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Emilia-Romagna Food Tour

My wife and I are interested in any suggestions regarding guides for food tours out of Parma, Modena or Bologna as we will be traveling to the region and staying for 3 or 4 days. This could include cheese or ham production facilities, farms, restaurants, markets, etc. Various tours would be taken over multiple days and not all in one day. We realize we can ask at a local TI center and RS doesn’t cover this region in his Italy book so interested in specific recommendations. Thanks.

Posted by
6372 posts

We took a great tour in Bologna a couple of years ago; I think it was with Italian Days. Sorry I can't be more specific, but we are not at home, so I don't have access to my notes.

The tour took us to see production of Parmesano Regiano, balsamic vinegar, and prosciutto. There may have been more, as well. Lots of food and wine involved.

Posted by
7626 posts

Italian Days tour is a winner. They pick everyone up in Bologna in early morning and take you out to the production locations in the Modena countryside. Food and drink the whole time, with an enormous, fabulous lunch at the end. It’s pretty much a whole-day activity, and very much worth it.

I also took a tour from Parma, with similar stops for Parmigiano, Balsamic Vinegar, and Parma ham. The ham stop on that tour (sorry, don’t recall the name) was more interesting than the Prosciutto portion of the Italian Days tour, although both were delicious.

Posted by
522 posts

Various tours would be taken over multiple days and not all in one day.

Greatly depends how many things you want to pack in a day and don't forget the travel time! Leave the historical center of Bologna and reach the closest Parmigiano-Reggiano dairy (25 miles far) usually take 50/60 minutes with standard traffic: only as example.
Usually I suggest to do 3 or 4 stops in a day, not more. Can be done Parmigiano-Reggiano + Traditional Balsamic + Winer + Prosciutto (Modena) for example.
To visit the center of a city (like Modena or Parma or Ferrara) the best is have a whole day in each one, but have at least 3 hours is OK for an introduction. Means that in a day your can do a city and maybe one or two food stops (before or after).
As food I often like to suggest Culatello (near Parma), Formaggio di Fossa (near Sogliano), olive oil (Brisighella) and different wineries (in each province are cultivated different grapes to obtain different wines, so there is a wide range of wines).
When possible is nice include some castle (Torrechiara, Vignola, Fontanellato...) or museum (Ferrari, Lambroghini, Pavarotti, Verdi) along the route.