A long list of must-visit places for food and art lovers. Taste Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Prosciutto di Parma, culatello and balsamic vinegar. From the scenic Adriatic Sea to the gentle hills of Umbria and Marche.
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A full immersion in the best value appellations and culinary traditions of these smaller yet trendy regions. This itinerary conveniently starts in Milan and ends in Rome, giving you plenty of choices to continue exploring on your own.
- Suggested Number of Days: 10 to 14
- Suggested Airports to fly in/out: Milan/Rome
- Transportation: Private cars and drivers, high-speed trains, private boat in Venice laguna
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FROM MILANO TO EMILIA ROMAGNA
Meet your personal driver or collect your rental car at the Milano airport and head to the region of Emilia-Romagna. After approximately one hour stop in Fontanellato, a small “borgo” containing a little more than 6,000 inhabitants and recognized as one of the “Borghi più Belli d’Italia” (most beautiful hamlets of Italy). Enjoy some leisure time to walk around the village on our own before hitting the road again. Check in the hotel in Reggio Emilia where you will stay for 3 nights.
IN THE HEART OF PARMIGIANO AND BALSAMIC VINEGAR PRODUCTION
After breakfast, depart for the countryside. Stop at a typical "caseificio" farm and learn all about the DOP Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Transfer to Parma and spend a few hours on a “gourmet food tour” in the town’s tastiest shops! How many different DOP appellations of prosciutto and salami can there be? Prosciutto di Parma, Culatello di Zibello, various cheeses and olive oil. Your guide will help you navigate. You will certainly appreciate the walking aspect of the tour after having indulged in so much amazing food. You will then transfer to the area of the Lambrusco Reggiano DOC, in the valley of the Enza River. Visit the wine museum, take a look at the balsamic vinegar cellars and vineyards, and conclude our visit with a tasting of wines, balsamic vinegars and local food. Culatello: The King of Cured Meats: visit an aging cellar where the culatello (the inner, best part of the prosciutto) spends its time maturing in the fresh air of the region. It is here that it builds all of its flavours and aromas, making it one of the most sought-after food delicacies.
THE LEGEND OF THE FERRARI MARANELLO
Arrive at Ferrari in Maranello, visit the Ferrari Museum where those that are interested can hit the road driving a Ferrari (for an extra charge). Spend some time in the trendy Maranello village and then move on to our next experience: a treat of Modena balsamic vinegar (Aceto Balsamico di Modena), which Italy considers to be its “black gold”. Your visit features history and folklore at the Museum and a visit to the refining and aging rooms, including where the eldest vinegars are aged. We will arrange a lunch at the acetaia, featuring local products such as Parmigiano, pearls of balsamic vinegar, focaccia, and of course, Emilia-Romagna wines.
FROM EMILIA TO MARCHE
After breakfast and check out head to Le Marche with a stop in Bologna, home of Ragù, Tortellini, Fettuccine, Mortadella, and much more. Learn it all during our cooking class in Bologna, and enjoy the fruits of our labour by treating ourselves to Emilia-Romagna wines paired with lunch. After lunch, depart for Portonovo on the Riviera del Cornero, on the Adriatic Sea. This drive is approximately two-hours long, depending on traffic. If you are enjoying the service of our private driver, it is totally allowed to take a nap after a Bolognese lunch. The driver will totally understand! At arrival, settle in for a comfortable three-night stay in an ancient military fortress on the sea. It is located on the most beautiful section of the Adriatic coast: Monte Conero, which also lends its name to a prestigious DOCG wine appellation.
Day 5 and Day 6
TWO DAYS IN MARCHE
A couple of days full immersed in the wonderful blend of culture, history, food and wine of Marche. Visit the towns of Montecarotto and Ostra Vetere, which are two hidden gems famous for their wine production of Verdicchio and Lacrima – two indigenous grape varieties only grown here. Experience ancient food such as Cicerchie and Lonzino di fico and learn all about the character of the region, from the spectacular Adriatic Coast to the agriculturally rich hills. Explore the Verdicchio countryside in Jesi and Matelica and much more! If you are traveling in Spring you will taste splendid artichokes dishes such as fettuccine ai carciofi, seasoned with fresh artichokes and mushrooms, typical of this region.
