Transfer to the airport for your flight to Bologna. On arrival you will be transferred to the 4* Hotel Mazzanti or similar.
Day 02 Bologna - Old Town, Food Market and FICO Food Park
Bologna, one of the most beautiful and best-preserved historic districts in Europe with many towers from the Middle Ages and around 40km of arcades which connect the pedestrian areas, squares, churches and palaces. A guided tour through the old university city, San Petronio Basilica, and the Neptune Fountain (some entrance charges apply), also into the hustle and bustle of the daily food market. Onto FICO, the world’s largest Italian Food Park and the enormity of the entire production chain with more than 200 animals and 2000 types of Italian crops on show. We enjoy a glass of local wine.
Day 03 - Walls and Wine in Urbino
We visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Urbino, one of Italy’s most important Renaissance towns, after Florence, and the birthplace of Raphael. The magnificent Ducal Palace which houses the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche with its precious paintings by Raphael, Piero della Francesca, and Tiziano (entrance extra) before continuing to the house where Raphael was born (entrance extra). The Marche wine region, or ‘the New Tuscany’, is one of Italy’s last untouched wine regions and a must for gourmet travelers. We enjoy a wine tasting of the area’s wines with a snack at a local wine producer.
Day 04 - Modena and the secrets of balsamic vinegar
Modena, the city of Ferrari and Maserati is not only rich but also very beautiful. Piazza Grande with the Cathedral, Ghirlandina bell tower and the Town Hall are amongst the cultural monuments that have been named UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is also famous as the birthplace of the late Italian opera singer, Luciano Pavarotti. After our city tour, we visit a balsamic vinegar cellar where we learn about the traditions and production techniques that guarantee the excellent quality of this vinegar. Balsamic vinegar begins on the vine with ripe, white Trebbiano grapes. The vinegar is made by boiling grape juice and moving the juice year after year into increasingly smaller casks made of different kinds of wood, including oak, cherry, and chestnut. Each producer boasts a different combination of casks and woods, it is the wood itself that affects the flavour and aroma. Our visit ends with a tasting of this excellence with a snack.
Day 05 - The salt flats of Cervia
A visit to the city of salt reveals the charm of a place of ancient origins but which was completely rebuilt at the end of the 17th century, to create a ‘model city’ where one of the most precious raw materials of antiquity was produced; white gold, better known as salt. St. Michael’s Tower, built for defence of the city against pirate’s raids. The suggestive fountain of The Suspended Carpet is well worth a visit. We stop for a seafood lunch before continuing to Cervia’s salt flats which produce a beautiful, sweet white salt.
We leave the culinary heart of Italy and transfer to the airport for the flight home.