IN ASSOCIATION WITH BREVARD TRAVEL and Anita Scannell
Delicious food, glorious wine, warm, hearty hospitality and fairytale sights in undiscovered, un-touristy, hassle-free Romagna.
9 day holiday- from just $1500
Experience the Best of Romagna scenery, food and wine, culture and warm hospitality, see glorious Ravenna, Venetian Cesenatico lovely Santarcangelo take a scenic train trip through the hills to Florence.
Plus… on option: learn to cook Italian in a great cookery school and take an adventure to “La Serenissima” Venice.
Land at in Rome or Milan or Venice, we can arrange your travel to Bologna to begin your experience in the beautiful, legendary land safely nestling between the Apennine mountains and the Adriatic sea.
- A day to RENAISSANCE FLORENCE by scenic train
- Exploring BOLOGNA
- Fabulous Harvest Festival in ancient SANTARCANGELO DI ROMAGNA
- Back in time with miraculous mosaics in BYZANTINE RAVENNA
- Stroll the cobbled streets of UNESCO republic SAN MARINO
- Learn to cook Italian in a TOP COOKERY CLASS (Optional extra)
- Taste: VINEYARD WINE TASTINGS/OLIVE OIL/SUPERB LOCAL FOODS
- Warm friendly ITALIAN COUNTRY HOUSE – YOUR HOME FOR A WEEK
- Comfortable personal travel in a SMALL GROUP
- Every meal a delicious culinary experience GREAT MEALS WITH WINE
- 1 night’s lovely city center accommodation in Bologna
- 7 nights accommodation with breakfasts in a lovely Italian Country house
- 7 superb Dinners or lunches including wine or soft drinks in specially-selected restaurants
- 2 fabulous vineyard wine tastings
- Tastings of local breads, prosciuttos, salamis, cheeses and olive oils
- Guided visits to Foodie capital of Italy Bologna, World Heritage Ravenna, Venetian Cesenatico, ancient Santarcangelo and lovely Longiano.
- Hosted by knowledgeable, lovely locals throughout
- Small group comfortable vehicle transport throughout
- All designed as a natural life-enhancing experience.
- Plus: 'Introduction to the Best of Romagna' Pre-tour information, Welcome pack
- On option: Full day cookery course in "Italy's best cookery school" including historic vineyard and wine tasting - and visit to Venice
COST $1500.00 per person (single room supplement $300)
If you are looking for great local and authentic Italian food, wine, art, culture and hospitality - at a reasonable price, undiscovered, unspoiled Romagna is the place to be. Here people are pleased to open their doors for you and give you a truly heartfelt warm welcome!
Experience the best of the very best food and wine, art and culture. Above all revel in the immense and heartfelt hospitality of glorious Romagna – a beautiful, legendary land safely nestling between the Apennine mountains and the Adriatic sea and as yet unspoiled by tourism.
Our team of specially-selected local co-operators include not only professional hoteliers, but great restaurateurs, hands-on vineyard owners, master cheese makers, musicians, videographers, artists, thermal spa owners, even cookery teachers.
Together, we have created a special inclusive 9 day program to offer you a taste of Romagna which incorporates accommodation, meals, wine, olive oil and specialty food tastings, daily programmes of activities and visits designed to enable you to enjoy Romagna at its sensational best from just $1500.
As ‘temporary citizens’ rather than detached tourists, Best of Romagna guests enjoy a treasure-chest of fascinating opportunities. You will be able to experience UNESCO World Heritage Byzantine Ravenna and Venetian Cesenatico, You will also be able to experience Romagna’s legacy of stunningly beautiful hills and valleys, medieval castles and some of its fabulous vistas.
And you'll experience amazing food and wine … cheeses like Squacquerone and Fossa, local wines such as Sangiovese DOC and Albana DOCG and olive oils, rare-breed prosciuttos, pickles, preserves and honeys…and fabulous fresh pasta made daily, of course. You will surely get passionate about these seasonal, fresh, treasured handcrafted products – and recipes you’ll certainly take with you and want to prepare at home.
Day 1 Friday 28 September – Welcome to Bologna
Arrival Bologna . Depending on arrival time there will be an opportunity for an early evening walking tour of this colorful medieval city. One of Italy's richest cities, Bologna is famous for its 3,000 year history, its world's oldest university, its miles of covered arcades and lovely squares, fabulous art and architecture - but above all, its FOOD and FUN.
