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Authentic experiences of the real Italy


AUGUST 2017

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  • TOUR #5 — Friday 11 – Thursday 17 August 2017
    Small Town Italy Celebrations (6 nights / 7days)

    Day 1: Meet at Bologna Station at 11am. After storing your luggage, we will go for a walk into the City of Bologna where we will have a light lunch and get to know one another. Following lunch, we will meet up with our Local Guide who will provide a guided tour of the city. Then we will commence the drive to Polinago (approximately one and half hours, depending on traffic). On arrival at Antica Corte Casa Marini there will be time to freshen up before going out for dinner in the nearby town of Pavullo nel Frignano.

    Day 2: This morning we drive into the mountains to visit the small hamlet of Roccapelago and its museum and church. Several years ago, during a restoration program mummies were found in the crypt, which had been sealed for centuries. Our guide will take us through the visitor centre, museum and church to explain the history. From here we go onto the lovely small town of Fiumalbo which is located close to the border with Tuscany. We will have time to explore this delightful town before going on to Abetone, where the main Tuscan ski field are located and have lunch. Afterwards we begin our return journey via Lago Santo, a beautiful mountain lake sitting at 1500 metres. We will have an opportunity to walk around the lake, prior to setting off to return to Polinago. This evening we will walk into Polinago to join in the evening’s festivities of eating and dancing in the local square.

    Casa Marini Casa Marini

    Day 3: A slow morning with a chance to relax by the pool before driving to the nearby area of Polinago called Gombola to have lunch at the local restaurant Baroni, which has been serving the public since 1878. After lunch, we will have a brief look at Gombola Castle and the working water mill before going on to Sassuola to visit the former summer palace of the D’Este family, rulers of Modena for several centuries. On our return, we will go via the town of Scandiano, stopping for an ice-cream. Drinks and a light dinner will be served at Casa Marini.

    Day 4: We will have an early start today to go and visit the local Caseficio (dairy) to see how the world-famous Parmigiano Reggiano is made. This will take approximately 2 hours and we will then go to Polinago for a coffee prior to going to the local dairy farm where we see how the cows, who provide the milk for the cheese are maintained. Our bus will then take us onto Parco Santa Giulia and its towering sculptures and then to La Cialamina for lunch. After lunch, we will go onto Montefiorino and the visit the castle and its small Resistance museum before returning to Casa Marini. This evening we will have drinks and dinner at Casa Marini.

    Day 5: Today we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption, or Ferragosta – the biggest national holiday in Italy. We will go for a walk through the chestnut forest to see the monolith Ponte Ercole and then to view the 16-century bridge of Ponte Olina which linked the cities of Pistoia and Modena before returning for a leisurely lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we will watch the annual procession of the Virgin Mary through the streets of Polinago. We will have a light dinner at Casa Marini and then join in the music and dancing in the piazza.

    Day 6: Today is the celebration for San Rocco, the patron saint of Polinago. The main street of the town is one large market with all the inhabitants out to see what is on offer. We will join the locals for a coffee and wander through town before returning to Casa Marini for a special lunch to celebrate. In the evening, we will go to the main piazza to join everyone listening to the music and dancing.

    Day 7: After a leisurely breakfast we will depart at 10am for your return to Bologna Railway station for your onward journey.


    Total Cost: €2520 pp (see inclusions below)

    Single supplement additional €300

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    Activities are a guide only, as we may change our itinerary due to weather conditions or
    if we become aware of a special or unique occasion which we believe you may enjoy.


  • Tour packages include:

    • Accommodation for 6 nights (please note Enchanting Italy tour is 5 nights) in a unique, recently restored 17 century stone villa, Antica Corte Casa Marini (with lift) near the small town of Polinago
    • Breakfast daily, 6 lunches and 6 dinners
    • All meals include wine, coffee or tea
    • All transport from day of pick up to morning of drop off
    • Cooking classes where mentioned
    • Museum entry where mentioned
    • Visits and tastings at vineyards and balsameria; and visits to the local cheesemaker where mentioned
    • Local guides when visiting Bologna, Modena and Mantua
    • Cost of boat trip on Lake Garda
    • Use of the swimming pool and additional towels at Antica Corte Casa Marini
    • All tours accompanied by a fluent English speaking escort
  • Tours DO NOT include:

    • Airfares
    • Additional museum entry e.g. Ferrari Museums
    • Any meals not listed
    • Any additional snacks or drinks
    • Additional Wines or those selected from the wine lists
    • Travel Insurance (is strongly recommended)
    • Personal Expenses