Tour of Motorvalley Panini Collection Modena Emilia Romagna

Motorvalley and Panini museum in Modena, Italy.

by Marcelo Pinto  June 16th 2012

Panini collection in Modena

The Motorvalley runs through the valley, crossing “via Emilia” to the Modenese countryside, where the “Hombre” farm is located.
330 hectares for 500 cows, all managed by a young farmer from the lowlands, Matteo Panini.
He belongs to the last generation of farmers and thinks of himself as the last olive left on a tree that was planted many years ago. He’s Umberto’s son, the same Umberto who, together with his brothers Benito, Franco and Giuseppe, invented Panini stickers, cultivated the land and a passion for motors.

Modena’s history in the motor vehicle industry

When people ask him how Enzo Ferrari or Modena managed to become so important in the motor vehicle industry, he says the reason is really simple: Modenese people come from the land, and once only cattle, horses and men were needed. “Then, the steam engine was invented; after that, the internal combustion engine was developed, and thus the tractor was born. This made it possible for Modena to grow all at once in both the agricultural and mechanical sectors. That’s how the role of the “metalmezzadro” was born: Enzo Ferrari needed a “metalmezzadro”, that is, a person who is both a farmhand and a factory-worker.”
Tractors
So, Panini’s motorcycle and car collection started with tractors.
We can find, for example, a Landini from the year 1934. According to Matteo Panini, it’s one of the best and it still works perfectly. This is where the legend began: tractors were like wooden logs, carved repeatedly until the most beautiful cars in the world were created. These are classic cars, the crown jewels of Umberto and Matteo Panini’s collection.

The Panini collection

The collection consists of three so-called branches. The first one is Panini’s Maserati collection, which is possibly thought of as one of the most important in the world today. The second one is the branch of vehicles that Umberto Panini picked up when people left their cars behind. Finally, there’s more or less a hundred motorcycles, the means of transportation people once used to start with.

The Maserati collection

Matteo starts by showing us a Maserati Moto. Not everybody knows that there was a Maserati Moto in Modena. His father used to work there at first, and he was the Experience Department manager: that is, he would ride a motorcycle until it broke. Just like a test pilot.
But then Umberto became a Maserati car collector. An important vehicle for Maserati is a 1958 car built specially for the brand “Camillino Eldorado”. Eldorado used this car like it was a modern marketing tool. It’s a big cream white “ice cream” featuring a 8 cylinder 4200 cc engine, which was once driven by Stirling Moss. Another important car in Panini’s collection is the 250F, a single-seat car, seen as Formula One itself. It portraits perfectly how cars from the 50s were like. Driving this model, Fangio won the World Championship. Maserati managed to put a 12 cylinder 2500cc Formula One engine right there, thus exhibiting in 1957 an engine that was light years in advance of 6 cylinder ones. When asked why the tachometer is installed inside out, he explains that the driver has to look ahead, so the pointer has to be straight up when reaching 6k, 6,2k rpm. When the pointer is straight up, you know you have to change gear.
Then there’s the Maserati Birdcage. Its frame is so daring in terms of manufacture , it’s made up of 200 steel tubes, that make it look like a net. Because of its reticular shape, in English it was called “birdcage”. Thanks to this car, with only 22 models built, Maserati became very popular during the World Sportscar Championship, that once was possibly more important than Formula One. Matteo says he used to drive and still drives this model.

Maserati’s challenge

There’s a giant poster along the stairs to the second floor: a photo from 1926. Alfieri Maserati is sitting in a car, the first Maserati ever built. Maserati’s staff looks really proud, and Matteo Panini calls it “engineering pride”: “These men had no money and challenged brands like Bugatti, Auto Union… they faced manufacturers like Alfa Romeo. We shouldn’t forget Mussolini was behind Alfa Romeo, just like Hitler was behind Mercedes. So, starting from Bologna they challenged such motoring giants.”

Cars and bikes

We can also find a Stanguellini car. Matteo explains his father worked as a pipefitter for Stanguellini, so that’s the reason they’ve got to have one of those. Besides, the Stanguellini museum, one that true fans shouldn’t miss, is a few kilometers from here, in Modena.
The Panini collection isn’t just made of cars and motorcycles. Matteo shows us a bike which was used by light infantry soldiers. It’s a modern mountain bike, with front and rear shock absorbers. By switching the front wheel with the back wheel, you can also change the gear ratio. He says he likes to think that the person who built it thought it had to be unbreakable. It can also be folded, showing the practical way people once conceived things.

Motorcycles

The motorcycles are located on the second floor. We can find a wide range of motorcycles, like the Guzzino, the Formichino, the Ducati Cruiser (designed by Ghia), which is a really rare item, the Galletto, which was commonly ridden by priests, the Lambretti Vespa, the Delfino Motom, the Aquilotto. There’s also a parade of British motorbikes, from Norton, to AJS, to BSA. According to Matteo, in Italian BSA became the acronym for “Bisogna saperci andare” (You’ve got to know how to ride it) and in reverse, “Anche senza benzina” (Even with no gasoline).