We’ll stay overnight in a specially-selected 3 or 4 star city-center hotel such as the family-run Touring Hotel with its warm atmosphere, lovely breakfast and sensational rooftop terrace with panoramic view of Bologna. If time allows why not make a visit to Bologna’s new attraction: FICO – The Food Megapark
Bologna is a food city that awakes early so we’ll start the day with a breakfast-time tour and avoid the crowds of day trippers! It’s not for nothing that Bologna is known as ‘Fat City’ It is the food capital of Italy (and therefore the world?!) The ancient Mercato di Mezzo and the food shops, café’s and restaurants around it, all in the medieval quarter, are astonishing homes to intoxicating taste, scent and aroma which pervades the whole area and heightens appetites. Naturally our full-on guided visit will include many tastes!
Next our eyes will feast on the best of this rich, fabulous city including the Piazza Maggiore, the, Podestà Palace, Neptune’s Fountain, King Enzo’s Palace. We’ll admire the enormous Basilica of Saint Petronio. We’ll see Bologna’s gothic Merchants’ Palace, the Seven Churches complex of Saint Steven’s Basilica, and meet Asinelli and Garisenda, Bologna’s famous leaning Towers. After a very full morning, around midday we'll leave Bologna towards the country on the historic Via Emilia to Romagna.
First stop is a visit to the superb, internationally-rated organic Zuffa Vineyard and take a wine tasting in the open air, between vines. After this delightful visit, we will see the painted city of Dozza with its fabulous castle and wine heritage. Then, we'll take the short journey to the hilltop castle-town of Longiano for dinner and overnight at Alloggio San Girolamo (or a similar high grade country-house style accommodation) and enjoy the atmosphere and stunning views. Then another taste of great Romagnolo food and wine - a special welcome dinner at the Ristorante Dei Cantoni.
After a relaxed home-cooked breakfast, we'll take a short tour of lovely Longiano, seeing the fabulous medieval castle with its extraordinary views and great modern art collection, then enjoying the fabulous jewel-box theatre Petrella with its museum of masks. After, we'll cross the valley to the stunning Villa Venti where we'll taste the unique Mora Romagnola prosciuttos and salamis, plus the sensational cheeses of Renato Brancaleoni . With these delicacies we'll savor the superb organic wines Mauro and his family create in this wonderful vineyard.
Now it’s off to the fabulous festa. Santarcangelo di Romagna is a beautiful hilltop town with a massive Malatesta castle and a colourful history. The town loves its festivals no more so than the 1,000-year old ‘Bird Festival’ a massive harvest festival which takes over the whole town at the end of September. It is a real colourful delight. We’ll spend our afternoon enjoying it all.
Back to Longiano for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast we'll visit Cesenatico for a stroll in its delightful Venetian-style port, designed by Leonardo da Vinci for his patron Cesare Borgia. We'll take a fabulous lunch at La Casina followed by a visit (including entrances) to glorious Ravenna with Cinzia . This world heritage city, three times capital (of the Western Roman Empire, of Theodoric King of the Goths, and of the Byzantine Empire) is full of marvelous mosaics and stunning 1500 year old basilicas Return to Longiano for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 Tuesday 2 October - Renaissance Day – Florence by scenic train
Today we’ll start with a glorious scenic experience. We’ll leave very early and drive to Faenza to take the little train to the heart of Florence. The train starts from Faenza and climbs up the hills, crossing little medieval towns such as Brisighella (famous for its superb olive oil), Marradi (famous or its ancient sweet chestnut trees, being of the highest quality), Borgo San Lorenzo (with its age-old vineyards and olive groves, thousand-year-old churches, ancient farmhouses and geometrically laid out vegetable gardens) and goes along wild landscapes with stunning forests, streams and rivers - the best experience you can get travelling to Florence.
In the birthplace of the Medicis and the Renaissance, after this scenic journey, there will be the possibility to get a brunch or lunch at the foodie Central Market and take a stroll through this beautiful city of art. We’ll have time to see the Pitti Palace, the Piazza della Signoria, the Uffizzi, the Ponte Vecchio, the lovely Boboli Gardens, and the panoramic Belvedere amongst much, much more.
We’ll leave Florence in the early evening for our return journey to Faenza. A special dinner will be arranged at the fabulous new Spadoni restaurant – a homage to the best in Romagna food and drink and thence to Longiano for overnight.
All the week, we have enjoyed truly natural, local, fresh food, wine and sights. Today is the day to take care of your whole body and mind - our special relaxation and wellness day. Subject to availability, our own preferences, and, of course the weather, we’ll have the option to take an extra experience (surcharge) to follow a guided walk in the glorious hills, take a mountain bike or horse ride, take a yoga class in a stunning location, join in an olive or grape harvest OR take an afternoon tour to visit an artisan ceramicist in the lovely historic art and ceramic city of Faenza and a drive in Faenza’s gypsum hills to the ancient olive oil, wine and honey hilltown of Brisighella.
