Going on a culinary tour of the Bologna/Parma area of Emilia Romagna should be a must on the itinerary of any food lover visiting Italy. The towns and villages around Bologna and Parma are the bread-basket of northern Italy and are home to the producers of the majority of famous Italian food exports such as Parma Ham (prosciutto di Parma), Parmesan Cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano) and real Balsamic vinegar (Aceto Balsamico). A typical culinary tour of the region will take you to see how all three of these products are made and give you the opportunity to taste them, followed by a lunch featuring the specialities of the region.
Parma hams visits in Parma, Make sure you have a GPS.
These tours generally start in Bologna, with an early-morning (7.30 am) departure, to be sure you get to the cheese manufacturer in time for the once-a-day morning tour, and you will be returned to Bologna after lunch. However, if you are not based in Bologna, it would probably suit you far better to do the tour in your own car. This option has many advantages, which will become evident as you read on. This is how do go about it.
Rent a car and GPS. You probably already have a rental car…it is by far the best way to see the many attractions of the Italian countryside. Be sure to request a GPS…all the producers are situated in rural areas, and can be really tricky to find.
Meet your guide.
Meet your tour guide at a pre-determined location near Modena, Parma or Bologna. This will save you a lot of time, as you can choose a location near the first stop of your tour. It is really important to have a guide to ensure you get the best out of your day; Our guides know the area and the producers extremely well and will be invaluable, especially if you do not speak Italian. They will also ensure that all visits that require advanced bookings will be organised well in advance to save you time.
The Culinary Tour will start with a visit to one of the 1600 Parmesan cheese producers, where the production process starts early every single morning of the year, and where you will be able to see the entire process from the raw milk to the finished product and the maturation cellars. From here you will move on to Modena, to see how the wonderful aged Balsamic vinegar is made, and learn why this product is so superior, and how to use it correctly.
Then it’s back into your car and on to Langhirano, south of Parma to visit a Parma Ham producer. Once again, you will have the opportunity to see the full production process and, best of all, get to taste the wonderful end-product. The tour will end will lunch, where you can savour Prosciutto de Parma and other regional cured meats before trying some of the traditional pasta of the region, followed by dessert and coffee.
This is the point where the full benefit of doing the tour in your own rental car becomes evident! Instead of being returned to Bologna, you have the freedom to spend the rest of your day enjoying the many pleasures of Parma and Modena. Now you will say goodbye to your guide and have time to explore on your own.
Both Modena and Parma are very charming and characteristic Italian towns, full of churches, art, architecture and interesting shops. Stroll around the piazza in Modena and visit the wonderful fresh food market (Mercato Albinelli) to shop for your supper, or sit at one of the outside cafes and enjoy an espresso while you watch the world go by. Ferrari fans could go to Maranello and visit the Ferrari Museum, while if culture is more to your liking you could visit the beautiful Romanesque Cathedral. Finish off a perfect day with a glass of local Lambrusco.
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We had a wonderful tour, best part about visiting the Modena region!
The tour was perfect. I think Paolo would be a splendid ambassador for Italy in the EU. He knows how excellent Italian food and eating together can solve many major problems, and can stop aggressive behavior. Not the hunt for more money, but the well being of family and friends counts. Paolo shows us the products of ages of civilization and he did this like an artist. So after the tour we really love Italia more and we'll come back. We will call you Paolo, Thanks!
Following two tours with your guides this week I would like to express my thanks for some wonderful experiences.
Monday we did the tour of cheese making, balsamic and Salami which was very good and the guide Paolo was very knowledgeable.
The truffle hunt tour today was absolutely amazing, the guide Stefano is pure gold and the tour was built with much thought. Our best experience so far, by far.
Looking forward to more tours and fun next time we are in Italy.
The group (and me) was VERY satisfied. We really enjoyed the Parmegiano Regiano which was interesting and we got to buy some delicate and cheap cheese, the same with the balsamico. The Ferrari driving was off course an experience for life. The Winery lunch felt very genuine and the people there was really welcoming and nice people. The genuine feeling there was however the big plus for us.
Paolo was excellent as our guide. He also felt very genuine. He did not talk just for the sake of talking, but when he had something to say he did it in a respectful and nice way. Everyone in the group really liked him.
I wanted to let you know what a great day we had this past Friday on our tour with Jacamo. (Probably not spelling it right) He was very nice and explained everything to us. It sure gives you a new appreciation when you are slicing cheese. 🙂 Our tour ended with him taking us to the vineyard for a tour and lunch and there, Paolo, the owner could not have been more nicer. It was a perfect ending.
Please let Jacamo know what a great job he did and how much we really appreciated it and his knowledge
The website is well structured and we received a prompt answer to all questions. Gabriele supported us with all information we needed and the organization before the trip was excellent.
We had an air conditioned van, which was very relaxing through the whole tour. The first stop was the parmigiano production, which was very impressive and interesting. We could learn and especially see all the different steps and even taste the various aged parmigiano. The second step was the balsamic vinegar tasting. Finally the meat part was interesting in the museum but we hoped that we also could see more about the production and their work, but the tasting was delicious. In overall we had a very informative and well accommodated half day with our guide
It was great experience! We visited Parmesan cheese production, Balsamic vinegar farm, Ham museum and Farmer's lunch. Our guide gave us a detailed explanation, we were very satisfied. An excellent tour for a reasonable price, highly recommended.
Nous sommes une famille de cinq et nous avons adoré notre expérience. Les trois endroits étaient choisis judicieusement. Notre guide était très généreuse et super gentille. Nous recommandons ce tour ( parmesan, vinaigre balsamique et jambon de parme).
My family felt our first trip to Italy must include a tour of a Parmesan Cheese Factory so when I stumbled on this website several months ago I had no idea what I treasure I found! From the moment I submitted a request for the tour, my experience with Emilia Delizia was first rate. Gabriele provided excellent customer service by patiently answering all my questions to guide me through the selection and reservation of our Foodie Delight Tour. Paolo, our driver, was prompt, cordial and knowledgeable about the processes we were observing and the area in general conveying loads of information with his well-developed English speaking skills. Our stop in Modena fell on a Saturday so we were quite fortunate to end up with a private tour which allowed us to have a nice, personal interaction with the people at each site. Everyone was friendly, generous with the tastings and we never felt rushed to move along to the next location. Now that we have returned to the states, my family agrees this tour was a highlight of our 10 day trip. I was really looking forward to this excursion and am glad to report it exceeded my expectations.
Unbelievable!!! Totally recommend the full hour to anyone and was more than I expected.
I also want to recognize Alex Pignone who accompanied me,He was very professional and extremely knowledgeable and made me feel like I have known Him forever and where two friends out for a cruise.
Thank You for allowing me to get one more item off my bucket list.