Other significant pieces

Speaking of British, there’s also a Welbike, the bike for parachute drops. It could get folded and placed in containers which were located right under the aircraft’s wings. And speaking of aircrafts, we’re shown a Messerschmitt car, that truly looks like the cockpit of a Messerschmitt aircraft. With regards to torpedoes, there’s also a missile-shaped Lambretta. According to Matteo, it was probably able to reach 200 km/h. There’s also a Lotus leaning against the wall, far from the rest.
When asked if there’s too many models in his collection, Matteo says, “Maybe, but my father comes from that generation. He didn’t pay anything for them, because people would just phone him and tell him to come and pick them up, and so he did.”
The key is simple: we have to enjoy the Panini collection in small amounts, taking our time.

The Hombre organic dairy farm and producer of Parmigiano Reggiano

Speaking of the relationship between motors and land, our last stop is the farm.
Matteo says the farm is like the dynamic part of this passion, with its 500 cows thanks to which 12 wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano are produced every day.
Motorcycles, motors and wheels of Parmigiano all have something in common: you recognize them from their sharp sound. Matteo agrees with that, adding that engineering is also involved.
For example, a hammer can have different weights, and depending on its weight and where you put it, it can give you different feelings and vibrations.
And they ask why this is the land of mechanic and motors.

 

Best Hotels in Bologna, Italy

Best Romantic Hotels in Bologna

Written by Marcelo Pinto  June 10th 2012

Aemilia Hotel

Aemlia is a hotel which is based only two minutes away from the city edge and it only takes ten minutes to walk to the main square. It offers free WiFi, a buffet selection for breakfast and a lovely roof top deck so you can enjoy the views across the city. The staff are friendly and hope to see you soon.

Hotel Cosmopolitan Bologna

The Hotel Cosmopolitan Bologna is located outside of the city but it is still convenient to the town centre. It is easy to find and the parking there is also convenient. The rooms are comfortable and include coffee and tea making facilities. The owners welcome feedback and always look to improve their services and facilities.

Sav Hotel

The Sav Hotel is located in a really convenient location, ten minutes from both the airport city centre. The staff are really friendly and helpful and the atmosphere and décor are lovely. The owner boasts the fact that the Sav Hotel is only 2 kilometers from the main street of Bologna.

Grand Hotel Majestic

The Grand Hotel Majestic is a stylish hotel that boasts large, well decorated rooms. It is said to be a luxury in the heart of Bologna. Because of its location many guests prefer this hotel over others as it is right in the city centre. The staff are lovely and the food is good.

Savoia Hotel Regency

This hotel is said to be wonderful with friendly staff who go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and to offer you services to make you stay stress free. It is not a very expensive hotel but it is a very good hotel and has a wonderful restaurant.

Palazzo Loup

The Palazzo Loup is a great hotel in a beautiful location. It is located on top of a hill right outside of town and boasts amazing views. It also offers great Italian cuisine at the restaurant. This hotel is said to be amazing with fantastic staff.

Art Corona d’Oro

This hotel is located in the city centre and is very close to the main attractions. The staff are friendly and helpful and the suites are beautiful. It is a very modern and up to date hotel and there is even breakfast included in your stay.

AC Hotel Bologna by Marriott

This hotel has rooms that are very modern in dark colours and it offers free parking out the front of the hotel. They also offer a nice selection of foods for breakfast and wireless internet. It is a well priced hotel.

Al Cappello Rosso

The Al Cappello Rosso hotel is located in a nice quiet street near the middle of the town. It is not very modern but it is clean and comfortable with more of a boutique style. They offer breakfast and the staff are friendly and willing to help you.

Art Hotel Commercianti

The Art Hotel Commercianti is a pleasant hotel right in the heart of the city. The building is ancient looking and the rooms that it offers are large and comfortable. The staff are accommodating and the food is flavoursome.

Earthquake in Emilia Romagna shakes 30,000 wheels of Parmesan

Tremors and damages in the area around Ferrara.

by Marcelo Pinto Sunday, May 20th, 2012

In the early hours of the Morning of 20th May 2012 an earthquake of magnitude 5.9 struck the area around Ferrara. Many people felt the bang in the middle of the night and they were awaken by the shaking. There have been instanced of severely damaged building in the area and 4 people seems to have died due to the shaking.  Ferrara is a town in the region of Emilia Romagna about 70 km from Modena and 50 km from Bologna. Despite the epicenter being between Modena and Bologna and the damage here in Modena and Bologna was minimal only a major scare for everyone. The train line was suspended for several hours however the authorities managed to restarted the service.

The strangest thing that happened here it is that about 30 thousand wheels of parmesan cheese were knocked down from their ageing shelves causing considerable damage to the producers.

Bologna

It was very scary a resident reports, but there are no damages to the buildings.

Modena

In Modena city centre there have been no damages however in the town of Finale Emilia a bell tower was damaged, 35 hospital patients have been evacuated.

Reggio Emilia.

