With Bologna as the region's capital and more or less dividing line, Emilia-Romagna consists of two distinct areas. Emilia, named after its ancient Roman-built Via Emilias with its flourishing provinces to the west of Bologna. Romagna on the other hand occupies the east of Bologna and includes the entire territory to the Adriatic Sea, the historic town of Ravenna and the well-known resort of Rimini.
This region is the home to the "Motor Capitals" of Italy. In fact, it is home to Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ducati, Maserati... among others. It is also, arguably, the most important and varied regions in terms of gastronomy: parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, Parma ham... World famous "Italian food" staples: lasagne, Spaghetti alla Bolognese, tortellini....
Emilia-Romagna has given many remarkable artists and professionals to Italy and the world such as opera stars Luciano Pavarotti and Mirella Freni, composer Giuseppe Verdi, film directors Federico Fellini and Pupi Avati. Fashion guru Giorgio Armani, the amazing painter Ligabue, popular singers Lucio Dalla, Vasco Rossi, Francesco Guccini and Zucchero Fornaciari, and poet Giovanni Pascoli are also from this area. Of course, we must also include Enzo Ferrari and Ferruccio Lamborghini, world famous automobile makers. Endless the possibilities for events here: car rallies, visit to farms and wine producers to taste local products and the various museums dedicated to the regional DOC products, visits and events at the auto manufacturers, gastronomic and cultural itineraries through the important art cities.... just to name a few.
The pleasures of fine food and wine have been at home in Emilia-Romagna for countless centuries. This is the land of interminable platters of fresh-off-the-boat grilled fish, Parma ham, Parmesan cheese "Parmigiano Reggiano", balsamic vinegar from Modena and Reggio Emilia, crusty loaves from Ferrara, the traditional "Piadina", piada bread of Romagna, the pungent cheese of Sogliano, ripened for 6 months in underground caves, the stuffed tortellini noodles of Bologna and the pork brawn of Piacenza
Suggestion 1: Vip Gourmet Experience
This tour is a mix of shopping, enogastronomy, culture, and history, with the guarantee of unique moments.
Day 1 : Dive into Bologna’s history during a special discovery tour and learn some curious facts. Need a break from this view on the city ? A shopping therapy may be in order through fashion across Bologna, which is one of the most important fashion cities.
Meeting point for the aperitif is your hotel. Café Baglioni welcomes you with a typical cocktail accompanied by mortadella and regional Parmesan cheese slices. Enjoy a candlelight dinner in the prestigious Caracci restaurant, a very special once-in-a-lifetime moment.
Day 2 : Learn about the Medieval food market, with focus on history & traditions of Bologna. A demonstration will show you how to make traditional tortellini (fresh pasta). Continue to Becarri’s salsamenteria to hear the history of mortadella from the third century BC right up until modern times. In the afternoon we offer you a ‘hands-on’ cooking workshop with a Bolognese ‘cesarina’ : an impressive discovery of the secrets of Bolognese cuisine by first-hand experience. Enjoy your meal prepared in class !
Day 3 : Your personal chauffeur brings you to the next destination : artisan farms and food production sites. They build the reputation of Bologna and Emilia-Romagna being a great enogastronomic region in Italy. Visit a Prosciutto di Parma and Parmegiano Reggiano cheese production site with tastings. Hear about the famous vinegar ‘Aceto di balsamico di Modena’ during an ‘acetaio’-tour… And last but not least : a vineyard where the typical Emilia-Romagna DOC-labelled wines are produced.
Osteria De’ Poeti, one of the oldest and most popular restaurants in Bologna, welcomes you for dinner : enjoy live jazz band music and the regional Bolognese cuisine.
Suggestion 2: Bologna, a metropolitan jungle
Whatever you thought rafting was before, you should necessarily change your conception of it when rafting along the Moline channel in the heart of Bologna’s historical centre. A thrilling experience ! This guided tour will be concluded by a caving expedition along the route of the underground stream Aposa.
Suggestion 3: Magic Bologna
A guided promenade through Bologna that will tell you stories and legends about the magic mysteries of the city, with several theme options : erotic Bologna, witches and wizards, astrologers and soothsayers, alchemists and foretellers,…
Suggestion 4: TraGhetto
Actors tell you the story about an underground Bologna, during a guided tour.
