3 days on the hills between Modena and Bologna

On the hills between Modena and Bologna, three days of colors and flavors

Bologna and Modena, divide a few kilometers, a centuries-old rivalry, a different lifestyle and the same passion for engines and gastronomy.
Hills that contain unique flavors, plains that smell of good things, mountains that tell ancient and always modern stories. We will visit Bologna, we will cross its squares, we will listen to the sounds of a musical city, we will taste the gastronomic delights that the year made famous, we will know the most famous places and the most hidden ones, slowly. We will visit an ancient vinegar factory, a beautiful medieval village, the land of cherries, the hills of passion for good things, Parmigiano Reggiano, lambrusco, cured meats, farmhouses lost in the vineyards, a world of small great magic, like Ferrari, where quality is a way of life.

What will we do:
Day 1 – Bologna
Day 2 – Strada dei Sapori, Città, Castelli e Ciliegi.
3° Giorno – The hills of Parmigiano Reggiano

First day: A Poem called Bologna

We leave for the first of our 3 days from Piazza Medaglie d’Oro, the gateway to the city for those arriving by train in the modern Central Station of Bologna. The station is connected to Marconi airport by regular buses and a modern elevated train that in 15 minutes runs the few kilometers between the two reception centers for tourists and not. With the arrival of high speed, Bologna station has multiplied by 3.3 floors below ground, one for taxis and buses and private vehicles, one for arrivals and departures of high-speed trains, one for the immense waiting rooms, bars and services for customers.

The first day we dedicate it to the historic center of Bologna, the city of towers, good food, the city of the oldest university in the world, the city of all red roofs, hidden gardens, 42 kilometers of arcades, you could visit it on a rainy day without getting your feet wet. Bologna, a multicultural city since always.

We will start from 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 the arcades of 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 stands the imposing Basilica of San Luca, an icon for the Bolognese, of faith or not. We will end the day in Piazza Maggiore.

Second day: the magic of timeless passions

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 later.

The first wonder we will meet will be Monteveglio, a very ancient village that in the past was considered one of the most important strongholds in the area, the tower and the abbey that stand at the top of the hill where the city is located bring to mind an era of clashes and sieges. A little gem worth visiting.

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-old story that resembles more than a fairy tale of which there are “official” news only from the second half of the ‘700, but in reality already the poet Virgil (70 a.C. – 19 a.C.) in the first book of the Georgics describes a scene set in a house of peasants of his Mantua: “it is autumn …; the woman cooks the must, the sweet juice, on the fire, carefully removing with a frasca the foam from the bubbling liquid on the cauldrum». It is known that the Romans brought it into 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 the simplicity and immense 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.

The production territory extends over the entire province of Modena and the entire province of Reggio Emilia for the balsamic of Reggio Emilia. The basic ingredient is cooked grape must. The grapes used are trebbiani, lambruschi (in all their varieties), Ancellotta, Sauvignon, Sgavetta, Berzemino, Occhio di Gatta and in general the grapes of the vineyards registered in the DOC of the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia.

To end the day nothing better than a tasting of local products enriched with Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
Return to Bologna or overnight on a farm.

Third day: his majesty Parmigiano Reggiano

We are on the hills and mountains of Frignano, a beautiful area that includes the whole southern province of Modena, up to Tuscany. In this territory a particular Parmigiano Reggiano is produced, the cows are often the Bianche Modenesi, Slow Food Presidium, they produce less, they are less stressed and their milk is much richer in nutrients and fat, obtaining a particularly tasty product.

We will visit a dairy that produces in organic form, the whole supply chain, from pastures to cereals. We will witness the magic of the “rising” of the shapes, normally two at a time, and we will be accompanied step by step until the salting in brine, to end with a nice and good tasting of the various seasonings.

We will move to the kitchen for one we will participate in a small cooking class for fresh pasta and then taste the products of the farm. In the afternoon we will return to Bologna after a small Maranello stop for a visit to the Ferrari Museum (optional)

  • What’s included:
  • Hotel with breakfast
  • All transfers
  • All taxes
  • The organization of visits.
  • Accompaniment throughout the period.
  • The guided visits
  • A tasting of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and a tasting of Parmigiano Reggiano.
  • Insurance
  • 24-hour assistance throughout the tour
  • What’s not included:
  • Anything not explictly specified
  • Personal expenses.
  • Lunches and dinners unless expressly included
  • Overnight in farmhouse on demand.