The Ideal Moment for a Parmesan Cheese Tour from Bologna: When is Cheese Crafted?

Parmesan cheese stacks

For all gastronomy aficionados plotting an Italian escape, embarking on a Parmesan cheese tour from Bologna should be a paramount experience. Bologna, the vibrant heart of the Emilia Romagna region, serves as a gateway to Italy’s gastronomic wonders, particularly the art of Parmesan cheese-making. But, how do you ensure your tour is timed impeccably? When is the best time for a Parmesan cheese expedition starting from Bologna? Let’s delve in.

Dawn’s Magic: Witnessing Parmesan Creation


Parmesan cheese, globally recognized but in Italy revered as “Parmigiano Reggiano”, is a result of a methodical routine starting at daybreak. The evening’s collected milk intertwines with the fresh yield of the morning, culminating in the cheese’s iconic taste and consistency.

This cheese symphony commences around 5:00 AM with cheese connoisseurs initiating their ritual. After blending the milk, natural whey and calf rennet are introduced, leading the mix to its curdling phase. Spanning 2 to 3 hours, by the time 8:00 AM rolls around, the curd is set to be fragmented and simmered.

By 9:00 AM, visitors are treated to an exhilarating segment: the retrieval of cheese from the vats, signaling its transformation into a tangible wheel of Parmesan. With unparalleled skill, the cheese maestros mold and maintain the integrity of this dairy marvel.

For those journeying from Bologna, it’s essential to get an early start. Our Parmesan cheese tour setting off from Bologna is scheduled at 7:30 AM, ensuring we grace the cheese facility just in time for the 9:00 AM extraction. This impeccable timing guarantees guests witness this pivotal phase in cheese alchemy, a spectacle captivating for every gourmet enthusiast visiting from Bologna.

Afternoon Encounters: An Alternate Delight


While Parmesan’s birth occurs in the early hours, afternoon sojourns are no less intriguing. Tailored for late risers or those who miss the morning session, afternoon rendezvous offers an enthralling dive into Parmesan’s universe, minus the live creation.

On afternoon ventures, one can navigate the labyrinth of maturation cellars, home to cheese wheels that undergo rigorous aging, some for several epochs. Within these chambers, the cheese undergoes its transformative journey, with every wheel monitored to perfection. The ambient moisture and temperature set the stage for Parmesan’s leisurely aging.

Here, guests are educated on the art of aging, a process integral to the cheese’s evolution. They’ll grasp the stages of maturation and how the passage of time affects texture and flavor. Guided tastings reveal the nuances between freshly crafted and extensively aged Parmesan, an exploration that heightens one’s palate and knowledge.

Our exclusive afternoon Parmesan exploration, excluding the live creation, departs from Bologna at 15:30. This timing offers a relaxed morning followed by an afternoon deep dive into the nuances of Parmesan aging. Even without witnessing the dawn production, this afternoon journey guarantees an enlightening insight into Parmesan’s storied legacy.

Parmesan, Balsamic and Ham Tour From Modena or Bologna: Foodie’s Delight Tour A Culianry Adventure.

blank


Book Online Today. Pay Only The Deposit Now and The Balance Later.

Book Today and pay half the price now, then you can pay the balance 7 days before the activity. We will manage this for you automatically.

Experience the culinary magic of Italy with our small-group food tour, taking you on an epicurean adventure from Modena to Bologna. This gastronomic expedition delves into the heart of Italy’s renowned food scene, showcasing the artisanal mastery of Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, and delectable ham production. Join our expert guides as they lead you through the picturesque countryside and charming towns of Modena and Bologna, unveiling the secrets of these iconic Italian delights.

Embark on an Unforgettable Culinary Journey in Modena and Bologna

Indulge your senses as you savor the rich flavors of freshly made Parmesan cheese, aged to perfection by skilled artisans, and marvel at the intricate process of crafting the region’s legendary balsamic vinegar. As you explore the world of Italian ham, witness first-hand the passion and dedication of local producers who’ve honed their skills for generations.

Introducing the ultimate value-for-money small group food tour departing from Modena, showcasing the finest Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, and ham this region has to offer.

Embark on this all-inclusive food experience, complete with transportation, tastings, and an English-speaking guide, setting off from Modena Central Station or your hotel at 8:30 am. Our culinary adventure is available 7 days a week on most days throughout the year, ensuring you can indulge in the delectable flavors of Modena whenever you choose. The tour concludes back in Modena at approximately 13:00 hours*, leaving you with unforgettable memories of Italy’s gastronomic treasures.

Use Your Own Car For The Duration of The Tour

Use coupon code MYCAR for a 20% off when you use your own car to get to each location.


Use coupon code skip2023 for a 20% off  to skip the prosciutto part, the tour will be only parmesan and balsamic, it will be shorter and it will not include the ham part. If you apply this code the tour must end after the balsamic vinegar, you are not allowed to add any of the extras such as lunch at the farm and others.


Tours For The Year 2024

Experience the Artisan Craftsmanship Behind Parmesan, Balsamic, and Ham Production

Please take note of the following.