Suggestion 5: Historical shops in Bologna
Guided tour through Bologna. Stroll along the craft shops in the historical centre. Taste and savour the atmosphere in these charming narrow streets. A short -but powerful- visit to the Università di Bologna and other historical monuments. Enjoy lunch in a typical salumi bar, followed by a visit to the Basilica on top of the ‘Portici’ (arcaded porticoes). Walk back to the centre along the Portici, this way brings you to the Mambo Contemporary Art Museum. A very peculiar programme led by the local Psychology-guide offers a special look at your own self. Surprisingly we discover our hidden side on the basis of modern art with a wink to the past of Italy …
Suggestion 6: Bologna by bike
A very special tour where you discover the outskirts and a section of historic Bologna. From quiet places outside the city to busy downtown.
Suggestion 7 : Theme visits Food & Wine Bologna area
All these food & wine itineraries represent the heritage of the typical products of this region:
- Strada del Culatello di Zibello (parmigiano reggiano, culatello, etc… )
- Strada dei Vini e dei Sapori dei Colli Piacentini Gran Padano CAP, provolone valpadana CAP, tartufo, salame, coppa & pancetta piacentina CAP)
- Strada del Prosciutto e dei Vini dei Colli di Parma, tartufo nero di Fragno, parmegiano reggiano, prosciutto di Parma, etc ...)
- Strada del Fungo Porcino di Borgotaro
- Strada dei vini e dei sapori delle Corti Reggiane
- Strada dei vini e dei sapori colline di Scandiano e Canossa
- Strada dei vini e dei sapori della Pianura Modenese
- Strada dei vini e dei sapori Città Castelli Ciliegi (foothills between Modena and Bologna)
- Strada dei vini e dei sapori dei Colli d’Imola
- Strada dei vini e dei sapori della Provincia di Ferrara
- Strada del Sangiovese e dei colline di Faenza
- Strada dei vini e dei sapori dei Colli di Forli e Cesena (The Wine and Dine Route)
- Strada dei Vini e dei sapori dei Colli di Rimini
One by one enriching routes with various programmes.
A tour in honor of the many famous people who were born in this region : opera composer Giuseppe Verdi, opera singer Luciano Pavarotti, conductor Arturo Toscanini and film directors Fellini, Bertolucci, Antonioni; without forgetting writer Umberto Eco and painters Correggio, Parmigianino, Reni, and Morandi.
As the home base for tortellini, Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma and the traditional Aceto di Balsamico, Emilia has everything you need for a full day programme. 18 DOC/DOCG wines, 12 IGT wines, tastings, site visits, hands-on cooking classes and workshops. Choose a theme, prepare your own lunch, and… buon appetito !
Suggestion 10: The Motor Valley Tour
An unmissable appointment for those who wish to experience the Emilia-Romagna’s Motor Valley in an exclusive way, where men have made the history of the mechanics excellence : Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini and Ducati. Visit the “Enzo and Dino Ferrari” in Imola, the Santamonica racing circuit in Misano Adriatico and many private collections of these legendary four-wheelers. Enjoy a top lunch between the engines in the Ferrari Gallery, etc ... Motorcycle enthusiasts, let us surprise you !
Suggestion 11: Sport in Emilia Romagna
Not only food, wine and engines are famous here… There are also many opportunities for those who want to explore this area in a more active way. No less than 27 golf courses along the coastline and near cities, cycling through the sloping landscape and the Apennines. Canoeing and rafting, sailing and beach sports, special trekking & horse riding trails, birdwatching and orientated trails in the parks.
Suggestion 12: Accademia Barilla
TopAuthentic Bologna cooking classes, half a day or a full day : the best way to appreciate the traditional Bolognese cooking family-traditions : everyday cooking, with focus on making ragu and tortellini. A half-day workshop can perfectly be combined with a guided tour ‘historic Bologna’ or sport : rafting, cycling ... see our other programmes.
By visiting the local producers of traditional food and wine, you discover the secrets, the diversity and richness of Italian products. Meeting those who have dedicated their life to upholding centuries of tradition gives Academia Barilla students the opportunity to understand the links between land, climate, and cultural heritage, and to appreciate the uniqueness of authentic Italian food.
- Prosciutto di Parma artisan producers
- Parmigiano Reggiano cheesemakers
- Traditional balsamic vinegar
- Local vineyard tour and tasting
- Artisan producers of salami and cured meat
- Market tour in search of authentic ingredients
Suggestion 13 : Wine & Taste Tour
A varied programme with lots of visits.
Day 1 : guided tour to a production site of Prosciutto di Parma, a wine cellar in the Colli di Parma, Torrechiara & Felino Castle, and Salami museum.