People in Reggio Emilia felt the vigorous shaking but no damages to the infrastructure were reported.

Parma.

Just the shaking were felt without any damage.

Emilia Delizia notice to our clients.

Emilia Delizia would like to reassure that despite the scary moments Bologna, Modena and Parma areas are perfectly safe. Our gourmet tours will be running as normal and planned for the coming days. Therefore do not cancel your foodie holidays as all services have restarted as normal in just hours after the quake.

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News about the earthquake from the BBC – Video transcript.

When a magnitude six earthquake struck northern Italy, 10% of the world’s supply of Parmigiano came crashing the ground. Cheese makers are not just facing ruined Parmesan, but potentially financial ruin. One of these rounds sells for $800. When the shelves holding the Parmesan fell, the oldest rounds fell last.

It’s these cheeses, the ones that have been maturing for up to two years that the owners are now desperately trying to sell.

“We’re trying to push the cheese into the market immediately so the Parmigiano is eaten and we avoid dumping it.”

In the city of Modena, the farmers are selling the Parmesan at a 40% discount.

They don’t appear to be having any trouble attracting buyers.

“I chose to come here in solidarity with my people and also because the price is lower.”

If you want to get a sense of what’s financially at stake for these farmers you need to look no further than the local bank. In the vault, thousands of rounds of Parmesan are held as collateral for the loans given to cheese makers.

Recently, farmers here have been struggling to survive with a hundred going out of business in the last five years. Of course, it’s not just about the money, but tradition. They’ve been making Parmesan and in the Emilia-Romagna region for 9 centuries. Zoe Conway, BBC News.

 

Test drive a Ferrari in Maranello, Italy.

How to drive a supercar while in Maranello, Modena.

If you come to visit Maranello in Modena, you will be surely at the Galleria Ferrari museum. However can you really afford to go home without test driving one these roaring beauties? Probably not. So we are here for you to help. Emilia Delizia can organise for you Ferrari and Lamborghini test drives. Our test drives are always on the public road or on request on the newly open  Modena circuit (Autodromo di Modena).
For the experience the driver need to be over 18 and have an international driving licence. You will be always accompanied by our experienced driving instructors. The test drive lasts from 10 minutes to up to 2 hours. For the longer drives you will be taken to the nearby mountains, here you will have plenty of fun dealing with the the bends of these windy roads.
For those who want to have a full on experience, we will take the clients to the Autodromo di Modena, the newly opened test track just outside Modena, and there with an instructor you will drive 5 laps. The whole track driving experience lasts for 2 hours. 1 hour at the track and 1 hour on the public way.

The cars available for the experience are the following:

Ferrari F430 Spider

The Ferrari F430 spider is a sports car that was first manufactured in the year 2004 until the year 2009. The car features a 4.3L V8 petrol powered engine. The engine is capable of developing 483hp or 360 kilowatts at 8500rpm. The engine is powerful enough to generate a torque of 465Nm at 5250rpm of which 80% is achievable at only 3500rpm. It was an improvement of the predecessor Ferrari 360 and can accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 4s which was 0.3 seconds quicker. The top speed is 196mph and the brakes are made using cast iron or an optional carbon ceramic set of brakes

Ferrari California

Another version of Ferrari which is the Ferrari California, a 2 door 2+2 coupe convertible, was launched in the year 2008 at the Paris motor show. The car was special because it introduced new features that the design team took long to work on and perfect. It was the first Ferrari that had a metal folding roof, V8 front engine, 7-speed with a 2 clutch transmission system, direct petrol injection and a rear suspension with many links. The top speed is 193mph and capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in just 3.9s. The transmission also features a 6 speed manual system giving the driver a choice.

Ferrari F458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia on the other hand is a mid-engine replacement of the F430 whose production started in 2009. The engine is a 4.5L V8 capable of developing 562hp and 540Nm of torque at 9000rpm of which 80% can be attained at only 3250rpm. The transmission system available is a single automated one and features a 7-speed dual clutch gear system. The top speed is 202mph and acceleration from 0-62mph is capable in just 3.4 seconds.

Lamborghini LP570-4 Superleggera

The Lamborghini LP570-4 Superleggera  is a light weight sports car that only weighs 1340kgs because it is designed using carbon fiber and is super stable. It was launched in 2010 with a 5.2L V10 engine capable of generating 562hp at 8000rpm. Acceleration from o to 62 mph is possible in just 3.4s and the top speed is 202mph.

Ferrari F458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia on the other hand is a mid-engine replacement of the F430 whose production started in 2009. The engine is a 4.5L V8 capable of developing 562hp and 540Nm of torque at 9000rpm of which 80% can be attained at only 3250rpm. The transmission system available is a single automated one and features a 7-speed dual clutch gear system. The top speed is 202mph and acceleration from 0-62mph is capable in just 3.4 seconds.

Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano

The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is a 2 seat Italian Gran Turismo that was produced between the years 2006 to 2012. Its engine displacement totaled 5999cc hence the name. The engine is a 6.0L V12 that produces 612hp and a torque of 608Nm without the need of turbo charging. The transmission features both a 6 speed manual system and a 6 speed sequential similar to one used for F1 racing cars.

