Overview - Culinary Treasures of Bologna, Venice, Michelin Stars & Exotic Cars

Bologna, Venice, Cooking Classes, Winery, Parmesan Cheese, Prosciutto Factory. Ferrari Museum, Lamborghini Factory, Traditional Balsamic & More!

An Amazing Week in the Foodie Capital of Italy and Venice!

Discover the Culinary Treasures of Bologna, Modena, Parmesan Cheese, Prosciutto & Mortadella! Experience the Beauty of Italy's Most Iconic Sports Cars!

This 8-Day, 7-Night, All-Inclusive vacation will consist of a very small and intimate group of about 16 or fewer people. Our guests stay the week at a luxury, boutique hotel in the city center of Bologna. This week is all about having incredibly unique cultural experiences that will give you memories to last a lifetime. You will live the Italian life as we cook authentic Bolognese recipes together with the real chefs of Italy - The Italian Nonna's (Grandmothers) and also a Michelin Star Chef in his professional kitchen. We'll be having three hands-on cooking classes this week as we interact with and befriend the locals, get to know small-village artisans, and so much more - Including the Ferrari Museum Tour, plus the Lamborghini (or Ducati) Factory Tour! This trip will make you pinch yourself over and over in amazement that you are actually living it. Most of all, it is a week of fun, family and laughter as we share what makes Northern Italy so special in a very personal way.

"Bologna" Birthplace of Bolognese Sauce, Tortellini and B-O-L-O-G-N-A...

OK, so B-O-L-O-G-N-A draws up Baloney, and that is not the image we want to portray. Let's try again... Mortadella!

Bologna is one of Italy's most iconic cities for food, art, and architecture, yet it is not often visited by mass tourism.

It is home to the world's oldest university, the tallest tower in Italy, and it is the birthplace of Bolognese Sauce - shall we call it Ragu? Sauce? Gravy? Whatever you call it, it originated here, and not a single Italian will tell you it can be better anywhere else. It is the birthplace of Tortellini, Tagliatelle, Ravioli, Lasagne Verde and its surrounding area exclusively produces Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Parma Prosciutto, Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, and the "Motor Valley", home to Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Ducati Motorcycles and more!

Did we mention the Food?

Bologna is considered a major food capital in Italy... for Italians! It boasts a rich and diverse culinary history. It goes far beyond its namesake pasta sauce and Mortadella. Ask any Italian what the most important thing to do in Bologna is, and they will all say...MANGIA! MANGIA!

The Excursions

We chose Bologna as our seventh location for more than just the food. It also happens to be strategically located in an area that allows us to get to some of Italy's most recognizable names for our daily outings.

We'll take the high speed rail from Bologna directly to Venice for a full day beginning with something that the tourists don't get a chance to see - A private visit with an artisan Gondola maker. After which, we'll take a private gondola ride directly to St. Mark's Square!

Besides Venice, we'll visit the historical center of Modena, the countryside of Reggio Emilia, and several quaint neighborhoods around Bologna.

We'll visit with a small, family-run traditional Balsamic Vinegar producer in Modena, a Parmigiano Reggiano cheese producer (where we may milk their cows), and even a small-production Prosciutto maker that ages our own prosciutto in his private cellar!

And as mentioned above, we're in the "Motor Valley", home of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Ducati Motorcycles! On Friday, we'll head to Maranello for a guided tour of the Ferrari Museum. On yet another day, we have an incredible, behind-the-scenes guided tour of the Lamborghini Factory, where we will walk the assembly-line and see exactly how these luxury sports cars are built from the beginning to end. We would love to show photos of all this, however it is strictly a "no photos" zone! Note: As much as we plan everything months and months in advance, it can happen that the Lamborghini Factory is not able to host a tour for us. In this case, we will book the Ducati Motorcycle Factory Tour. Which, is also an amazing experience that our guests love!

Wine in this area? Absolutely!

While Italian wines like Chianti, Brunello, Vino Nobile, Barolo and Prosecco get the most international press and publicity, each region of Italy has their own unique varieties and styles. The area of Emilia Romagna is known for its Sparkling Lambrusco, along with other Cabernet and Sangiovese-based wines. We will be trying lots of them this week. Not only with our meals, during cooking classes and, well, sometimes for no reason at all! But, we will be having an exclusive wine tasting and lunch in the vineyard at a family-run winery and producer of some of the best wines in the area.

The Cooking Classes

This week we have three hands-on cooking classes, designed to give our guests a rich experience with local cooking. Two of our classes will be with two local women, Pina and Roberta, who will teach us traditional recipes at Roberta's family-run trattoria on the outskirts of Bologna's city center. The second class with Pina and Roberta will culminate with our Farewell Dinner on Friday night. The third class, will be at the Michelin starred Ca' Matilde restaurant, and will be taught by their master chef, Andrea Incerti Vezzani as we get to go "Behind the Scenes" and into his amazing professional kitchen to prepare our lunch. It truly is an exclusive experience that is rarely available in this type of restaurant.

Cities & Villages we'll visit...

As we'll be staying in the City Center of Bologna, we will also venture out to other local destinations. Two of our cooking classes will take us just outside the city to the small town of Botteghino di Zocca. We'll also be guests at a family-run vineyard in the rolling hills of Campogalliano, and more specifically, the area of Savigno.

We'll be traveling First-Class by train to one of the most amazing cities in the world, Venice. Known for its canals, gondolas and maze of streets and bridges, we'll have an insider's look as we visit a local artisan gondola builder or Squero as the are called. Take some time after our lunch to stroll the area near St. Mark's Cathedral and the Doge's Palace.

Some other fascinating places we'll be going to are, Modena, with its central market and gorgeous piazzas. We have an amazing lunch experience with the family of a small- production Balsamic Vinegar maker.

Also, Reggio Emilia where we have a personal visit and hands-on experience with an authentic and small-production Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese maker.

We'll head to Maranello for a guided visit the Ferrari Museum. And on another day, we'll be in the area of Sant'Agata Bolognese for our guided tour of the Lamborghini Factory.

What we'll be cooking...

Four Cooking Classes, including 4 Full-Course Classes & a Specialty Pasta-Making Class.

Your first class is with Pina and Roberta at her family-run trattoria, which features some of the areas most iconic dishes.

Here's what we'll be making:

Today's class takes place at a Michelin Star restaurant in the countryside of Reggio Emilia.

We'll be taking over the kitchen of Ca' Matilde. The chef and owner, Andre Incerti Vezzani, will be our class instructor and teach us some of the finer points and techniques used in the local cooking.

First Course Second Course Dessert
Piccola Bomba di Riso Reggiana - Reggiano-Style Rice Bombs Filetto di Maiale alla Sapa e Spinaci - Pork Filet with Saba and Spinach Ciambella con Zabaione Caldo - Italian-Style Doughnut with Warm Egg Custard

For today's class, we're back at Roberta's trattoria where we'll be making more traditional Bolognese cuisine.

Appetizer First Course Second Course Dessert
Tigelle alla Modenese - Modena-Style Bread Lasagne Verde - Traditional Bologna Recipe Spiedino alla Bolognese - Bologna-Style Chicken Skewers Zuppa Inglese - Italian-Style Triffle

Features, Factories, Wineries & Artisans we will visit...

  • Artisan Gondola Builder in Venice
  • Private Gondola Ride Through the Canals of Venice
  • Insiders Lamborghini or Ducati Factory Tour
  • Ferrari Museum in Maranello
  • Family-Run Modena Balsamic Vinegar Producer
  • Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Producer
  • Small, Family-Run Prosciutto Producer
  • Lambrusco Winery and Vineyard Lunch