Day 2 : we present a guided tour with tastings to a dairy farm where Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is produced. A visit to the historical centre of Parma (Duomo, Farnese Theatre) and of course a ‘light-hearted’ activity in particular shopping in Fidenza Village Outlet which is the most chic shopping site of Emilia-Romagna.
Day 3 : focus on Modena, guided tour at the Ferrari museum, and visit with tasting of the traditional Balsamic Vinegar at a production site.
Suggestion 14: The Cultural Tour
Day 1 : Starting with Bologna : the city hall, Piazza Maggiore and surrounding area, Piazza del Nettuno, the Basilica of San Petronio, Palazzo Archiginnasio, and the narrow streets of the medieval-looking centre. Short course on the hand-made tortellini-pasta, followed by a typical lunch and continuation of the tour with Basilica San Domenico, Basilica San Stefano, the Jewish Ghetto, the portici, etc…
Day 2 : is entirely devoted to Parma from historical and cultural perspective. Highlights are the visit to an aging cellar of Culatello di Zibello (prime-cut ham) and dinner in a typical restaurant.
Day 3 : is dedicated to Modena with guided visit to the centre. A light lunch will be served in an Acetaia (vinegar loft) where the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is produced. Ferrari fans will enjoy the visit of the Galleria Ferrari in Maranello.
Day 4 : In Cremona we visit the old town centre, the Ponchielli Theatre and Art Gallery, and a violins maker’s workshop.
Day 5 : Mantua is on our planning for the last day : tasting of the local specialty, torta sbrisolona, which is a crumbly cake, followed by a visit of the splendid Renaissance Villa of the Gonzaga family.
Suggestion 15: Excellent Taste - History - Tradition
Day 1 : Arrival in the Bassa Parmense, the lower part of Parma, where Culatello di Zibello is produced. The tour starts with a visit to a processing facility where this delicacy is made, and an introduction to the black pig that gave us such delights. Time for a typical lunch and mini-cruise on the river Po, followed by visit of the castle Rocca dei Rossi di San Secondo.
Day 2/morning : dedicated to Parmigiano Reggiano (discovery of the whole production process) and tasting sessions of various delicious products, based on Parmigiano. Afternoon : you will learn all about the aging process of Aceto Balsamico with tasting of several different ages.
Day 3 : Thorough introduction to Prosciutto di Parma, Salame di Felino and mortadella. Visit an olive oil-botanic garden and learn the different qualities and their use in food, cosmetics & herbal products. Afternoon session with visits to Torrechiara Castle, Felino Castle and Salame di Felino Museum.
Suggestion 16: Verdi
Discover Parma’s Medieval centre and lunch at a restaurant with local Parma cheese cuisine or in a Verdi site with musical aperitif. Afterwards you will be guided through the musical itinerary in Parma (house in which Toscanini was born, Verdi Monument, etc…). Enjoy an evening session at the Regio Theatre in Parma, the Verdi Theatre in Busseto or during a performance at the ‘Arrigo Boito’ Conservatory.
Suggestion 17: Parma, Modena, Ferrara Cathedrals
Day 1 : historical visit of the Parma Cathedral, the Monastery and the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista with the Ancient Pharmacy. Local specialities lunch followed by a visit at Fidenza (Duomo and Museum Diocesano), and the Abbey of San Bernardo in Fontevivo.
Day 2 : visit of the historical centre of Modena : the Duomo, the Ghirlandina tower and Piazza Grande which has been recognised by Unesco as a World Heritage Site. Transfer to Nonantola : visit to San Silvestro Abbey, and a production site where traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is produced.
Day 3 : Visit of Ferrara starting in the historical centre. Admire the Cathedral with the work of the 12th century sculptor Nicholaus, followed by the imposing Renaissance bell tower, and the Cathedral Museum.
Suggestion 18: Slow Driving Tours
One day adventure in 50s, 60s, 70s classic cars on scenic countryside roads. During these thematic tours you will enjoy typical Bolognese wines like Lambrusco, and Culatello di Zibello tastings. Visit the production sites of Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma. Living la Dolce Vita : enjoy nature, food, wine and culture.
Suggestion 19: Bacchus and Venus Day
Regain contact with nature, create your new self : Massages with Lambrusco Grasparossa grapes, face masks made from balsamic vinegar extract or take a bath in grape juice. Delicious light lunch with regional products that Mother Nature provides.