Bologna, Ravenna, Rimini, Ferrara, Forlimpopoli, Naples, Amalfi, Ravello, Positano, Sorrento Tre Monti, Sorrento, Termini
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
From the delicacy of a raw seafood plate dressed with a squeeze of lemon to the aroma of red wine that fills the air with traces of chocolate and sour cherries, the cuisine of Italy is as diverse and seductive as the landscape by which each dish is inspired. Your custom tailored tour will illuminate the differences between Emilia-Romagna and the Amalfi Coast. You will enjoy an indulgent excursion that traces the evolution of the regional cuisines. Whether creating pasta or pizza dough,...
Bologna – Arrive in the Historical City of Bologna with an Introductory Tour
The region of Emilia-Romagna is known for its cuisine, from the salty Parmesan cheese to the delicate prosciutto, the tangy aged balsamic vinegar to the savory meat sauce. Your mouth will water knowing that you will taste the delights of a part of Italy known to gourmets but often passed over by visitors. Your flight will land at G. Marconi Airport in Bologna, the capital of the region. Your private transfer will then escort you into the heart of the medieval city that brims with colonnades, opera fans, traditional trattorias and the oldest university in the world.
Italians refer to the city as “The Fat One,” and celebrates the legacy of cuisine created along the cobbled streets and hidden in cellar-like restaurants. The university was founded in the 11th century, and the terracotta buildings are lined with porticoes. After you in check in at your hotel, your guide will lead you to the Abbey of Santo Stefano. Along the way, you will enjoy a mixture of aromas, from the scent of almond pastries to warmth of a simmering tortellini. The Abbey includes a labyrinth of religious structures that span the ages of the city with Romanesque architecture, images of the Lombard princes, and even elements of ancient Roman design.
The Church of Santi Vitale e Agricola was also built in the 11th century and remains Bologna’s oldest surviving church to date. In the evening, you will venture to a restaurant that hides in the shadows of the two towers. The menu will introduce you to the classical dishes of the city, including tortellini in brodo, a clear broth filled with floating, light, stuffed tortellini. The restaurant holds to tradition beyond the cuisine, and you will feel as though you have stepped back in time as your every culinary desire is warmly met.
Bologna – Visit Renaissance Ferrara and a Local Prosciutto Farm
In the morning, the cafes are filled with students as they enjoy their conversation over frothy cappuccinos which gives the historical atmosphere a youthful flare. At breakfast, you will do as the Italians do as you enjoy a delicious espresso and a freshly baked brioche before you meet your guide. You will then leave behind the cobbled streets of Bologna and travel along the Po lowlands, to observe the lush soil of the landscape, the regal palaces, and the towns known for their passionate connection to opera. The city of Ferrara embodies the artistic beauty of the region as seen in the preserved medieval walls, stunning mansions, and collection of Renaissance artwork exhibited in immaculate historical castles.
The Este family once ruled Ferrara and rivaled the power and wealth of the Medici family in Florence. The family castle, known as Castello Estense, was built in the 14th century to protect the nobles from an uprising of the citizens, and by the 15th century was turned into a veritable fortress. Cross the moat to enter the grounds that are shaped by the dramatic walls and looming towers. In the Hall of Games, you will find an opulent gallery with frescoes over the ceiling divided into 11 panels. Each panel depicts a different sport, including Greco-Roman wrestling and discus throwing. A large mirror positioned at an angle allows you to view the paintings without straining your neck.
After you explore the beauty of Ferrara, your guide will escort you to a local farm known for the production of Italy’s most rare, and most expensive, prosciutto. The farm makes 30,000 Parma hams a year which causes a stir for vendors and customers around the world. A 14th-century castle stands on the farmland and hides the cellar in which the workers age the cured meat. Pigs and cows graze on the landscape as the musty, cool cellar contains dangling pouches of ham slowly aging to perfection for up to 42 months. Two restaurants stand on the estate near the Po River, to offer samples of the coveted prosciutto.
Bologna – Sample Seafood in Rimini and Hunt for Truffles in the Forest
In the morning, the Mercato delle Erbe brims with vendors as they set out their local goods for the Bolognese to enjoy. The market opened in 1910 and remains a part of daily life for many as they work inside the glass and iron structure. Restaurants and bakeries were added along the wings to fill the already vibrant atmosphere with the aromas of simmering sauces and almond pastries. After breakfast, your guide will escort you way from the arcades of Bologna to visit the seaside streets of Rimini. Two ancient Roman roads once connected at the point of Rimini, which added to the population of the city in the 3rd century BC, but by the late 19th century, the city had become an important port town and beach destination.
Your introduction to the area comes in the shape of the Corso di Augusto, the main street home to the oldest known Roman triumphal arch. The structure was erected in the 1st century BC in commemoration of the construction of Via Flaminia. The wide opening signified a period of peace in the region. From late spring to early autumn, the pastel colored parasols sprout along the beach to shade the gold and white sands of the Adriatic coastline. The indigo waters lap at the beach to cool the toes of those standing on the golden sand.
