The Via Emilia, the Valley of Wonders.

The Via Emilia, the Strada dei Sapori par excellence, the ancient Roman way of communication between the Adriatic and northern Italy and then Europe, the way of products known all over the world, food and not, because Emilia is the Food Valley but also the Welness Valley and the Motor Valley, a land of well-being and land of engines and does not surprise this combination, because here the territory is a harmonious whole with passions and functional to the quality of life. A trip along this road is part of those things that you have to do once in a lifetime, even two, three, as many as you want, will always be a pleasant surprise.

What will we do::

  • Day 1 – Arrival in Parma and visit of the city
  • Day 2 – Parmesan cheese and the Castle of Torrechiara.
  • Day 3 – Zibello, Culatello, Po and Villa Pallavicina
  • Day 4 – Parma – Modena – Bologna, with a visit to Ferrari
  • Day 5 – Bologna, the city
  • Day 6 – The land of the Balsamico di Modena vinegar
  • Day 7 – The Village of Dozza, the Rocca and the Wine cellar
  • Day 8 – Bologna – Ravenna with a stop in Brisighella (possible Cocking Class on the farm)
  • Day 9 – Ravenna, the city
  • Day 10 – The Fossa cheese and San Marino
  • Day 11 – Options
  • Day 12 – Departure to your next destination

First day – Parma

We arrive in Parma and settle in the hotel and then begin the visit of the city of Verdi.

We start the day by meeting our guide who will take you to know the most important streets, squares and monuments of the capital of the ancient and rich Duchy of Parma and Piacenza. The city is famous in the world for Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma, but these two products are only a part of the important gastronomic heritage that includes many other products related to the territory and that make a good show of themselves in the 8 food museums scattered throughout the Parma area.

Parma is also art, culture and music, so our itinerary is organized to offer you a complete view of this beautiful city on the Via Emilia.

A slow day full of surprises, flavors and smiles, in complete safety.

Free evening, but we are and will always be available for information and also to better organize your dinner, in the city or in the surroundings.

Second day – Parmigiano Reggiano, Torrechiara Castle and langhirano Ham Museum

The day begins early to be able to witness the “rise” of the forms of Parmigiano Reggiano in a beautiful dairy not far from the center. We will appreciate with our guide the stages of processing and, in the end, we will taste the various seasonings.

We will continue the day taking the road to Langhirano, where we will visit the Parma Ham Museum and at the end of the visit we will taste this specialty known all over the world.

A few minutes by road to get to the farm with a panoramic view of the city of Parma, to have lunch with the flavors of local products.

In the afternoon visit to the beautiful Castle of Torrechiara, which, built in the mid-fifteenth century by the magnificent Pier Maria Rossi and still perfectly preserved, is the Kingdom of the love story between Pier Maria Rossi and the beloved Bianca Pellegrini, a fairy tale that we will tell you between the three rows of imposing walls and golden rooms.

In the late afternoon return to Parma.

Third day – The plain, the great river and its secrets.

Today we head towards the River Po’, precisely in Zibello, a small town that hides a millenary passion that has given us one of the most precious products of this region, precious and exclusive because only in these 5 square kilometers the Culatello di Zibello is produced. We will visit the Antica Corte Pallavicina, a splendid village / castle transformed into a farmhouse and restaurant that offers all the products of the place.

After visiting the court we will pass to the Culatello Museum and then the Azienda Agricola alle Sale Nobili, before sitting at the table and tasting the dishes that chef Massimo Spigaroli will prepare for us.

In the afternoon return to Parma passing through the Castle of Torrebianca and the splendid Reggia di Colorno, now home to ALMA, the International School of Italian Cuisine.

Final evening with dinner in the historic place in the center of Parma.

Fourth day, traveling from Parma to Bologna.

Only 30 kilometers to travel by car and in a few minutes and you arrive in Reggio Emilia for a stop in the city of the Tricolore as here, in 1797, the banner was adopted which then became the national flag. Known today for its gastronomy, for the quality of life and, internationally, for the “most beautiful kindergartens in the world”, Reggio is also a city of art. Its symbols are the seventeenth-century Basilica della Ghiara and the famous Municipal Theater.