Basic Test drive.

just to feel the power of the car around the small town of Maranello – 10 minutes

Medium Test drive.

A little longer driving experience, feel the acceleration 15-20 minutes

Long Extended Test drive.

About 30 minutes – More bends and country-side roads – beautiful Italian scenery in a super car.

Mountain extended Test drive.

One hour experience around the Appennini mountain in Modena, lots of bends and incredible driving experience.

Panoramic test drive.

Duration about 60 minutes panoramic as it says on the box.

Precision Test drive

Get the best from your experience, countryside, mountain, it has it all.
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In addition to these car driving experiences it is now possible to drive a Ferrari F430 on the Modena racing circuit, the experience lasts for 90 minutes, the clients will drive the cars on public road for about 30 minutes and additionally will drive the car for 4/5 laps on the circuit with an experienced instructor.

What to do in Bologna in 48 hours

Main attractions in Bologna and why to stay here.

Bologna - The church of San Luca
Bologna – The church of San Luca

What to eat in Bologna.

Bologna in the last 20 years has became the mecca of the food lover and foodie travellers. With its world wide reputation for food food it never fails to attract and surprise gourmet eaters from the U.S.A, Canada, Australia, Japan, Russia, China and so on. We have seen all nationalities coming here just for one reason EAT!

Bologna is big for its fresh egg pasta and it comes in literally 100 of variation with matching sauces. Winter or summer you should not fail to try the Tagliatelle alla Bolognese (please do not ask for Spaghetti with Bolognese sauce as it is not an Italian dish but an approximation invented abroad), then you will want to try the lasagne, tortellini and tortelloni, quaretti, maltagliati and so on. A less known dish by the visitor but extremely popular in Bologna or Modena are the crescrentine or sometimes called tigelle . Small breads that back in the days were baked by the fireplace sandwiched between round shapes of clay and they constitute the staple meals for the farmer and their families. Nowadays they are served with all sort of cured meats.

Gnocco Fritto or crescentine fritte.

This is the bad boy of the Bolognese cooking style, as it is flour dough fried in lard, it is divine with prosciutto and it should not be missed for any reason. It is also very common in Modena and Parma, here you will find that it called torta Fritta.

Mortadella in Bologna.

This slow cooked pink sausage is know all over the world in its copycat versions which simply ruined this popular salumi in Italy. Now the real mortadella di Bologna  is protected by the IGP label from the Italian government. The Indicazione di origine protetta indicate that the sausage is produced following a traditional recipe using only prime lean pork cut, then ground very finely which will give the pink appearance, and slowly cooked for 72 hours, the only ingredients should be pork, and salt. However it is very likely to contain nitrates added as preservative. It can be eaten finely sliced or cubed.

 What to see in Bologna.

After many heavy meals in Bologna you will soon find out that you will need to move a little to shed off the calories. In Bologna the best activity to do so it is to take a walk to the church of San Luca, which is the orange building that you see on the top of the hills surrounding Bologna. The porticoes stretch from the centre of the town and go all the way to the top, it is about 4 km of steep uphill walk. If you do not feel so adventurous you can take the tourist train from the central square. Other urban adventures are the torre degli Asinelli, one of the 2 tours adjacent to Piazza Maggiore has several 100 steps all the way to the top, once representing one of the powerful Bolognese family now offers visitors breathtaking views of the city. Along the Piazza Maggiore don’t miss the Jean de Boulogne fountain, San Petronio one of largest churches in Italy, and finally the room of the Spellati in the oldest university in the western world. It is a room in the faculty of medicine with two statues of man without their skin to expose the underneath muscles to the students.

Where to sleep in Bologna.

Bologna is a major transport hub in Italy, with a large train station, one airport and one major motorway if you are travelling from north to south and vice versa you got to pass from Bologna. Hotels tend to be fairly price compared to most the other tourist part of Italy, however in September you might find it expensive as there many exhibition around that period, in this case you can stay in Modena which is only 20 minutes by train and it has many very good quality hotels.

If you stay in Bologna it is best to book one of the hotel around the station, or around Piazza Maggiore, but remember if you are driving there in a no traffic zone in force so make sure that you know where you are going.

We recommend the Grand Majestic Baglioni that it is the city 5 star hotel with all the luxurious comfort that you will ever need. La Una, Starhotel excelsior and Mercure hotel are all very similar and right in front to the station. The Zan Hotel and 3 Vecchi are also popular choices are all very similar in standard.

Where to eat in Bologna.

Diana and Caminetto d’oro have been the best and most renowned  restaurant in Bologna for many years but you will find that the prices have also risen and they are not that reasonable any more. If you are looking for somewhere where the locals eat I would recommend Trattoria Anna Maria Via delle Belle Arti 17, open for lunch. For the evening you can try Taverna dei Lords in Via Nazario Sauro, here you can try many of the pasta  dishes from the Bologna cuisine.

