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  • TOUR #6 — Monday 18 – Sunday 24 September 2017
    Unusual Italy (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: Today 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 and have a cup of typical Italian hot chocolate, prior to setting off to return to Polinago. This evening we will have dinner at a local pizzeria.

    Casa Marini Casa Marini

    Day 3: 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. From here we will go to Castello di Gombola which was the seat of power until the mid-19 century, when the seat of government moved to Polinago. 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 dinner will be at the local pizzeria.

    Day 4: As today is Thursday, we will first go to the small weekly market in Polinago to purchase some ingredients before going to Cinghianello (one of the quarters of Polinago) where you will have a cooking lesson in a typical 16-century farmhouse. Learn how to make fresh egg pasta and ragù for our lunch as well as tortelli, and the local speciality, crescentine and crostata. This will also be an opportunity to learn about farm implements used in days gone by. On your return to Casa Marini you may wish to go and relax by the pool or go for a pleasant walk before dinner. This evening a light dinner will be provided at Casa Marini .

    Day 5: Today we drive towards Modena and across the plains (pianura) to the city of Mantua. A beautiful medium sized city, we enter across the man-made lake surrounding the city to visit Palazzo Tè and its wonderful art museum before crossing town have lunch and then to meet with our guide who will take us for a guided tour of the city and the Ducal palace. We will have the opportunity to see the concert hall where Mozart performed at the age of 14. On our return, we will have dinner at Casa Marini.

    Day 6: In the larger town of Pavullo nel Frignano every Saturday is market day and we will go and visit the market where you can find all sorts of items of clothing, footwear, household goods etc. Locals come from throughout the area and this is your opportunity to also do some shopping. After this we will go to a local coffee shop for a light lunch before going on the see the castle of Montecucolo, after which we will go on to the small gem, which is Ponte Olina a 16-century bridge linking the cities of Pistoia and Modena. From here we will go on to have a walk in the woods and see the monolith which is Ponte Ercole. On our return to Casa Marini there will be time to freshen up before our farewell dinner at a well-known restaurant.

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

    Total Cost: €2420 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