Two roads of flavors, that of the wines and flavors of Scandiano and Canossa and that of the Corti Reggiane, in both cases dominate the Parmigiano Reggiano whose cradle is in Bibbiano, the balsamic vinegar of Reggio Emilia, the cappelletti and the wines.

We continue for another 80 kilometers and when the dome of San Luca appears we will know that we are near Bologna, the capital of the region and one of the most important and beautiful cities in Italy.

Fifth day – Bologna the Learned, the Ghiotta, the Red.

We will start our day at Pizza XX Settembre, in front of the Pincio staircase that leads to the Montagnola Park, the Central Park of the felsinea city (for the Etruscans, Bononia for the Romans). We will descend along Via dell’Indipendenza calmly to discover its secrets, some surprising and maybe taste the famous Bologna ice cream.

Below we will stop at the Mercato delle Erbe and then Piazza Maggiore, the streets of the Mercato di Mezzo and the shops overflowing with the products that have always made Bologna the gastronomic capital of the country. Then the fascinating Piazza Santo Stefano and its Church of the Seven Churches, we will cross the beautiful Corte Isolani to find ourselves on Via Maggiore and discover another curious secret of the ancient city.

Arrived under the two towers, we will have time to have lunch with the typical Bolognese products, and then, after a nice coffee, continue the day going up the Colle della Guardia where the imposing Basilica of San Luca stands out, an icon for the Bolognese, of faith or not. We will end the day passing through the wonderful arcades of via Farini and archigginasio, the ancient university of Bologna, the first city in the world to have a degree course and a headquarters (1088). We will end our day in Piazza Maggiore, in front of the Palace of King Enzo and the splendid Sala Borse, a meeting place and studies loved by the Bolognese and with good reason.

Sixth day – The magic of passions that have no time.

This day we dedicate it to the Strada dei Castelli e Ciliegi, in the hills between Bologna and Modena, two friendly and enemy cities that share the authorship of the invention of tortellini of which we will tell you more along the way.

Immediately after crossing the Panaro River we meet Vignola, famous all over the world for its cherries. In addition to the red gold Vignola also has a beautiful and perfectly preserved Rocca to show (admission 10,00 €). And we are already in the lands of the Black Gold, the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, I believe that few products identify so intensely with the territory that produces them.

A thousand-year history that resembles more than a fairy tale of which we have “official” news only from the second half of the ‘700, but in reality it is known that the Romans already brought it in military campaigns as a “balm” against health problems and against the intake of spoiled foods. Those customs have been handed down to the present day, so immutable that we can see in the vinegar cellars barrels of several centuries still in production.

We will discover, in an ancient vinegar factory, the simplicity and the great passion behind this unique product, a product that needs at least 12 years of aging to be able to boast the name of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar, not to be confused with the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, one DOC and the other PGI, two completely different worlds in their different quality.

We will stop for lunch in a farmhouse and in the afternoon before returning we will visit (optional), the Ferrari Museum of Maranello.

In the late afternoon return to Bologna or if you prefer overnight in a farmhouse on the hills of Modena.

Seventh day – our options:

Eighth day – Traveling from Bologna to Ravenna

We continue on the Via Emilia to Faenza and then go on to the Apennines and quickly reach Brisighella, one of the most beautiful Italian villages. Brisighella is also the City of Wine, Sangiovese and Albana di Romagna and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the city of mora Romagnola and Slow city, a surprising village that has decided to focus on quality tourism to disseminate its natural, architectural and gastronomic beauties.

For this reason it is a unique place that we can visit at any time of the year. Inserted in the Regional Park of the Vena del Gesso, the city is leaning on 3 chalky cliffs on which stand the Clock Tower, the Roca Manfrediana and the Sanctuary of Monticino. Visiting Brisighella is like diving into a kaleidoscope of colors and flavors in step with the seasons.