Cookery lessons in Bologna

Emilia Delizia organises cookery classes in Bologna with a tour of the local market, student who want to be chef for one day can prepare fresh egg pasta with our professional chef. We can take solo travellers and larger groups anyone is welcome.

Gourmet tour from Bologna.

Emlia Delizia also pick up small or larger parties for our 3 food gourmet food in one day, with departure at 7.15 from your hotel or nearby location we will take you to visit the Parmesan cheese production, a balsamic vinegar producer with tasting and finally an organic winery in Modena or if you prefer to see the Parma ham we can also accomodate that.

mortadella
typical products of Bologna artisanal mortadella

Lamborghini Factory tours

Visit the factory lines at this famous super car manufacturer based just outside Bologna.

Half way between Bologna and Modena, lurking in the unpretentious Italian country side you will find one of the most prestigious car marque in the world. The company funded by Mr. Ferruccio Lamborghini at the end of the 1960 who was originally a tractor manufacturer in the area. The entrepreneur having made a successful business decided to buy himself a Ferrari however he was not happy about some of the mechanical parts of the car. Consequently he decide to complain to the car maker who was also his friend Enzo Ferrari. Enzo did not take it lightly and replied to Ferruccio to mind his tractor business instead of worrying about Ferrari cars. Lamborghini felt insulted and he went straight into planning his own super car design business.

This is only half of the story of mr. Lamborghini who went to become of the maker of the most prestigious cars in the world. Now visitors with our English speaking guide will be able to visit the museums where they can admire the early models that made this company successful such as the Miura, Countach, and Diablo. On the first floor there are more recent models and prototypes such as Murcielago, Gallardo, Aventador and the Reventon a 4 seater only produced in a limited number but never went to full production.

Lamborghini factory tours

This factory allows visitors to enter the restricted areas and see the 2 lines that produce the 2 current models Gallardo and Aventador. The visitor will be taken by the Lamborghini own guide with a detailed visit in English to the factory grounds, including the engine fitting areas, dyno testing, and body work assembly lines. If English is not your first language Emilia delizia can always add to your super car adventure a translator in Russian, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese or Japanese.

The factory tour will start from the museum and it will continue into the factory, remember that photos are only allowed in the museum and before entering the restricted areas you will need to leave any bag, camera or phone in the secure lockers. The visit lasts about 60/70 minutes. The cost is about 40 euros at the moment of writing and if you wish to see only the museum the cost is 15 euros per person.

How to get to Lamborghini.

This might be a daunting task if you do not have your own car and if you are not familiar with the Bologna and Modena, and it would be even more difficult to come by public transport as in Sant Agatata Bolognese the home of Lamborghini there is no train only rare local buses from Bologna.

Our organised tours to Lamborghini with Factory visits.

We will be very happy to organise your visit to the car museums and factories, we can pick you up from any location with our driver and guide service, if you stay in Bologna, Modena, Florence, Parma, Ravenna or Milan it is doable in one day. With our services we provide a tour master on request who will be in the car with you to help and translate when necessary and we can accommodate parties of 2 to 100 people.

Prices for museum and factory visits.

At the time of writing for information only the price of the Lamborghini museum is about 15 euros and the factory visit and museum with English speaking guide is 40 euros. These prices do not include our booking fees, transport or our guide fees.

Pagani tour

Super Car tour in Modena with visits to Automobili Pagani

Emilia Delizia is not just about gourmet food. As we are based in Modena, Italy we would like to introduce to the pleasures of super cars. Pagani Automobili, just minutes from the centre of the town but also reachable from Bologna, is the company behind the Pagani Zonda and the new Pagani Huayra which are truly dream cars totally made in carbon fiber with over 700 horse power and weighting less than 1500 kg. The price tag might not be for everyone one but with our tours you will be able to see the show room and most importantly tour the workshop where the cars are being made. Visitors will be introduced to the remarkable life of Horatio Pagani who came from Argentina with a dream: build his super car in Modena. Only 40 cars build every year the Huayra the wind inspired successor of the Zonda, with price tag of around 1 million euros, raising to 1.5 to the race track only or customised versions. The details are remarkable the body is entirely made of carbon fiber, the core of the car is made in carbon titanium for safety reasons, the gear handle, and brake are carved out single pieces of aluminium like works of art. Each Mercedes engine is hand assembled by a single engineer who sign his work at the end of the production. The exhausts are made from titanium alloy and laser soldered for perfection. All parts are custom made for Pagani including each bolt that it is actually signed by the company.

Here at Emilia Delizia we will able to combine the Pagani factory tour with other super car tours, such as Lamborghini, the Panini museum with many vintage Maserati cars, Galleria Ferrari in Maranello, and the new Casa Natale Enzo Ferrari in Modena. We can made a day out for the whole family with visits to Parmesan production, Parma ham and balsamic vinegar.

The price for the museum and workshop visit is set at 25 euros per person and it will include a tour in English. This price does not include our fees.

