9 day small group holiday from just $2,500
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 – the beautiful, legendary land safely nestling between the Apennine mountains and the Adriatic sea and as yet unspoiled by tourism.
Land at in Rome or Milan or Venice, we can arrange your travel to Bologna to begin your Romagna Experience.
- A day to RENAISSANCE FLORENCE by scenic train
- Exploring BOLOGNA
- Fabulous international Festa ARTISTI IN PIAZZA in hilltop Pennabilli
- 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 SCHOOL
- Enjoy an idyllic MIDSUMMER EVENING PICNIC PARTY
- Glorious food and wine festival FESTARTUSIANA
- 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 lovely city center hotel Bologna
- 7 nights superb Italian country house accommodation
- 7 superb Dinners or lunches including wine or soft drinks in specially-selected restaurants
- 3 fabulous vineyard wine tastings
- Tastings of local breads, prosciuttos, salamis, cheeses and olive oils
- Top cookery class
- Visits to Bologna, San Marino, Ravenna, Florence
- Entrances to festivals
- 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
From just $2,500 per person (single room supplement $300)
YOUR FESTA ITINERARY:
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.
Day 3 Sunday 19 June - Enjoying the Tastes and Scents of Romagna
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. Pennabilli is a beautiful hilltop town on the border of Romagna and Marche. Over the centuries the town has developed beautifully and quirkily as its ownership passed from powerful family to powerful family. A religious center with its own cathedral and monastery (even a recent visit from the Dalai Lama, apart from wars and spirituality – its real religion is enjoyment, fun and great food. All this is no better exemplified than at the International Artisti in Piazza Festival
No less than 26 beautiful spots in the town provide wonderful stages for music, comedy, dance , circus of all sorts from all over the world. Last year there were some 55 different companies from dozens of countries from Argentina to Japan, UK to Ethiopia, USA to . There is always great Jazz, sublime World music captivating Klesma Hip Hop, Rock, extraordinary acrobatics and clowning amazing theatre. And stuff you’ve never heard of! It’s an inspiration – you won’t want to come home! Night in Longiano.
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.
Depart after breakfast for a really special 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. Without any doubt, this will be the highlight of our trip!
After lunch, we’ll visit the close-by historic vineyard – Fattoria Paradiso – in an even more historic setting vineyard hillside Bertinoro.
On our way back to Longiano we'll visit the 500 year old Olive Grove at Locanda della Luna and enjoy a taste of olives and olive oil presented by the 17th generation of the owning Turchi family.
In the evening we’ll enjoy a fabulous Special Midsummer’s Eve picnic of superb local seasonal delicacies in glorious surroundings infused by the warm intoxicating scents of Jasmine and sweet Lime.
After a late breakfast first stop today is the ancient artisan print works of Pascucci where they still create designs, make wooden blocks and their traditional dyes, and have printed wonderful materials since 1826. Here we'll take a tour of the works and have an opportunity to purchase at outlet prices. Then we’re off to the hills. The rest of our day will be spent in the tiny mountaintop republic of San Marino . A deeply-historic UNESCO world heritage site with glorious views, cobbled streets and a fascinating range of delightful boutiques. San Marino has an experience for everyone. Tonight we’ll take a superb dinner with a scenic view in Verucchio at the Rocca restaurant then return to Longiano for a restful overnight.
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.
Morning and afternoon free in the delightful surroundings of Longiano. Time to enjoy a long breakfast, take a stroll in lovely surroundings. A little light lunch perhaps? Just rest and relax. Late afternoon, we’re off to one of the greatest food and drink festivals in Europe – the FestaArtusiana . Created in memory of the “Father of Italian Cookery” Pellegrino Artusi – in his birthplace – the festival celebrates everything to do with food and wine and music – and all the other beautiful things associated with them. For the occasion the town becomes totally dedicated to food and wine even its streets are named after foods – vegetables, fruits, pastas, sweets – naturally gelatos. There are local food and wine stalls, tastings everywhere – literally hundreds of opportunities to taste the best of the best. Naturally there are musical performances, naturally the town’s massive square becomes full of different outside restaurants from basic to snack to glorious!
Festartusiano is a real, warmly welcoming Romagna food extravaganza!
Return to Bologna OR why not stay a little longer in Paradise?
Departure date from Bologna 2018: June 17
For further information and bookings contact:
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!