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Liguria  and  Emilia

We combine two regions of Italy known for their culinary richness as well as beauty: Liguria and Emilia Romagna. We'll guide you away from the crowds in the Cinque Terre  area introducing you to our special local contacts: the vineyard owners and producers of olive oil on their terraced groves perched above the ocean. We'll introduce you to the Genoa of ancient ship builders, merchants, and bankers,  showing you  how to make the quintessential Genovese pesto the old fashioned way. Then we take you to the region of Parmigiano Reggiano in Emilia Romagna to see how this world famous cheese is made. You'll meet producers of balsamic vinegar, the true balsamic, and you'll recognize the difference! A visit to a Prosciutto di Parma producer is another must stop we'll be making. The cooking class in Parma will feature the gems of this cuisine. Throughout this tour you'll relax in luxurious 4 star boutique hotels. Just feast your eyes on this detailed itinerary.

Day 1 - WELCOME TO LIGURIA

 

  • Arrival and check in at your 4* hotel in Santa Margherita. Relax and start to immerse in the Dolce Vita of the fabled Ligurian Coast

  • Welcome aperitif in the garden.

  • Overnight in Santa Margherita. 

Day 2 - PORTOFINO, LOCAL EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, PREPARING PESTO

 

  • With your private guide discover the gardens, ancient villas and fishing harbor of the elegant coastal resort of Santa Margherita.

  • Exclusive experience in the hills above Portofino, overlooking the Tigullio Gulf where you will visit the olive farm of an old Ligurian family, where the owner has resumed with great passion the traditional family activity of olive oil cultivation. Olive oil tasting on this special tour of olive groves will give you a better understanding of what it takes to recover these previously abandoned terraced plantings.

  • In the patio of the beautiful villa overlooking the magnificent view of the gulf, you will learn to make traditional Ligurian pesto.

  • You'll enjoy a light lunch of local specialties with this spectacular view.

  • In the afternoon you will reach Portofino and take a stroll in the picturesque village, among colorful houses, yachts and design boutiques.

  • You return to Santa Margherita with a panoramic trip by public boat.

  • Overnight in Santa Margherita.

 

Day 3 - EXPLORE THE PICTURESQUE VILLAGES AND WINES OF CINQUE TERRE 

 

  • Your private guide meets you at the hotel and you transfer by private driver to the Cinque Terre area.

  • You’ll enjoy an authentic experience, learning through your guide what makes this a Unesco World Heritage Site and so immortalized by writers and poets. You’ll complete this day’s experience with a visit to the vineyard of a local producer tasting the ‘heroic’ Cinque Terre wines paired with local specialties. 

  • Transfers between the Cinque Terre villages by public boat or train.

  • Overnight in Santa Margherita.

  • Meals included: breakfast, light lunch

 

Day 4 - VISIT GENOA AND LEARN TO PREPARE PANSOTI AND NUT SAUCE

 

  • After breakfast, private transfer to Genoa.

  • Accompanied by your insider, today you will discover Genoa’s noble palaces, medieval center, (the largest in Europe after Venice), waterfront, and traditional shops, stopping in the piazzas and renaissance streets to hear the stories of the Genoese shipping magnates and bankers of centuries past 

  • Your guide will take you to traditional food shops such as the old ‘friggitorie’ serving friscieu (herb filled croquettes), farinata, and fried fresh seafood. Not to be missed is the old pastry cafe where Giuseppe Verdi spent his time, perhaps inspired by the pastries. Another unforgettable visit you will have is the Pietro Romanengo fu Stefano Candy shop where you step into the past and observe candies made in an ancient tradition that are too almost beautiful and unusual to be eaten! 

  • Next, you arrive at a Renaissance palace where your cooking class will involve making Pansoti, a traditional herb filled pasta stuffed with herbs, also learning to make a nut sauce made with a mortar and pestle to accompany it. Enjoy the fruits of your labor like a prince or princess in his castle!

  • Overnight in Santa Margherita.

Day 5 - COOKING CLASS IN PARMA

  • Spend the morning in Santa Margherita reading a book, shopping in the elegant boutiques, or just enjoying a walk along the sea.

  • In the early afternoon, you will leave the Italian Riviera and reach Parma, the land of Parmiggiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma in less than 2 hours by private transport.

