Bologna, in the Emilia Romagna region of North-Eastern Italy is a charming town dating from medieval times and home to one of the world’s oldest universities. Whether you are in the town for business or pleasure, be sure to take some time to see a few of the many really interesting attractions. The town centre is fairly compact, and it is quite easy to see at least three of the most interesting sights in an afternoon – just pick up your free map at the Tourist Information Centre in Piazza Maggiore are start your tour.
Explore the Foods of Bologna.
We have exclusive access to the behind the scene of certain local food shops, so if you explore Bologna with us you will be taken to see how fresh egg pasta is made with a pasta making demonstration and tasting.
San Petronio Basilica: Start your walking tour at Piazza Maggiore, the main square of the town, to visit this enormous example of the Gothic style of architecture, the 6th largest cathedral in Europe. It is named after Bologna’s patron saint, and has an interesting history. At one point during the construction process, the original design was changed and a Latin Cross design was suggested, with the aim of building a church which would surpass the grandeur of St Peters in Rome. Legend has it that the Pope of the day, Pious IV, was not about to see the Vatican cathedral eclipsed and promptly put paid to that idea! Nevertheless, San Petronio is still very large – over 132 metres long and 66 metres wide - and it is a great shame that the red marble façade was never completed. Be sure to visit a few of the 22 side chapels, the bell tower, see the two very old organs and have a look at the largest sundial in the world, inlaid into the paving of the left aisle.
Torre degli Asinelli: After your visit to the cathedral, it is an easy walk to the Piazza di Porta Ravegnana, to see the Two Towers, symbol of the city. Many centuries ago there were over one hundred defensive towers of various heights and grandeur piercing the Bologna skyline; sadly, today there are less than 20 remaining. The Asinelli Tower is the tallest, climbing a staggering 97.2 metres into the sky, and leaning slightly as becomes a very old matriarch! You can visit the tower and climb the nearly 500 worn wooden steps to the very top for the best view you will ever get of the city of Bologna. Take your time and rest occasionally, and it is not too difficult!! The smaller of the two towers, the Garisenda was originally about 60 metres high but had to be lowered in the 14th century when it became too unstable due to earth settlement; today it is 48 metres tall and leans significantly; it is not open to the public. Now continue your walk to the University district to visit a rather macabre attraction:
The Anatomy Room at the old University of Bologna
This room is known as the Anatomy Theatre due to its’ amphitheatre-like form, and dates from the sixteen hundreds. It was built almost entirely out of wood (spruce) and was used as a lecture theatre for students of anatomy – you can still see the marble table at the centre where dissections were performed. Some of the most famous Physicians from ancient times, such as Hippocrates, are represented by wooden statues around the walls of the room. Sadly, the original theatre was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War by an air raid in 1944. It was most realistically reconstructed from photos, using as much as possible of the original structure recovered from the rubble. This is a fascinating attraction and should not be missed, even if you have no interest in medical history.
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The tour of the Parmesan Reggiano cheese dairy, Balsamic Vinegar farm, the Parma ham and lunch at the organic vineyard was thoroughly enjoyed by our family of 4. Paolo was a gracious and knowledgeable host for the day and provided us with insights to the production of the cheese and balsamic vinegar which was enhanced due to his chemistry background. We would thoroughly recommend this tour to those interested in the specialities produced in the Modena region.
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.
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