian taste. Our next stop is a visit to a traditional producer of the world-famous Prosciutto di Parma with tasting of the delicacy itself as well as locally produced cured meats salame Felino and culatello. Rounding out a trio of tasting stops today is a visit to a renowned vineyard to enjoy a selection of local Malvasia and Chardonnay DOC wines and local recipes. After this we will walk through scenic wine hills to visit the medieval fortress of Torrechiara, considered one of the masterpieces in its genre in Italy. Dinner this evening is again at the agriturismo to continue the discovery of the local home-made traditional dishes. Meals included: B, L, D
Modena, the red-hot heart of ItalyToday we will take a trip to "the red heart of Italy" to Modena, home not just of Aceto Balsamico di Modena, but also the most famous name in motorsport, Ferrari. We will visit the Enzo Ferrari Museum built in at Enzo Ferrari's house designed by the maverick Czech architect Jan Kaplicky, Lunch will be at a traditional restaurant famous for delicious fresh pasta, dressed with a creative touch of another regional specialty, Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale of Modena. We will learn its peculiar technique and specific taste with a private visit of a local producer before returning to the Parma area for a relaxing evening with optional dinner in a local restaurant. Meals included: B, L.
From Parma to TuscanyAfter breakfast it's time to head to the renowned Chianti wine region, best known for its noble wines, but you'll be discovering that there's much more than just the big names. We will stop for a gourmet lunch in Castellina in Chianti, a splendid medieval town perched atop a scenic hill. A relaxed stroll around Castellina feels like a trip back in time. Start from "La Rocca," the mighty fortress where the "Chianti League" faced the threat of their arch-enemy, nearby Siena. Located in the main square, its fourteenth century tower offers splendid views of the Chianti landscape. In the center you will find many historical attractions like the unique vaulted road, once used by soldiers on patrol, where you can find shops specializing in local handmade leather products. In the evening we will sit down to a classic home-style dinner and dig into a selection of starters and main courses prepared according to original recipes and accompanied by local wine. Meals included: B, L, D
Val d'Orcia and Montalcino, home of BrunelloAfter a sumptuous breakfast we will drive along the cypress‐lined countryside roads of the enchanting Crete Senesi (Siena clay hills) and visit the Benedictine abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, set amongst forests of pine and oak and famous for the cycle of frescoes depicting the life of St Benedict by Luca Signorelli and Sodoma. “Brunello di Montalcino" is considered among the most prestigious Italian wines, and our “Master class of red wines" will take place by a local winemaker close to the imposing castle of Montalcino, a bastion of the Republic of Siena in the endless rivalry with Florence. One last afternoon stop by the beautiful Pienza, a Unesco world heritage site located on the crest of a hill overlooking the Val d'Orcia: redesigned in the 15th century by the leading humanist Enea Silvio Piccolomini (later Pope Pius II), his birthplace became the symbol of elegant renaissance town‐planning. Return to our accommodation for relax by the swimming pool and free dinner. Your guide will be available for suggestions of nearby restaurants. Meals included: B, L.
Cooking class & splendid outdoorsA hands-on experience to learn the secrets and tradition of local cuisine through a fun and creative cooking class. With an expert local chef you'll learn the secrets of world-class cuisine, then sit down to eat what you've prepared. And it all takes place in a professional kitchen in the gorgeous hills of Chianti or Siena. What could be better? The rest of the day is free to relax by the pool, or for outdoor activities (optional, upon agreement with participants and subject to meteorological conditions): light hike across wine hills and castles in Chianti or “Via Francigena”, truffle hunt with dogs and professional hunters etc. Meals included: B, L, D
Tuscany to Bologna with visit of Siena or San GimignanoAfter breakfast, with a local guide you'll enjoy a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Siena. From the Duomo and the Baptistery to the Piazza del Campo and a local trattoria, you'll have a great time getting to know this fabulous historic destination. Like every corner of Italy, Siena is proud of some typical delicacies that are hard to find elsewhere: start your discovery at lunch by sampling a selection of local classics like “prosciutto di cinta senese," wild boar hams and salami, and Tuscan flagships like “Panzanella" summer bread salad, “Pappa al pomodoro" fresh tomato soup, and “Lardo di Colonnata" from the nearby Alpi Apuane. A sweet ending is guaranteed by the famous honey and almond pastries “ricciarelli," “cavallucci" and “panforte," which you can find in a traditional bakery. These are also ideal as sweet souvenirs. Alternatively (to be agreed with the group), we can visit San Gimignano, the “medieval manhattan”. In the afternoon, transfer to Bologna airport or train station from where you can easily continue your journey to Milan, Rome, Venice and all other destinations. Meals included: B, L
Gourmet Tour Package including daily guiding and tasting experiences
6 lunches or equivalent
4 dinners or equivalent
- 3 Nights Accommodation in Parma Hills
- 3 Nights Accommodation in Tuscany
- Flights to and from Europe
- Tips for Tour Guides and Drivers
- Travel Insurance
- 2 evening meals (daytime tastings and other activities make these very ‘optional’)