Monday, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays the tours are automatically upgraded to the prosciutto factory. Therefore on these days of the week the tour will be Parmesan production, balsamic vinegar and the prosciutto factory that also include a generous tasting “light lunch” at prosciutto place.

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays the tour will be Parmesan, balsamic and MUSA, however it will be upgradeable to the prosciutto factory tour as a above, if you wish to upgrade you will need to add this options to your booking.

Sundays the tour will be Parmesan, balsamic and MUSA only. There are no other options for this day of the week.

Tours are available in English only. Private tours are not possible, however our groups are small.

Suggestion:  We strongly suggest to come to Modena by train from Bologna, as it is only a 20 minute train ride that costs only 4/7 euros per person, it is quicker than using a car. Coming by car it can take up to one hour due to intense traffic. Check https://www.thetrainline.com/ for details.

It includes 3 stops.

blank

(Parmesan, balsamic and ham and salami) and gourmet tasting with possible additions:

  • You Can upgrade the prosciutto visit to a full production tour if you choose this upgrade we will visit Prosciuttificio Leonardi or Guerzoni instead of MUSA* . The upgrade is available on Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
  • Tour begins in Modena at 8.30 am, or 7.30 am in Bologna (extra pick up). The foodie’s delight tour ends at about 13.00* hours  in Modena. If you add the winery brunch the tour will finish at 15.30, if you add the cooking class expect to finish at about 16.00.
  • Full Parmesan cheese production visits with generous tasting.
  • Visit Balsamic vinegar producer with tasting and possibility to buy at bargain prices.
  • Visit to Villani’s Salami world famous Parma ham, mortadella and prosciutto San Daniele with guided tour and tasting directly  at the Salami Factory in Modena. See Musa for info.
  • Cured meat tasting at the end of the tour included in the price*.
  • Additional extra available during booking.
  • Pay by credit card, Paypal.
  • Prices: Please use the booking calendar below to price your tour, and do not forget to push the “continue button” to display all the options of the tour.

Optional Extra Add On.

NEW: Now you can upgrade the prosciutto ham visit, with a little extra you can visit a full prosciutto facility at prosciuttificio, instead of the MUSA.  Just start the booking and on the second page you can choose this upgrade. In this the tour will include Parmesan, balsamic and a full prosciutto ham producer with a generous tasing.

  • Additional extra  Brunch & cooking class at the organic winery can be added to this tour*
  • Bologna one way pick up. We will pick you up from your hotel at these location and after the tour we drop off in Modena where you can explore the town, visit the Ferrari Museum or just continue your journey from the well connected station*.
Don't forget to add our great farmer's brunch to your tour
Don’t forget to add our great farmer’s brunch to your tour

BONUS OPTIONS

  • If you want to drive your own car add “mycar” as coupon at the check out for some money off.
  • Add the Maranello free drop off if you want to see the Ferrari Museum at no additional charge from us. You will be able to continue your journey with the shuttles buses running from the museum to Modena train station (and Casa Enzo Ferrari).

About this tour.

In summary, our value-packed small group food tour from Modena offers a unique and memorable opportunity to explore the captivating world of Italian cuisine. Unveiling the secrets of Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, and ham production, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the region’s rich culinary heritage. Don’t miss the chance to savor the authentic tastes of Italy and create cherished memories as you journey through the enchanting landscapes of Modena and Bologna. Book your unforgettable food tour today and indulge in the unparalleled flavors that have made these regions famous around the world.

To address some frequently asked questions, we’d like to clarify the following:

Our food tours are conducted EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH, offering an accessible and enjoyable experience for our international guests. Departure points for our tours include Modena train station, central Modena hotels, Bologna train station, and Bologna hotels, ensuring convenience for all participants.

With morning tour pick-ups scheduled at approximately 8:30 am in Modena and 7:30 am in Bologna, our tours are carefully timed to provide an immersive experience. Should the morning tour timings not suit your schedule, consider joining our delightful afternoon aperitivo tours.

Our Foodie’s Delight tours are designed for small groups, providing a personalized experience. During the low season, you may even find yourself on a semi-private tour. Please note that we do not offer fully private tours for this package.

For pricing information, kindly use the calendar available on our website to generate a self-quote. Email inquiries for quotes will be redirected to this page for self-quotation.

With these clarifications in mind, we invite you to embark on an unforgettable culinary journey through the enchanting landscapes of Modena and Bologna, experiencing the authentic tastes of Italy’s gastronomic treasures

Some small print.

*ending times are estimates, guests should not have imminent travel arrangements right after the tour.

*lunch and cooking classes, pick ups  and other extra are options and not included in the default price of the foodie’s delight tour. These options are displayed as you progress in the booking. Lunch must booked at least 48 hours in advance. Cooking class & lunch not available on Sundays.

*When we say small and semi private tour the mean that: we use small people carrier vans to take our guests around, our tour will be always in small groups, and personable and we will always make best effort to maintain it this way, however during busy periods on and around Italian national holidays the ham location  might have company events and other larger group of guests visiting at the same time, this happens only very occasionally.  Time of tour are estimates delays might occur. When booking this tour you also agree to these terms and conditions we strongly suggest to avoid making booking if this factors are an issue for you.

