During your stay you will join your host family for a few days of wonderful excursions, including shopping at fresh markets, walks through organic herb fields and visits to local food producers.
You also have the opportunity to visit traditional producers of Parmigiano Reggiano, extra virgin olive oil, Prosciutto di Parma, aged balsamic vinegar from Modena plus other specialties and handcrafted products of the regions. You name it and they will do it!
Your Week at a Glance
Sunday – Get settled and welcome dinner, an intro to traditional regional Italian cuisine
Meeting at Bologna airport or train station. Private transfer to your hotel, situated in the heart of Bologna.
In the late afternoon drive to Dozza, a small and charming medieval hill town. Welcome dinner at a typical Italian restaurant frequented by local families to enjoy traditional dishes of the area.
Monday – Aromatic herbs and cooking class at a restaurant
In the morning drive to the hills of Romagna, border with Tuscany, to visit a privately owned aromatic herb garden, with more than 40 different kinds of plants. The owner, a young woman, will explain how the herbs are used in cooking and for our lunch she will prepare delicious samplings of her products.
After lunch drive to visit a family-owned factory of aprons, tablecloths and other table linens hand-printed with traditional decorations of Romagna area.
In the late afternoon Italian cooking class demonstration at a restaurant. The owner and chef, Nicola, is a man very passionate about his work and will prepare a special dinner based on dishes featuring local herbs. You will learn a lot of little secrets to take home to your own kitchen! Aperitif in the very pretty garden of the restaurant waiting for our dinner.
Tuesday – See Ravenna Byzantine mosaics and cooking class on hand-made pasta
In the morning leave for Ravenna, famous for its Byzantine mosaics and architecture. Walking tour to visit San Vitale and Galla Placidia and their spectacular and unique mosaics. Free time to stroll, admire the fabulous art and shop at mosaic and other stores. Light lunch in Ravenna center at an Italian osteria serving tasty local food.
After lunch drive to the beautiful countryside for a 3 hours hands-on cooking class with a lady who is at once a great Italian family chef and an expert on hand made pasta. You will learn to make the traditional pasta of Emilia-Romagna: tagliatelle with ragu alla bolognese --bolognese sauce--, tortellini in broth and tortelli with ricotta and herbs filling. Dinner of our creations at her 150 years old farmhouse among the olive trees.
Wednesday – Parmigiano reggiano --Parmesan cheese--, traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena and gourmet lunch
Early morning departure to visit a family-cooperative where you will watch all the stages in the production of parmigiano reggiano, learn all about parmigiano and finish this excursion with a cheese tasting.
Transfer to Modena to visit another family-owned representative business, producer of traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena.
The owner will explain where and how balsamico is made; we will have a tasting of the product at various ages and learn how and when to use these.
Drive to a beautiful restaurant in Modena where we will have an aperitif in the kitchen with the chef, Luigi, who is very creative and friendly. In the kitchen you will see how Luigi prepares our lunch, based on plates featuring parmigiano --parmesan-- and balsamico and accompanied by Lambrusco, the red sparkling wine typical of Modena area, wonderful accompaniment to parmigiano. All his dishes are a feast for the eye as well as delectable.
Back to Bologna. Afternoon and dinner free, after a busy morning.
Thursday – Food shopping at the market and cooking class in preparing some regional specialties
In the morning visit and walk in the central market area, a couple of ancient narrow streets lined with colorful, irresistible Italian food shops, stands and delis, wonderful to the eye and to the taste. Here we will buy the ingredients for our afternoon cooking lesson. Leisure time for shopping or just strolling in the charming medieval town.
Lunch on your own.
In the afternoon hands-on cooking class at a private home with an Italian family cook. You will learn traditional dishes of the region. Our farewell dinner will follow and consist of the fruits of your own afternoon labors.
Friday – Departure day
Departure to Bologna airport or train station after breakfast at the hotel.
Included in this package tour:
• 5 nights in lovely four star hotel, breakfast included
• 3 Italian cooking lessons held in English
• 3 dinners after the cooking lesson with selected regional wines included
• 4 meals with selected regional wines, mineral water and coffee
• Herb garden visit
• Italian hand-printed linens factory visit
• Entrance fee in Ravenna
• Visit to Parmigiano Reggiano --Parmesan cheese-- factory and tasting
• Visit to Balsamic Vinegar of Modena producer and tasting
• Bologna food market visit with English speaking guide
• Our recipe book in English
• Traditional Italian hand printed apron
• Private transfers and assistance on arrival and at departure (from and to Bologna train station or airport)
• Local tour director English speaking throughout (Marcello)
• All local taxes
Not included in this package tour:
• Airline ticket
• Personal expenses
• Anything not written in the program
Available April through September for minimum of 2 participants per week
PRICE PER PERSON
All pricing is based on double occupancy
Euro 2280 (5 nights)
Euro 1830 (4 nights)
Euro 1370 (3 nights)
Single supplement -180 euro per person
The 3 and 4 night program follow the 5 night itinerary with an early departure, as follows:
- 3 nights: from Sunday to Wednesday morning after breakfast
- 4 nights: from Sunday to Thursday morning after breakfast
Additional Cooking Lessons and Vacations in Bologna:
Terms of Payment and Cancellation fees are as follow:
A 30% non-refundable deposit is payable at time of booking to confirm your participation in the course, as described above.
Remaining payment of 70% is due 75 days prior to arrival. If booking this course within 75 days of the course date, payment is due in full at time of booking.
Penalty for cancellation of booking by client is 50% of total monies paid, less the non-refundable deposit if cancellation is made more than 30 days prior to arrival. Penalty for cancellation is. 100% penalty in the event of cancellation by the client less than 30 days prior to arrival.
"First of all, thank you to Laura for being so wonderful and helpful in the booking process. You always responded extremely quickly and answered all of the many questions (both mine and my mother’s!) without hesitation. I felt that you genuinely cared, even though we have never met. Without you, my trip would not have been possible.
I have been to Italy several times, on my own, with family and friends, and for school, but with each trip I have always felt that there was something missing. I longed to feel that I was experiencing life as an Italian and not just a tourist – something I have discovered is extremely difficult, no matter how long you stay for or how many times you return to a city. My stay with Rafaella, Marcello and Francesca was, however, very different. From the moment Marcello picked me up from the train station, I immediately felt comfortable – something not always common when travelling as a female by yourself. I was welcomed into their home as if I was a relative passing through town. We cooked, we ate, we drank and I was given personal tours of the food market, parmesan factory and traditional balsamic vinegar farm. If you are reading this and thinking “of course you were given those tours, it’s what you paid for!” you would be right, but only in part. These are the things that the Bolognese are incredibly proud of, it’s part of their heritage and part of their daily life. I even remember Marcello passionately discussing, as only Italians can, with the local macellaio (or butcher) where the best mortadella is made. They opened their home, their life, their minds, their hearts and exposed me to a way of life I have never experienced. I left with their friendship, an indebting gratitude and although I was only there for a short period, part of me will remain forever changed because of them."
- A. Hall, Canada