For lunch, you will enjoy a restaurant that boasts of fine quality seafood as the chefs elevate the tradition of eating rare seafood as they combine unique flavors and elegant plating. Before you even taste the tuna, the aroma of lemon zest and fennel will add a herbaceous and citrus element to the fish that melts in your mouth. You will then make your way into the forest to search the grounds for the growing tree roots with a guided truffle hunt.
Bologna – Explore Elegant Ravenna and Enjoy a Pasta Class with Nonnas
In the morning, you will enjoy the semi-sweet flavor of a fresh cappuccino. The aroma of sweet cream merged with the rich espresso readies you for another full day of exploring the welcoming region of Emilia-Romagna. Your guide will lead you to the city of Ravenna, once the capital of the Western Roman Empire. Decadent churches display early Christian mosaics dating back to the 4th century and masterworks are embellished with gold, emerald, and sapphire and glow in the natural light that spills through the rose colored windows and elegant stained glass.
Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo was erected in the 6th century to dazzling effect. 26 white-robed figures walk to Jesus, and the Apostles along the south wall as the architecture blends the style of the east and west at the time with marble porticoes and a unique bell tower built with a conical shape. Before you return to Bologna, you will stop at the town of Forlimpopoli to learn the art of pasta making from Italian grandmothers as they obviously know best.
After introducing themselves, they will bring the ingredients out onto the table. They will form a type of bowl with the flour and crack two eggs into the center. Slowly they will mix the flour into the eggs until the ingredients transform into the dough. Your instructors will guide you each step of the way until by the end of the lesson you have made four different types of pasta from the single dough.
Ravello – Fly from Bologna to Naples and Enjoy a Private Pizza Making Class
Bologna has a connection to coffee unlike other cities in Italy. Students enjoy a cappuccino at a leisurely place while business people enter the café, drink their espresso standing at the bar, and make their way to work. The rich aromas slip out of the cafes and travel along the cobblestones to mix with the other savory fragrances. You have savored the flavors of Emilia-Romagna, from the truffles in the forest to the tuna along the sea so now you will continue your travels as your private transfer will escort you to G. Marconi Airport for your brief flight to Naples, a city also known for its magnificent flavors. Cultures from around the Mediterranean have influenced Naples and the surrounding villages since the Greeks settled in the region in the 8th century BC.
The Cathedral was erected in the 13th century with a gilded coffered ceiling. Behind the altar at the Chapel of the Treasury stands a silver bust that contains the skull of Saint Gennaro. The artisan workshops on Via San Gregorio Armeno decorate their windows with statues of Mary and the Apostles, giving the area the name Nativity Workshops. After discovering the unique historical charms of Naples, you will meet your private instructor and enter into the kitchen to once again to learn the secrets of another gastronomical art, that of pizza making. Napoli is considered the birthplace of pizza and takes pride in the dish’s creation so you will learn how to make proper dough before you top it with only the freshest ingredients, including homemade sauce.
Ravello – Visit the Villages of the Amalfi Coast and Sample Limoncello
Wake up to the gorgeous views of the Mediterranean Sea on the hilltop town of Ravello, standing at the height of more than 1,400 feet above sea level. In the morning, you will notice the scent of lemons punctuating the air. Lemon groves thrive in the warm climate, with fruit growing to the size of softballs. The Cathedral of Ravello was erected in the 11th century and includes an immaculate white façade. The 13th-century bell tower has a mixture of Moorish and Byzantine architectural influences as the streets lead you to Villa Rufolo, one of two historical villages found in the town.
Rufolo was erected in the 13th century to house a wealthy merchant family, once holding the title of the largest and most expensive villa on the coast. The gardens stretch out over the sloping mountains and offer majestic views to the shimmering Mediterranean Sea. The Moorish cloister remains from the original garden design and carnations and hydrangeas bloom in colorful fashion against the backdrop of the water. Continue onward to Positano, a town with pastel-colored homes that cascade down the mountainside. The water laps against the edges of the marina as the narrow cobblestone streets twist and wind against the steep hills.
The aromas of lemon and olive trees overtake the scent of the sea breeze as you begin to delve into the village. You will stroll along Via Pasitea to meet a local legend, a sandal maker known for crafting his celebrated shoes as patrons wander among the shops of the town. You will continue along the narrow lanes and enter a boutique shop dedicated to making various types of limoncello, a traditional regional digestif. After making and tasting the tangy and sweet liqueur, the clerk will become your guide as you are taught the family recipe that has been passed down through the ages.
Ravello – Enjoy the Bay of Naples During a Wine and Cooking Tour
The natural beauty of the region comes to life in the morning as the sunlight spreads across the mountains and sea. In the distance, you can see the cliffs of the island of Capri as the church bells chime and the aroma of espresso begins to drift out of the corner cafes. Today your guide will meet you at your hotel and escort you to a private vineyard off the beaten path of the coastline in the Lattari Mountains. Verdant valleys lead to charming villages as some of the vines on the estate have been growing since the 16th century, which adds a touch of history to the beauty of the landscape.
