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Join Chef Massimo Mele to travel through the food and wine lovers’ paradise of Emilia-Romagna and Le Marche. Get off the well-trodden tourist path and live like a local in the heart of the Italian culinary region. Visit an Italian family home to experience the highly prized balsamic vinegar production and go truffle hunting. Enjoy Italian gourmet cooking classes run by Chef Massimo Mele and Italian cuisine served over mouth-watering lunches, magnificent dinners, and other incredible Italian food and wine experiences. For each place you will visit, there is a special flavor to reveal.
During your gourmet tour, you will be staying at 4-star hotels. You will comfortable spend six nights in Ascoli Piceno and seven nights in Bologna.
This gastronomic adventure begins at 10:30. From Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO) you will travel to Ascoli Piceno, in the heart of Le Marche. After settling into your hotel, you will enjoy an aperitivo at one of the oldest original bars in Italy. This is followed by a dinner that will delight your taste buds.
The day begins with a tour of Ascoli Piceno followed by lunch. During the afternoon, visit the medieval town of Offida, overlooking the valley of the Ascoli Piceno region. Before returning to Ascoli Piceno, you will visit a local enoteca for a wine tasting of Le Marche's spectacular wines. It is a must to taste the Passerina and Pecorino Italian wines. Dinner will be another dining adventure at a local restaurant in Ascoli.
You have been invited to a very special winery at Ripatransone for a wine tasting of some very unique wines. You will have lunch at the seaside town of Grottammare with an international chef, who designs some spectacular dishes. Time permitting, maybe take a stroll along the seafront or through the historic town center.
Today you are off to a secret location in the Sibillini Mountains to meet a local truffle hunter and his dogs. Your truffle hunt is followed by a rustic lunch in a small osteria in the little village of Montefortino. The menu, of course, features truffles.
Today you will have your first Italian cooking class. Your chef will guide you through the local markets in Ascoli Piceno to gather the ingredients for your Italian cooking class. Of course, after the cooking class, it is time for lunch accompanied by local Italian wines.
By special invitation, you will meet one of the surviving members of the local aristocracy who loves to share her extensive garden and family history. An aperitivo on her terrace follows this tour. Later, you will go to a frantoio, where Italian olive oil is processed. Your final night in Le Marche is a surprise.
Leaving Ascoli Piceno, you will head to Bologna, the capital of the Italian slow food region and also of Emilia-Romagna. Here, you will begin your next adventure in Italian food and wine with an aperitivo and dinner.
You will begin the day by strolling through the historic center of Bologna, combining sightseeing and food markets. You will enjoy lunch at a local osteria followed by a wine tasting featuring the local Italian wine, Lambrusco.
Comacchio is known as little Venice. You will have a guided tour of this enchanting canal town, followed by an aperitif. For the culinary aficionados, it is time to sample the local fish delicacy: eel. After lunch, there is a leisurely cruise around the lagoon of the protected Po Delta Regional Park.
Today, you will have a further introduction to the food of Bologna with a visit to the local markets to buy ingredients for your second Italian cooking class. Your delicious lunch is complemented with Italian wines from the region.
Modena is renowned for its production of the highly prized aceto balsamico tradizionale. You will visit an artisan who makes the authentic balsamico. You cannot come to this region without visiting the home of another locally handmade product, the Ferrari.
To round out your food experience, you will travel to Parma to sample the world famous parmigiano cheese. Lunch will take place in Parma, and will be followed by a visit to a prosciutto producer in the Valle di Castrignano.
On your final day, you will visit the UNESCO protected Renaissance city of Ferrara, where you will admire the Castello Estense. This town was the intellectual and artistic center of the region, where artists and poets gathered. You will celebrate with one last wine tasting, before returning to Bologna for a celebratory end of tour, with aperitivo and dinner.
This is your last day of the tour, you will be transferred to Milan-Malpensa Airport (MXP). The aim is to reach the airport by 11:30.
This culinary vacation will take place in the regions of Emilia-Romagna and Le Marche, in Italy.
During your gourmet vacation you will tantalize your palate with daily delicious breakfast, nine savory lunches, two of which will take place in an osteria and the other two lunches will include the dishes prepared in your cooking classes and will be complemented with Italian wines; finally, you will also enjoy five unforgettable dinners. Also, five regional aperitivos are part of this culinary experience. Olive oil, prosciutto, truffle, eel, balsamic vinegar, and Parmigiano cheese tastings make of this experience a particular one. Spectacular wines are part also part of this vacation, where your will taste regional wines as Passerina, Pecorino, Lambrusco, among other unique wines.
During your free time, take the road on your own and explore the surroundings of your hotel, enjoy the Italian ambiance at a local café, or simply rest and relax at your hotel's facilities.
Please arrive at Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Carolinasusi Italia Tours will pick you up from the airport.