Guided tours of San Daniele Ham – A Marvel of Udine Gastronomic Tradition

Discover the uniqueness of San Daniele Ham and explore Friuli Venezia Giulia, The best of Italy's North-East.

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Picture of Parma hams in Langhirano


San Daniele is a medieval town located in the morainic hills of Friuli, northern-east of Italy. This place in the province of Udine is famous worldwide for its tasty ham called Prosciutto di San Daniele. So, what is so unique of this ham? How is it made and how different it is from the other famous Parma ham made in Emilia Romagna Region?

The process of preparation of prosciutto is quite common: the hind leg is used and to make San Daniele is custom to leave the pig trotter on. The piece of meat is only slightly salted for a certain period of time.  The amount of time that the leg should be kept under salt is determined by the weight of the meat. A piece weighing 13 Kg should be kept in a bed of salt for 13 days. One day for each kilo of weight. The ham should also have its triangular characteristic shape. Following the drying and seasoning steps for at least 10 months and allowing up to two years of ageing the hams are ready for the consortium inspection.

salting stage of San Daniele hams

The first feature of the San Daniele ham is that the pigs are bred and reared exclusively from ten regions of central-northern Italy (Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Lombrady, Piedmont, Tuscany, Marche, Umbria, Abruzzo, Latium.) and fed with high quality fodder and a strict diet. The meat comes from authorized butchers only.

But the real trick is the geographical location of San Daniele and its micro-climate; since centuries, people have realised that this location makes the ham have a unique taste which is beyond the simple drying and preservation process. This is possible thanks to the position of this town, located between the fresh air currents from the Alps and the humid currents from the Adriatic Sea. In addition the town is located on a foothill and its excellent ventilation coupled with the low humidity of the place makes an ideal location for the seasoning of the ham. These characteristics contribute to the transformation of a simple piece of dry meat into a miracle, a mix of flavours so tasty and unique in its own. And all this by using just natural ingredients.

Thanks to this unique features in fact, the “Prosciutto di San Daniele” has been recognized as a P.D.O. product (Protected Designation of Origin) by the European Union regulation, which is in fact a label for the highest quality in terms of food.

The town of San Daniele also celebrates every year, towards the end of summer, the prosciutto festival called “Aria di Festa”, an international events that attracts thousands of tourists from the neighbouring Austria, Germany and from all over the world. A tasty and enjoyable experience which is worthwhile once in a lifetime to do also considering the beauty of this medieval town.

To reach San Daniele from Venice is quite easy. Starting from Venice go to Mestre and there take the highway up to Portogruaro. Then turn left and take the A28 and in proximity to Azzano Decimo keep left and proceed to Spilimbergo and then San Daniele. The options you have once arrived in San Daniele are plenty. You can visit the nearby medieval town like Venzone, Gemona, Spilimbergo. Or proceed to the seaside in Lignano or Grado going southwards or in Croatia if you proceed eastwards. Or alternatively proceeding northwards it will be possible to enjoy the quietness and fresh air of the Dolomites Alps, for a quite rest and a nice walking.

San Daniele ham, compared to Parma ham, is darker in colour and has a sweeter taste. For this reason Prosciutto di San Daniele is best served in thin slices together with grissini (bread sticks). Highly recommended the accomplishment with yellow-fleshed melon or with figs. Both San Daniele and Parma ham are cured only with high grade sea salt, and not not contain any sort of preservatives, on the ingredient labels we should only read: pork meat and sea salt, nothing else.

Emilia Delizia is able to organise San Daniele ham tours for interested parties. The tour include a detailed visit of one ham producer followed by a gourmet lunch with generous tasting of the local ham paired with wine. Visiting the producers requires advance bookings  and the tour can be organised according to your requirements. We can  transform your holiday in a memorable time.


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by Radovan on Emilia Delizia
Very Nice Morning.

I visited the Food Tours with my wife, we were looking forward to this some time ago and I can state that this tour bring to us very interesting time and experience in spite of the fact that we departed from Milano by morning train at 5,50 am. Our guide was young man and we enjoyed all morning together talking not only about the parmazan, balsamic and parma ham. I really appreciate it. He was very communicate, his driving was safety, very polite. Parmazan farm - amazing, balsamic farm -

by Alyssa on Emilia Delizia
Wonderful Foodies Tour!

My boyfriend and I thoroughly enjoyed the Foodies Tour, which included stops at producers of cheese, balsamic vinegar and cured meat. Paolo was an amazing tour guide – he's extremely knowledgeable, kind and a great communicator. We learned so much! It was really nice to be in a smaller group and most of the producers we visited were small so we were able to get a close up view of the processes. We'd highly recommend Emilia Delizia as this tour was truly authentic and a highlight of our trip!

thank you for the kind review

by Peter jacob on Emilia Delizia

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.

by Janice on Emilia Delizia

We had a wonderful tour, best part about visiting the Modena region!

by Bing Liem on Emilia Delizia
Emilia Delizia

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!

by Avihai on Emilia Delizia

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.

by Johnathan on Emilia Delizia
Super food and super cars

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.

Thank you!

by Susan on Emilia Delizia
Lovely food tour and cooking class

Hi Gabriele:

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

by Simone&Vasco on Emilia Delizia
Food tour in Modena

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

by Kimie on Emilia Delizia
Fantastic Tour!!

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.

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