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Bologna, Italy

Gastronomy & History of Emilia Romagna

5-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,450 pp incl. flights


Short description

Medieval splendours meet world-class gastronomy

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  • 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

In Brief

  • 1 Night Parma
  • 3 Nights Bologna


Recommended for:
Food & wine | History & culture | Self-drive | Short break

This 5-day tour 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

Day 1
UK to Bologna/Parma

Begin your holiday with complimentary airport lounge access and your flight to Bologna. You'll pick up your car at the airport and head to Parma, stopping for lunch and tastings at a famous Prosciutto di Parma producer, in Parma you'll 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. You'll stay in the stunning Sina Maria Luigia in the heart of the UNESCO-listed city, featuring ultra-modern rooms interspersed with historic accents. Tonight, sample one of Parma's excellent restaurants, such as Parizzi, featuring the likes of smoked pork with truffle and scallops with the region's speciality, parma ham. 

Stay: Sina Maria Luigia, Parma (Superior/Deluxe)

Meals: L

Day 2
Parma & Modena

After breakfast, visit a Parmigiano-Reggiano dairy, to 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, continue to Bologna, where you'll check in to your stunning hotel for the next three nights, the Corona d'Oro, an elegant display of frescoed ceilings and Art Nouveau décor, continued in the rooms' classic and delicate furnishings.

Stay: Corona d’Oro, Bologna (Superior) or Grand Hotel Majestic "gia Baglioni", Bologna (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 3

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.

Stay: Corona d’Oro, Bologna (Superior) or Grand Hotel Majestic "gia Baglioni", Bologna (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 4

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 in the city. Perhaps sample one of Bolgona's best eateries, such as wine cellar restaurant I Portici, offering freshly made pasta and fish.

Stay: Corona d’Oro, Bologna (Superior) or Grand Hotel Majestic "gia Baglioni", Bologna (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 5
Bologna to UK

After breakfast, enjoy a final stroll around Bologna's charming streets and transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK.

Meals: B



Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

5-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,450 pp incl. flights


Low Season

from £1,450 pp. incl. flights

High Season

from £1,560 pp. incl. flights


  • Complimentary UK airport departure lounge access
  • Return flights between UK and Bologna
  • Car hire in Economy vehicle for the duration of the itinerary
  • Guided visit and lunch at Parma Ham (proscuitto) producer
  • Private guided tour of Parma
  • 1 nt accommodation in Parma on a B&B basis
  • Guided visit at a Parmigiano-Reggiano Dairy for Parmesan tasting
  • Lambrusco Tasting, entry to the Enzo Ferrari Museum and private guided tour of Modena
  • Balsamic Vinegar tasting in Modena
  • 3 nts accommodation in Bologna on a B&B basis
  • Small Group food tour with tasting in Bologna
  • Private guided tour of Bologna and entry to the Asinelli Tower
  • Private guided tour of Ravennna

*Car parking is provided by both properties included on the itinerary and can be reserved at the time of booking, however may have to be paid locally

*Supplements will apply during Parma Fair periods - selected dates in Mar / May and Oct

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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