FROM MARCHE TO UMBRIA AND THE ENCHANTING TOWN OF ASSISI
Check out of your hotel, meet our driver and drive west towards Umbria. After lunch, cross the Appennini Mountains and reach your destination in Umbria. We will arrange for you a visit to some of the most pictoresque and historical villages in Umbria, such as Assisi, Perugia and Torgiano, which offer an incredible mix of ancient history, art and vibrant modernity.
DISCOVER THE BEST UMBRIAN FOOD
Depart for Lago Trasimeno, site of the famous battle of Hannibal in 217 B.C., which caused the worst military defeat of the Roman Empire in history. The strategy used by Hannibal at the time is still used as a case study in NATO staff colleges for high-ranking officers. Stop at an Azienda Agricola to immerse ourselves in the world of olive oil production and have a chance to taste various extra virgin olive oils with different characteristics and food pairing. Time at leisure in the afternoon in Perugia.
BEVAGNA: THE HEART OF MEDIEVAL UMBRIA
To celebrate the last day of your beautiful journey, embark on a Middle Age excursion to the charming village of Bevagna, located approximately 15km from Assisi. Here you can hands-on experience three typical Medieval jobs and the tools and techniques associated with them. This includes the making of paper in an ancient paper mill, the making of candles and the making of silk.
SOME MORE IDEAS:
PERUGIA - ART AND CHOCOLATE!
From Torgiano drive to Perugia, which is brimming with amazing art, history and chocolate. Meet our local guide, discover the city on foot for a couple of hours and stop for a chocolate tasting, of course!
THE FATHERS OF UMBRIA WINES - GIORGIO LUNGAROTTI & ARNALDO CAPRAI
Umbria has two prestigious DOCG wine appellations:
-- Torgiano Rosso Riserva, which you can experience in the town of Torgiano
-- Sagrantino di Montefalco, which is only produced in the small hamlet of Montefalco. Your challenge will be to understand the myth and world-wide popularity of these two red wines.
IL TARTUFO NERO - UMBRIA'S GOLD
A great lunch-stop and learning opportunity at this family home where they have been proudly researching and hunting for truffles with their trained dogs for generations. Of course, our journey would not be complete without a truffle based lunch!
FROM UMBRIA TO ROME
After breakfast and check out, our driver will be ready to transfer you to the airport in time for your return flight or to a hotel in Rome to continue your vacation!
INCLUDED IN THIS ITINERARY
- Private winery tours and tastings in premium appellation areas in the regions of: Emilia-Romagna, Marche, Umbria.
- Private tours of historical sites with local experts, as per itinerary.
- Gourmet culinary tour in the town of Parma.
- Visits to production farms for Aceto Balsamico di Modena, Parmigiano Reggiano and culatello.
- Visit to the town of Fontanellato, awarded among the "Borghi piu' belli d'Italia".
- Visit to the Ferrari factory and tracks with the possibility of riding one!
- Stroll through the small village streets in Bevagna and Assisi in the region of Umbria.
- Many memorable meals in typical trattorie and ristoranti where you will fully absorb the traditional cuisine, customs and lifestyle of this incredible part of Italy!
- Hand-picked hotels with every effort made to choose the best-rated available in the tour travel areas.
- Breakfasts, plus a variety of lunches or dinners as per tour itinerary, including two glasses of wine.
- Comfortable private vehicles with a professional licensed driver
- Use of professional local guides when touring areas of significant historical / artistic / cultural importance.
NOT INCLUDED IN OUR ITINERARIES
- Trip cancellation, interruption and medical insurance.
- Gratuities and city hotel taxes.