*during Italian national holidays and the covid emergency till further notice the tasting might not be available and a high quality cured meat gourmet take away gift  will be given to the participants.

*Monday to Thursday is Leonardi and Friday and Saturday is Guerzoni. This also depends on our planning and producer availability, when you book the upgrade you acknlowdge this. Clients cannot choose the prosciuttificio, it will be either or.

What Food Factories can I visit in Italy?

Everyone loves Italian food!  Wherever you go in the world, even in unlikely places such as Thailand and Malaysia, both of which have their own wonderful regional cuisine, you will find Italian restaurants, and most people cook at least one Italian staple, pasta, on a regular basis at home.  It follows that if you are visiting Italy, you will want to explore the origins of some of your favourite Italian dishes and ingredients.

prosciutto

Food factories in Emilia Romagna.

A visit to the Emilia-Romagna region of north-eastern Italy will give you the opportunity to visit the production houses of some of Italy’s best-loved and most famous foods.  The region is easily accessed from Bologna or Florence and the prized foods are made in and around the towns of Parma and Modena.
The three main foods you can see being manufactured from scratch are Prosciutto di Parma (Parma Ham), Parmigiano  Reggiano (Parmesan Cheese) and Aceto Balsamico (Balsamic vinegar).  These three products are the most famous of Italy’s food exports and are known far and wide.  Visitors to the region will be pleased to know that Parma and Modena are quite close to each other which makes it really easy to visit these 3 factories in one day, and still have time to sip some local Lambrusco (sparkling red wine from the region) before the sun sets.  

Food Experiences tours around Bologna and Parma.

The best way to visit all these factories is to go on an organised Culinary Tour, either using your own transport or, better yet, being collected at your hotel and driven around – this way you get to see more of the beautiful countryside.
The town of Parma is the home of Parmesan Cheese and Parma Ham (only Prosciutto from this little part of Italy may be called Parma Ham – likewise with the cheese – their region of origin is protected and similar products from other regions may not use the names.)   A typical culinary tour to see the production of these products will start with a visit to one of the many Parmesan Cheese manufacturers in and around the town of Parma.  The Parmesan production starts anew every single day, and you can watch the entire process from the arrival of the milk, to the storage in the cellars.  You will also be taught how to differentiate between real Parmesan and copies, which is very helpful when you get back home.
After the cheese, you will go to Modena to see how the Balsamic vinegar, Italian “Black Gold” is made.  This is a laborious artisanal procedure and you will leave with a better understanding of why the real thing is so expensive.  You will also get to taste, and learn some of the correct uses of this delicious condiment.
The cherry on the top of your tour will be when you visit the little town of Langhirano, just south of Parma, which is the original home of Parma Ham.  At the factory you will be guided through all the stages of producing a fine Parma Ham, which differs in some respects from ordinary Prosciutto Cotto (Dried Ham).  The proof of the pudding is in the eating, they say, and you will end your tour with a tasting session and then go on to enjoy a fabulous lunch.  

Winery tours in the Emilia Region

If you have a little more time, consider visiting some of the vineyards where the lovely regional Lambrusco is produced.  A leisurely day driving through the peaceful Italian countryside and visiting some of the wineries will round-off your culinary adventure perfectly.  Culinary tours can be tailor-made to suit your needs – just speak to your tour company.
farmer-lunch-in-modena

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

Embark on an authentic gastronomic adventure with our comprehensive guide to the heart of Parmesan cheese production – Emilia Romagna.
From the rolling pastures of Modena, Parma, and Reggio Emilia to the bustling dairies in the provinces of Bologna and Mantua, discover the art of Parmigiano Reggiano, the ‘King of Cheeses.’ Produced just once a day in these historic regions of northern Italy, Parmesan is not just cheese; it’s a symbol of Italian heritage and a global ambassador of Italian cuisine. Journey with us through family-owned businesses and organic cooperatives, where tradition meets passion, and the raw milk of local cows transforms into golden wheels of Parmesan.
Witness the cheese-making process firsthand, from the curdling of the milk to the meticulous aging in cellars, a practice rooted deep in time. Experience the robust, complex flavors of a cheese that’s been expertly aged for a minimum of 12 months, earning its DOP certification and the honor of being called Parmigiano Reggiano.
Whether you prefer a guided tour complete with English-speaking guides and convenient hotel pickups or wish to embark on a self-guided exploration of Parmesan dairies, we’ve got you covered. As you journey through the picturesque landscapes of Emilia Romagna, savor the exquisite pleasure of Parmesan cheese savored in its homeland. Let’s start your Italian cheese journey today.

How to see the Parmesan Production at a Dairy in Italy, Find Your Cheese Tour Now.

Parmesan cheese production tours in Modena and Bologna
Cheese master meticulously crafting authentic Parmesan cheese

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.

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, Book your Parmigiano Reggiano Tour with them.

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, Parmesan Guided visits.

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.

20120512-213055.jpg

css.php