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The Parmesan cheese tour – Parma: Parmigiano Reggiano Factory departing from Bologna, Modena, Reggio Emilia.

How to see the Parmesan production at a dairy in Italy.

Parmesan cheese is produced only once a day and you will find it only in a small area in northern Italy. In fact it is mainly produced in Modena, Parma and Reggio Emilila however there are some producers in the Bologna and Mantua provinces. To see the production it is recommended to arrive at the dairy between 8.15 am and 9.30 in case there is a possibility to see larger producers where the cheese making process ends later. The visit lasts about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Guests will be able to see with their eyes the whole process, from raw milk, the making of the curds, the brine process and the ageing cellars. There are about 300 dairies in the DOP production areas and Emilia Delizia has selected some of the best places to see the cheese making. We visit family owned businesses or organic cooperatives where the Parmean or Parmigiano Reggiano as we call it in Italy. The milks come from cows owned by the producers in the area, and this milk must reach the dairy within 2 hours as it is specified by the consortium. Parmesan cheese is then aged for a minimum of 12 months before receiving an inspection and only then if it is approved it become a DOP product and it can be sold as Parmigiano Reggiano. Emilia Delizia can organise a tour of the facility that produce the cheese, normally we can pick up the client from their hotel from Bologna at 7.15 am, or from Modena and Parma at 8.15 am. We can organise a car with driver to pick you up and an English speaking guide, however if you have your own car we can set you an itinerary that you can follow and save money on the chauffeur fees. 20120512-213008.jpg

Parmesan Dairies To Visit On Your Own Around Modena

One of the pleasures of travelling through Italy most definitely lays in its food, especially when enjoyed in unique and picturesque settings. Emilia Romagna has a lot to offer in the way of traditional cuisine, most local dishes have made it worldwide and their success now graces the dining tables of all food enthusiasts around the world.

When enjoying local cuisine with simple or complex dishes – be it at a restaurant, a trattoria or in other such places that celebrate foodies’ needs with great food from the tradition of Emilia Romagna cooking – keep in mind that some of the ingredients you’re tasting are locally sourced and belong to the very history and culture of the Italian region. This is the case for the fames Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, for several kinds of ham and cold cuts made in the area, and is also true for Parmesan cheese.

While it is also employed in several dishes throughout Italy and abroad, and is enjoyed as a topping for pasta and other foods everywhere in the world, Parmesan is notably known in Emilia Romagna as a traditional cheese that can be tasted on its own. As it’s true for many different kinds of dairy products that can be found on a cheese platter, Parmesan can (and should – at least once in one’s life) be eaten as a standalone experience, but not many tourists think about doing this during their trip to Italy.
Foodies are more likely to know about this, but everyone should experience Parmesan in its pure form, and going to visit a dairy where the cheese is produced is the perfect way to sample the goods and marvel at the production process and cutting method employed for this Emilia Romagna treasure.

Here are some dairies in the province of Modena that you can visit for tastings, guided tours of the facility, and to shop Parmesan, local products and souvenirs.

Società Agricola Montorsi

This dairy is located just outside Modena and as such can be easily reached if you’re already visiting the city proper. Founded in 1949, this dairy has perfected the production of Parmigiano cheese and the raw materials are all locally sourced, to achieve Parmesan aged for up to 36 months where the milk employed hasn’t suffered any losses in quality through the supply chain.
The dairy, opened every day from 8:30 to 12:30 and from 15:30 to 19:30 (open only from 8:30 to 9:30 on Sundays for a brief stop to shop for Parmesan and more), offers a variety of guided tours and tastings for locals and tourists (also in English and with audio guides available).
Tourists will be able to choose from breakfast tours, a daily tour (with a visit of the Parmesan dairy factory, a vinegar place and lunch at a local restaurant) or other events such as a workshop weekend where visitors will take part to the production of the cheese and learn more about local culture. Please see antica latteria ducale for info.

Caseificio Rosola

Located near the city of Zocca, in the province of Modena, this dairy factory can be visited throughout the week (it’s closed on Mondays and on Friday afternoons, opening hours are 9:00-12:30 and 16:00-19:00). Since the location varies from other dairies closer to the city of Modena, in here you’ll be able to find products related to the mountain territory. Here you’ll be able to sample and purchase a type of Parmesan made from the milk of a white- coated breed of cow from the territory of Modena.

Caseificio San Pietro

The dairy is located near the city of Sassuolo and you can book guided tours of the entire production line of Parmesan, or experience the single phases of the process such as the preparation of the milk and the cheese, the storing area and learn about the aging process. In the dairy’s shop you’ll be able to sample and purchase Parmigiano cheese. Please see their site.

Caseificio 4 Madonne

Through booking, it’s possible to take part to guided tours every day, and they will last 1-1 and a half hours. depending on the type of tasting experience you choose, which will include sampling Parmesan with different aging periods, local cold cuts, balsamic vinegar, wines and more. You’ll have a chance to explore the history and production process of the cheese through the dairy, and you’ll witness the incredible storage for the Parmesan cheese wheels. More info here.

