Medieval splendours meet world-class gastronomy
- Absorb yourself in some of Italy's most historic cities
- Sample excellent Italian cuisine where it began, from parma ham to parmesan
- Stroll along endless food markets and indulge each evening in charming trattorias
- Stay among Bologna's plethora of medieval gems
- 2 Nights Bologna
- 1 Night Cervia
- 1 Night Ravenna
- 1 Night Ferrara
- 1 Night Modena
- 1 Night Parma
- 1 Night Piacenza
Food & wine | History & culture | Self-drive | Short break
This gastronomic celebration will see you explore medieval history in Italy with guided tours of the Emilia Romagna region of Piacenza, Palma, Modena and Bologna. You’ll explore Byzantine churches and a plethora of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Ravenna, absorb yourself in Parma's Romanesque buildings and relax on Rimini’s sandy shores. Known for its gastronomy, alongside exploring its splendours you'll sample the likes of parma ham, ragu, parmesan and balsamic vinegar where they began, showcased in cosy trattorias and food markets. It's all knitted together with stays in central, elegant hotels and included transfers throughout.
Day by day itinerary
UK to Bologna
Begin your holiday with complimentary airport lounge access and your flight to Bologna. You'll pick up your car at the airport and head for your stunning hotel on the outskirts of Bologna set amongst a lush green landscape, with breath-taking views. Spend the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying spa treatments, or indulge in some Emilia-Romagna cuisine. Alternatively make the short drive into Bologna for a first look at the gastronomic capital where you will discover, among a maze of arcaded streets, such region-defining highlights as tortellini, prosciutto, Parmigiano Reggiano and, of course, bolognese.
San Marino & Cervia
After breakfast, drive to Parma for tastings at a famous Prosciutto di Parma producer, also enjoy a guided tour of its Romanesque buildings such as the fresco-lined Parma Cathedral, 19th century opera house Teatro Regio and the Galleria Nazionale, featuring artwork by Correggio and Canaletto.
After lunch visit a Parmigiano-Reggiano dairy, view the production of what the Italians call the king of cheese; parmesan. Then, drive to Modena where we’ve included a Red Lambrusco tasting session, the famous wine of this region, before a guided tour of the city. Highlights include the Enzo Ferrari Museum, the Ghirlandina Tower with panoramic city views and the Modena Cathedral, whose Romanesque façade plays host to a bell tower and intricate frescoes. The crowning glory of this region, though, is balsamic vinegar, and we've included a visit to one of the city's best suppliers. Then, return to your stunning hotel on the outskirts of Bologna.
Today you'll head out on two city tours of Bologna, perhaps most famous, though, are Bologna’s food markets, from Via Rizzoli’s cheese to Osteria del Sole's excellent wines, you will enjoy a food tour and tastings. In the afternoon a city tour will unveil medieval colonnades, theatres, and endless porticoes. Head to the Towers of Bologna, indulge at the cafes of the Piazza Maggiore, and explore the Gothic church and Neptune’s famous fountain. Then, return for an evening of culinary delights; we particularly like Trattoria Anna Maria for home-made pastas and Ristorante Pappagallo for creative takes on classic Italian dishes.
After breakfast, head to Ravenna for a city tour, where stunning mosaics line every corner. Many of the churches and artwork are UNESCO-listed sites, including the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo and the Chapel of Sant'Andrea, the only preserved chapel from the early Christian era. Take the opportunity to head to the shore for a break in the charming towns of Cesenatico or Milano Marittima, or the small villages of Comacchio which lies on an amazing lagoon, or Cervia famous for its salt production.
Upon return to Bologna, head back to your accommodation for your final night. Perhaps sample one last true taste of Emilia-Romagna cuisine at the Trattoria Le Marzoline, with dishes such as Bolognese Cutlet, or Risotto with smoked Squacquerone cheese.
Bologna to UK
After breakfast, enjoy a stroll around Castel San Pietro Terme, a small spa town located at the foot of the green hills of Bologna, the historic town centre has a 17th and 18th century appearance characterised by traditional porticoes. Return your car to the airport for your flight back to the UK.
Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.
9-day tailor-made self-drive
from £1,070 pp
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