  • Today’s cooking class takes place in an old family villa. In this class you’ll prepare the flavors of Emilia Romagna, such as tortelli d’erbetta and the Rosa di Parma as well as a dessert called sbrisolona. Enjoy what you’ve prepared over a discourse on the rich culinary traditions of the Emilia Romagna region.

  • After dinner you reach your lodgings in a medieval castle in the countryside outside of Parma.

  • Overnight in Parma.

Day 6 - PARMA -THE FLAVORS, ART, AND ARCHITECTURE

  • Visit a family-run ham factory where the real Parma Ham is born. You'll see the phases of the work in progress, with a tasting accompanied by a glass of local wine.

  • Reach the Castle of Torrechiara, one of the most evocative examples of Italian castle architecture, the setting of the love story between Pier Maria Rossi and the beloved Bianca Pellegrini.

  • Walk through the narrow streets of the ancient surrounding village, from which you can admire the enchanting landscape of the hills.

  • In the afternoon you visit Parma starting from the imposing ducal palace. Inside, you will visit the splendid Farnese Theater, built entirely of wood and marble. You’ll see paintings, frescoes and the amazing Piazza Duomo where the Cathedral and the Baptistery await you. Your tour guide will tell you the fascinating stories of of this particular region of Italy, the story of the color violet, and its significance to Parma, stopping at a famous pastry shop to taste candied violets.

  • Overnight in Parma.

Day 7 - PARMESAN, BALSAMIC VINEGAR AND A MAGIC CASTLE

  • Today you visit a dairy to see how how one of the most famous gastronomic delicacies in the world is produced: Parmigiano Reggiano! An expert will show you how the milk is processed and transformed into this legendary cheese.

  • After visiting the dairy, you will discover another gastronomic delight of the region: balsamic vinegar. You will visit a characteristic acetaia (vinegar factory) where the owner will personally tell how the precious black nectar is produced, where you can taste unusual pairings.

  • On your way to Milan, you will reach the Rocca Sanvitale in Fontanellato, an enchanting manor still surrounded by a wide moat filled with water that rises in the center of the village

  • Your day will finish in Milan city center.

  • Overnight in Milan

Day 8 - ARRIVEDERCI

  • Check-out and departure.

  • We can arrange transfers to Milan airport or train station (not included).

Highlights

  • 4 nights 4 star spa hotel Santa Margherita – breakfast included

  • Welcome aperitif

  • Full day private guide in Portofino

  • Ferry tickets in Portofino

  • Private visit to the olive groove with tasting and lunch – transportation included

  • Full day private transfer Santa Margherita – Cinque Terre

  • Full day guide in Cinque Terre

  • Train/ferry tickets between the Cinque Terre villages

  • Private visit to the vineyards with wine tasting and light lunch in Cinque Terre

  • Private transfer from Santa Margherita to Genoa and return

  • Full day private guide in Genoa

  • Private cooking class followed by lunch in Genoa

  • Private transfer from Santa Margherita to Parma

  • Private transfers for all the days in Parma

  • Private transfer from Parma to Milan

  • 2 nights boutique hotel outside of Parma

  • 2 full days private guide in Parma

  • Entrance tickets for monuments and castles in Parma

  • Private visit to a Prosciutto di Parma Producer with tasting

  • Private visit to a Parmiggiano Reggiano producer with tasting

  • 2 typical lunches in Parma

  • 1 night 4 star hotel in Milan center

 

7 nights, 8 days

New dates: September 19 - 26, 2020

Minimum 6 guests, maximum 7

Click here for prices and payment options

What is included:

  • All accommodations

  • Private transfers from airport to hotel provided you travel at agreed upon time, except where noted

  • All private driver transfers as per itinerary.

  • Welcome Aperitif

  • Cooking classes

  • All meals except where indicated otherwise

What is not included:

  • Air fares

  • Travel insurance

  • Meals and beverages other than those mentioned above

  • Room upgrades and extras.

Important notes:

  • You must be in good physical condition to participate in this trip.

  • This trip is not suitable for people with mobility problems.

  • Any food constraints or allergies must be communicated when booking.

  • We STRONGLY RECOMMEND traveler's insurance. Compare companies and plans at the Trip Insurance Store

Terms

  • Deposit of $500 per person to reserve your place. (refunded only if tour is not filled)

  • Balance of payment is due 90 days prior to travel