Your guide will lead you through the trails between the vines and allow you to touch the plump grapes and feel the grit in the dirt. Your guide will offer a brief history of the vineyard with an explanation of each wine, all with an incredible affection for the artistry and history behind it all. The vineyard encompasses more than 68 acres and takes nutrients from the valley, hills, and sea breeze. Your guide will pour you a sample of a 100% Sangiovese wine where you will find an aroma of violet and hints of chocolate on the nose. Black cherry and dark fruits linger on the palate after you sip from the glass and wait for the flavor to fade.
Ravello – Depart for Home
In the morning, you can linger at breakfast to enjoy the panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea flanked by the mountain promontories of the coastline. The breeze carries the scent of the sea upwards along the hills as the rich taste of your espresso lingers on your palate. Before you move on, you will make your way to Villa Cimbrone, an 11th-century estate refurbished in the early 20th century.
Marble busts line the walkway overlooking the water, and the walkway is known as the Terrace of Infinity, due to its luxurious view out to the horizon. A pergola blossoms with white and blue wisteria as a small grotto decorates the gardens alongside the neoclassical temples and an elegant tearoom. You will enjoy them both, and then when you are ready, your private transfer will meet you at the hotel and escort you around the Bay of Naples on your way to the Naples International Airport for your flight home.
- Discover the coveted secrets to making fresh pasta during a cooking lesson taught by the masters, the grandmothers of Italy
- Indulge in a wine tasting on a private vineyard in the mountains near the Amalfi Coast to connect with the landscape, the vines, and the winemakers
- Enjoy a private cooking class that teaches you the pleasures of making traditional Neapolitan pizza
- Sample the traditional southern Italian liqueur of limoncello before you learn the recipe yourself to reproduce the balanced flavors
- Celebrate the most highly treasured prosciutto in all of Italy during a visit to a producer in the Emilia-Romagna, followed by a lavish dinner
- Delight in the simple, yet extraordinary flavors of crudo, raw seafood served in restaurants across the Adriatic Sea, including in the city of Rimini
- Explore the forests of Emilia-Romagna on a private truffle hunting excursion to uncover the elusive ingredient before embarking on a unique cooking class
- Relish the simple and explosive flavors of the Amalfi Coast, highlighting fresh olive oils, bright lemons, and delicate seafood
Linger with the university students as they sip a morning cappuccino and then wander along the cobblestone seaside lanes in view of the returning fishermen. Scour the forest for black truffles and then knead pizza dough made fresh with your own hands. Your 8-day culinary tour will highlight tradition and imagination in the historical regions of Emilia-Romagna and Campania, connecting medieval architecture to traditional pasta and Byzantine cloisters to the rich fishing tradition. Your gastronomical excursion will begin with your arrival at G. Marconi Airport in Bologna. Your private transfer will escort you into the historical center for an introductory tour of the city where you will explore the medieval architecture and artwork before you enjoy your first meal celebrated for its connection to regional tradition.
Wake the next morning to begin with a visit to the Renaissance city of Ferrara for a unique perspective on past power and wealth. In the afternoon, you will visit a celebrated farm renowned by gourmets and chefs alike for its production of prosciutto. Enjoy a guided tour of the grounds to see the grazing cows and cellar in which the prosciutto is aged, and then indulge in a meal on the property at one of the two award-winning restaurants that serve the farm’s prosciutto. Venture next to Rimini for a tour of the charming seaside city, and then top off your exploration of the streets with a visit to a local restaurant that specializes in raw seafood known as crudo. Your day will then continue in the forests of the region as your guide will lead you to the most promising roots and bushes to uncover the elusive truffle. Your full day tour will end after you indulge in the rich flavor of a dinner focused on the truffles that you discovered during your hunt.
The early Christian mosaics of Ravenna will call to you the following day, and you will enjoy your stroll through the serene city. You will view the elaborate history as preserved on the walls and in the floors of the churches before you visit the small town of Forlimpopoli to learn how to cook the best pasta from the grandmothers of the town. The next day, your private transfer will escort you to the airport for a brief flight to Naples. Visit the historical city center of the former capital of the Kingdom of Naples, and then meet a chef inside their private kitchen to continue your education on the cuisine of Italy, this time learning the proper way to make a true Neapolitan pizza.
The next day you will traverse the 43 mile stretch of the Amalfi Coast at your preferred pace to visit the towns of Ravello, Amalfi, and Positano. Once in Positano, you will enjoy a demonstration of how to produce the staple southern Italian liqueur of limoncello, and then enjoy some as you bask in the sun. Wake the next day for a guided tour of the Bay of Naples with a stop at the vineyards, olive groves, and towns situated between the Amalfi Coast and the Bay. You will enjoy the unique flavors of Campania, as highlighted by the wine, olive oil, and cuisine. Your private transfer then collects you at your hotel the next day and escort you to Naples International Airport for your flight home.
$2,195 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
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Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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