Dinner and overnight in Longiano.
On our (optional extra*) day excursion, we'll have the chance to experience this incredible place of history and romance. St Marks Square, Rialto Bridge, the Grand Canal, gondolas, shops and much much more.
We’ll leave very early and travel via the ancient via Popilia to the outskirts of Venice – and an extraordinary way to arrive in the city. We’ll start at the ancient seaport of Chioggia from where we’ll take the boat across the lagoon to the island of Pellestrina , here we’ll take a coach across the island and another boat to the island of Venice Lido .
From here we’ll make our glorious entrance by Vaporetto water bus across the main lagoon to the Grand Canal and past Venice’s main sights, churches, palaces, glorious colorful sights. At the Rialto Bridge we’ll commence our walking tour of discovery all the way to St Mark’s Square where a fish feast lunch is included with Adriatic specialties and a special optional gondola ride will be organized. Plenty of time explore in the afternoon after which we'll return to Longiano for overnight.
Either rest and relax in lovely Longiano or… Depart after breakfast for a really special (optional extra) full day event!
Ever wanted to learn to cook REAL Italian? Casa Artusi "The Best Cookery School in Italy" is the place. In this foundation created to honor Pellegrino Artusi, the father of Italian Cookery - you will learn to make at least seven different sorts of pasta (including local specialties). In the fully-equipped cookery school, each participant will have the services of an assistant and their own work-station. After this life-enhancing experience we will enjoy a superb lunch of local specialties – plus the pasta that we have created. At the end of the session, we’ll have presented to us, our hand-made Casa Artusi apron together with our certificate for concluding the cookery course.
We’ll then travel up to the lovely wine-village of Bertinoro and visit the historic vineyard of at Fattoria Paradiso - the most historic vineyard in Romagna. Dinner and overnight in Longiano.
Here we’ll tour the fabulous hillside estate, the medieval merchant’s house and the vineyard, after we’ll enjoy some local cheese, local olive oils and bread, plus of course we’ll taste over six of Fattoria Paradiso’s superb wines including those created for various Popes and presidents.
Without any doubt, this will be the highlight of your trip! Return to Longiano for dinner and overnight.
Day 9 Saturday 6 October - Homeward Bound or?
Return to Bologna OR why not stay a little longer in Paradise?
*Venice day excursion includes: Guide/tour manager, return transportation to Chioggia, boat and coach transport around Venice Lagoon to Venice Lido, vaporetto water boat journey along the Grand Canal, lunch in Venice, short walking tour of Venice, Venice pack. Cost $200 per person if booked and paid prior to arrival Excursion operates subject to minimum numbers.
** Cooking day excursion includes: Transportation, guide/tour manager, hands-on cookery class learning to create at least seven different sorts of pasta from scratch – all with a great chef and personal assistance, lunch of local specialties plus the pasta made on the course, hand made Casa Artusi apron to take home, personal certificate, visit to Bertinoro and tour of Fattoria Paradiso vineyard, wine tasting of at least 5 wines. Cost $200 per person if booked and paid prior to arrival. Excursion operates subject to minimum numbers.
Departure date from Bologna 2018: Friday 28 September
For further information and bookings contact:
Please note: Deposit required $200 per person to reserve arrangement. Balance payable 10 weeks prior to arrival. Cancellation terms: Initial deposit only up to 8 weeks prior to departure. 90% from 8 weeks prior to departure. Important: ALL GROUP QUOTES ARE MADE ON THE BASIS OF A MINIMUM 10 PASSENGERS - REVISIONS TO PRICES UP TO 50% WILL BE EFFECTED IF GROUPS FALL BELOW THIS FIGURE.
About the Best of Romagna - read our story HERE
IMPORTANT NOTE: Romagna away from the coast is a very un-touristy place. Unlike its near neighbors Tuscany and the Veneto, in Romagna foreign (particularly English-speaking) visitors are unusual. Here you will be treated as a guest - not a tourist!
So that you may enjoy your visit to the full, we run your experience not as a package tour but more like a group of friends having an adventure on a visit to a new and very special place. In this way we believe you will have a glorious, very different and natural experience. The fact is that Romagna’s wonderful hinterland has not become jaded by mass tourism – and we aim to keep it that way,
Everybody you will meet here is passionate about their homeland, its beauty and its enormous larder of local, seasonal food and wine. Everybody you will meet here is enormously proud of their history, culture and above all their diligent and heartfelt hospitality.
We sincerely believe that you will find treasure here in Romagna - treasure that can only come from open hearts with the willingness to share an unbelievably enormous heritage.
By the time you leave our aim is to help you, like us and all f our other guests to be passionate about Romagna and count the days ‘til you return!