Caseificio Belvedere

This dairy is located further from Modena, but still retains those aspects of the city’s culture and tradition, with a different spin. Near the towns of Maserno and Montese, the Caseificio Belvedere offers the usual tours and tastings of Parmesan along with other peculiar culinary experiences of the Apennines. In the dairy’s shop, you’ll find local produce, Parmesan cheese and more.

 

 

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Parma ham tour – A visit to a prosciutto factory in the gourmet food capital of Italy

The Parma ham tour – Prosciutto di Parma – producer tour Emilia Romagna.

Emilia Delizia as part our our culinary tours will take you to Langhirano to visit one of the Parma ham producers. Prosciutto di Parma is traditionally cured on the bone, and the ingredients are, pork leg, salt, the right climate conditions and the patience and the ability of the master salter. We will visit the production facility in details and we will learn about each step of the production.

Our clients learn how Parma ham is made during the tours.

To make Parma ham only the  back leg of Italian born and risen heavy pigs are used. The animal are fed according the strict diet of the consortium that is aslo supplemented  with cheese whey coming for the production of Parmigiano Reggiano. The legs are sent to Langhirano in the province of Parma to become the famous Parma ham. The curing process starts immediately and the meat is salted once and stored in refrigerated cells for 5 days. Here the meat will lose water  and absorb the salt. Then the meat is washed and salted again for a second time and placed in a even colder cell, at this stage the temperature is just above the freezing point.  The ham makers use as little salt as possible to obtain a sweet cure that makes the Parma ham famous worldwide.

The pre-ageing phase will last for about 100 days, then the legs will be “manicured” to turn them into the classic pear shaped Parma hams, in other words all excess meat, fat and bone are trimmed off. From here onwards the hams will stay in the curing cellars until they are 12 months old. Each ham will be inspected by the consortium for approval by using a needle of horse bone. The probe is inserted in the 5 critical points where the meat might go wrong. The inspector probe each point and as he extract the needle he smells the tip. If they are approved they will receive the five star crown emblem of the Duchy of Parma, and then they become the world wide famous cured meat that we all know.

Emilia Delizia and Prosciutto factory tour in Parma.

Emilia Delizia will be pleased to take you to the producers in Parma, this tour can be part of our full day 3 gourmet food tour in Italy. Guests normally start their journey in Parma, Modena or Bologna. We can organise a self drive tour or a chauffeured one with English speaking guide and gourmet lunch. Our lunch is a sumptuous one, a 3 course meal that includes generous tasting of cured meats including Parma ham form the factory we just visited. The meal will continue with Tortelli alla Parmigiana (stuffed egg pasta), home made desserts. Coffee and digestive liquors.

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prosciutto di Parma facotry tour in Parma Italy

Traditional balsamic vinegar tour in Modena

How to visit a traditional balsamic vinegar producer in Modena – Emilia Romagna – Italy.

Emilia Delizia can take you to tour a traditional ACETAIA as we call the traditional balsamic vinegar producer here in Modena. Most visitors will be surprised by the difference between the “regular” or industrial balsamic vinegar and the DOP traditional balsamic vinegar that it is produced only in private houses in Modena and Reggio Emilia. Traditionally a batch of new balsamic vinegar was only started at the birth of a baby girl and it would become her dowry when she would marry. In the past centuries the aceto balsamico was only used within the family and sometimes given to important guests. It is said that the Duke of Modena had his own important vinegar attic, in his palace, important people would be introduced to the delights of the black gold when visiting Modena by the ducal family. As part of our tours we can take people to visit private villas and houses where this black nectar is still produced in small quantities in the most traditional way.

How Balsamic vinegar is made in Modena.

Traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena is made from initially reducing organic grape juice (must) to about 30% by just simmering the product for about 24 hours, this is to increase the sugar content in the juice. It is important to never reach the boiling point  in order to preserve the friendly bacteria that are already present in the liquid. This is done at harvest time between September and October the grape  must is obtained from Lambrusco and Trebbiano grapes. To age the vinegar a set of barrel is required. A mother barrel usually the lager in a set of 4,5 or 6 increasingly smaller barrels, all made of different woods such as  acacia, ash, chestnut, mulberry, cherry. From this moment in autumn it will take at least 12 years of painstakingly topping the evaporated must from the last but one barrel to the last one, and the repeating the sequence from the last but two to the last but one and so on until the mother barrel is then topped up with fresh grape must. No vinegar will be drawn for at least 12 years to obtain at least the “younger balsamic vinegar”.

How to use traditional balsamic vinegar.

The tradition wants that the precious black nectar obtained by the natural concentration of the flavours is used as a digestive at the end of the meal. It is best consumed on plastic or ceramic spoon as metal it is very cold and it would lower the sensory experience.

12 years old traditional balsamic vinegar.

It has more acidity than the other vintages and the sweetness is more subtle. You will soon find out that the favours of the woods are felt on different parts of your tongue and mouth. This balsamic vinegar is particularly indicated on fresher cheeses such as ricotta or mozzarella. You can also add to meat or fish dishes. The important that is used sparingly and only added the end of cooking.