During our stay, in addition to walking through the streets of the center, we will visit a company where extra virgin olive oil is produced, with tasting. We will know the Via degli Asini, an ancient elevated fortification then used for the transport of chalk with these animals. Lunch on the farm with tasting of the DOC wines of the territory,

In the afternoon we return to the Via Emilia visiting Faenza and its ceramics, famous all over the world, so much so that “Faiance” identifies ceramics in many languages.  In the city you can find well over sixty ceramics where artisans and artists produce certified branded objects, in shapes and decorations ranging from historical reproductions to artistic experiments.

We will visit one of the historic shops to learn the art of ceramics and start again with a personal memory. After stopping for an aperitif or a coffee in the imposing and beautiful Piazza del Popolo we will end our day in Ravenna, the ancient capital of the Eastern Roman Empire.

Ninth day – The city and its treasures.

In the footsteps of history, 8 monuments are UNESCO Heritage, an immense territory that goes from the hills of Brisighella to the beaches of Marina di Ravenna and the Valleys of Comacchio, within the Po Park. A story to envy the greatest capitals of the ancient world, a city divided between East and West, or rather, a city that unites East and West.

In its history the city has been the capital three times: capital of the Western Roman Empire (from 402 to 476), capital of the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths (from 493 to 553) and Capital of the Byzantine Exarchate (from 558 to 751), a particular district of the Byzantine Empire and included the Byzantine territories in Italy.

Visiting Ravenna in a single day is not an easy thing, but the city of Mosaic gives us a hand, with a path that chases its most important monuments and leads us to discover the beauties of Roman and Byzantine art that are confused with the history of loves and passions, those of the Italian Risorgimento, the stories of Giuseppe Garibaldi and Anita Ribeiro Garibaldi. A surprising city for the quiet of the people who walk on foot or by bicycle through the center, unguarded of cars, only art, only beauties.

Lunch based on piadine, cold cuts and squaquerone, a fresh cheese to be seasoned with herbs, fantastic.

For the evening recommended a visit to Marina di Ravenna for an evening on the seafront and a dinner of fish.

Tenth day – The Fossa Cheese and the Republic of San Marino.

Day dedicated to a territory rich in history, nature and unique gastronomic products. Just before Cesena we enter the E45, the road that connects Ravenna to Rome crossing the Apennines in a surprising journey.

In Mongelli we leave the Savio river to go into the Rubicone Valley up to Sogliano sul Rubicone. A beautiful village of 3500 people that develops around Piazza Matteotti and its Fountain of Butterflies.

What makes Sogliano special is fossa cheese, a cheese that is matured in “Fosse” dug into the ground and carefully covered with straw, where the product, protected in linen sheets is left, in the absence of oxygen, for 90 days. What is obtained is unique and inimitable, a specialty much appreciated by chefs and connoisseurs from all over the world.

The origins date back to the malatesta era, the pits were used to protect and hide from the raids of brigands and even soldiers, grains in winter and cheese in the summer. The techniques used then are the same as those used today.

We will continue our day with a stop for lunch in a beautiful farmhouse between Sogliano and our next destination, the Republic of San Marino, the oldest Republic in the world, one of the smallest.

For this half day it is enough to capture all the beauty of a promontory, Monte Titano, which overlooks the plain and embraces a spectacular panorama over the entire Romagna Riviera.

Leaving our vehicle we walk along the narrow streets of the city to the Piazza della Libertà with the Palazzo Pubblico seat of the government. From here we walk along the spectacular path of the Witches to reach the 3 medieval towers, symbol of the city. The route takes about an hour before finding ourselves back in Piazza della Liberta and having free time for photos, an aperitif or a bit of shopping.

In the late afternoon return to Ravenna, along the seafront.

Eleventh day – The options:

Twelfth Day – Departure to your next destination

End of our trip on the Via Emilia.

What is included:

  • All transports
  • Accompaniment throughout the period
  • Guided tours in Parma, Bologna, Ferrara and Ravenna
  • The entrances indicated
  • The tastings indicated
  • Lunch at Casa Artusi
  • Taxes

What is not included::

  • Personal expenses.
  • Anything not explictly specified