Mangia Bene a Tutti!
Description of your Weekly Program:
Sunday –Get settled and welcome dinner, an intro to traditional regional Italian cuisine
Meet at Bologna airport or train station. Private transfer to your hotel, ideally situated in the heart of Bologna.
In the late afternoon you'll enjoy your first glimpse of the countryside and tasting of the amazing local flavors on a short drive to a small and charming medieval hilltown with your hosts. Welcome dinner at a picturesque Italian restaurant frequented by local families to enjoy traditional dishes of the area.
Monday – Aromatic herbs and cooking class
In the morning drive to the hills of Romagna, which borders 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 your garden lunch she will prepare delicious dishes containing her home-grown products. There will be an opportunity to sample her exquisite herbs, jams and aperitifs.
After lunch drive to visit a family-owned artisan shop of aprons, tablecloths and other table linens hand-printed with traditional decorations of the 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 before your dinner that will consist of what you have watched being prepared in the kitchen.
Tuesday – 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 --parmesan cheese--, 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; you 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 you will have an aperitif in the kitchen with the chef who is very creative and friendly. In the kitchen you will see how Luigi prepares your lunch, based on plates featuring parmigiano --parmesan-- and balsamico and accompained by Lambrusco, the red sparkling wine typical of the Modena area, wonderful accompainment to parmigiano. All his dishes are a feast for the eye as well as delectable.
Return to Bologna. Afternoon and dinner free.
Wednesday – See Ravenna Byzantine mosaics and cooking class on Bolognese sauce and other traditional dishes of Emilia Romagna
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, ceramics and other stores. Light lunch in Ravenna center at an Italian osteria serving tasty local food.
After lunch drive to a beautiful agriturismo in the countryside for a three hour hands-on cooking class with a woman who is a great Italian family chef. You will learn to make the best ragu alla bolognese/bolognese sauce, and other regional specialties, determined by the freshest ingredients that are in season at the moment.
Dinner of your creations at her 150 years old farmhouse among the olive trees.
Thursday – Food shopping at the Bologna market and cooking class at private home with a local family
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, stunning to behold and delicious to taste. Here you will buy the ingredients for your afternoon cooking lesson. Leisure time for shopping or just strolling in the charming medieval town.
Lunch on your own. There are many fantastic cafes in the Bologna market area to choose from.
In the afternoon hands-on cooking class at a private home with an Italian family cook, expert on hand-made pasta making. You will learn to make egg pasta from scratch rolled out with the rolling pin and other traditional dishes of the region and receive a recipe book to take home. Your farewell dinner will follow and consist of the fruits of your own afternoon labors.
Friday – Arrivederci! Checkout and Departure
Departure to Bologna airport or train station after breakfast at the hotel
• 5 nights in lovely four star hotel, breakfast included
• 3 Italian cooking lessons with English assistance
• 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 guided food market visit in English
• 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)
• Private car (or minivan) with driver for all the excursions listed in the program
• Local tour director throughout your week
• All local taxes
• Airline ticket
• Personal expenses of any kind (ex: room services, meals when not listed, etc)
• Everything not written in the program
• Trip and Travel Cancellation insurance - Highly recommended