The extra old vintage 24 years old traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena

The acidity decreases and the sweetness is more present, but it is not a flat sugary sensation, it is actually very complex. On your tongue you feel the taste of the blended wood tannins  such as the spiciness of juniper or the sweetness of the cherry wood. At this age it is a perfect match for aged cheese such as Parmesan or even for desserts: straberries, chocolate and ice creams.

28 YEARS OLD VINEGAR and over – Only in the Reggio Emilia province.

Only produced and marketed at this age in the Reggio Emilia. At this point the vinegar has lost a lot of its acidity and it the wood and the sweetness becomes even more accentuated, almost like a sweet complex black nectar. It is best consumed at the end of the meal as a digestive. The province of Reggio Emilia is also a producer of Traditional balsamic vinegar due to the proximity to Modena. The tradition was brought in Reggio Emilia as many women were marring across the 2 provinces bringing their dowry with them. During our Balsamic vinegar tour it is possible to visit Reggio Emilia producer and discover the 3 ageing typical of the area. If you want to learn more about Reggio Emilia culinary tradition please continue reading here.

Balsamic Vinegar Places You Can Visit On Your Own

If you’re an all-round foodie or just love food, there are some things that you can do during your stay in Italy that are food-related and are sure to enhance your experience. Besides trying out the local cuisine and all the traditional dishes available to you, there are activities you can do to fully immerse in the world of Emilia Romagna’s food. Restaurants are a thing you really cannot miss (you’re bound to end up eating out during your vacation, and there’s plenty of excellent places to choose from), but you can also go to local producers to sample ingredients and dishes made with them for a full-on experience. And while you’re looking through reviews and suggestions from fellow foodies on great places that offer food tasting experiences, don’t forget about other pleasures available to you. For example, wine tasting tours are a great idea – as are tours of balsamic vinegar places.
Balsamic vinegar might just be a condiment, but if you get deeper into the local culture, you’ll discover that balsamic vinegar in Emilia Romagna is a whole different deal: it’s tradition, it’s pride in local ingredients, it’s about employing processing methods passed down through generations. In short, visiting the place of production of balsamic vinegar will give you a glimpse into the history of this part of Italy, and there are several options to choose from when it comes to where you’re supposed to go to have a taste of Emilia Romagna.

Villa San Donnino

Villa San Donnino is located in a liberty-style villa just outside Modena, the birthplace of Balsamic Vinegar, this will be a very picturesque destination if you want to enjoy the history of this product in a suggestive environment. Since the certified DOP Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is produced throughout a very limited and controlled area of Emilia Romagna, it’s something that can truly be sampled only when in this type of location. The Acetaia Villa San Donnino would be a great choice for your balsamic vinegar tasting tour, or shopping and booking through the website is recommended . Once there, you’ll have a chance to see the traditional production methods for the vinegar and taste it paired with great local dishes.

Acetaia Di Giorgio

On their website it’s possible to book a visit to this acetaia (vinegar processing place) to, once again, see how the vinegar is produced, get in touch with the history of this excellent traditional product, sample and purchase DOP Balsamic Vinegar – right at the heart of the beautiful city of Modena. The Acetaia di Giorgio is a tiny balsamic vinegar place, family-owned and with a focus on how the vinegar truly is a legacy passed through the generations.

La Vecchia Dispensa

Another great place you can visit to explore the world of DOP Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is this acetaia, located in Castelvetro di Modena. The acetaia offers guided tours and tastings of different products that can also be purchased at the shop, along with local jams, spirits, wines, sweets and other products from Modena to pair with the vinegar. Mailing the acetaia will allow you to book a tour but also to find out about special events held by La Vecchia Dispensa, such as lunches in the acetaia, cooking classes and hikes through the vineyards.

Acetaia Malpighi

In this acetaia, you will be able to go on a tour of the place, guided by experts, to discover the secrets of the production of this interesting local condiment. During the tour, you’ll learn more about the history of the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, the techniques employed to achieve the final product, and you’ll have a chance to taste the vinegar. Groups of 10 people or more can arrange a special tour, which includes a vinegar and local food tasting, so you’ll be able to sample cold cuts, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, baked goods and wine typical of Modena all in the same package, for an all-round culinary experience.

Acetaia Bompana

Free tastings are held on every opening day in the Acetaia Bompana, and you can book tours if you want to learn about the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, other than just sampling it in all of its amazing shades of taste. The vinegar can be used in many different ways to enhance dishes, or can just be drizzled on a piece of Parmigiano cheese. This acetaia, like the other certified ones in the area of Modena, is the perfect place to sample the excellence of this traditional and local product. Purchasing some balsamic vinegar for yourself at the outlets annexed to the acetaie will guarantee top quality and an unforgettable taste of Modena to bring back home with you.

 

 

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Balsamic vinegar barrels
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Ampules containing balsamic vinegar “Tradizionale” for tasting