Authentic experiences of the real Italy
Spring and Summer in Italy are a great time to tour the less crowded cities and rural areas of Emilia Romagna and to enjoy walks by mountain lakes, and eating local foods at the many small-town festivals held during the months of July and August, with rarely another tourist in sight.
Spring is heralded by amazing displays of wild flowers and the first calls of the cuckoo. Easter this year the small town of Frassinoro celebrates with the Via Crucis Vivante, held only every 3 years. Check out the details for our special tour to see this event.
Please see details of our organised 4-night/5-day tours. Alternatively we would be pleased to assist to create your own private tours for a shorter or longer period and to provide an obligation free quote.
*****All tours start and finish in Bologna. On arrival you will be taken for a tour of Bologna, the capital of Emilia Romagna.*****.
** As many events are of a very local basis and often not publicised beforehand, We reserve the right to possibly change some aspects of the tours, should we consider that a more interesting opportunity has presented itself.
** Should you not wish to participate in the cooking class, please advise us when booking and we can offer an alternative excursion and have you meet back at the venue with the others to enjoy the lunch.
Due to the extreme weather, the Via Crucis Vivante 2018 was postponed to 2019.
To view the video of the Via Crucis in 2015 click here
Join us to experience this moving and spiritual occasion. Imagine the small mountain village of Frassinoro draped in darkness with only the flickering oil lamps leading the way, from one life size staged depiction of each station of the cross, to another.
Join us as we walk the silent streets alongside others visiting from nearby towns, many murmuring responses to the broadcast prayers which are interspersed with beautiful music. This is a truly unique experience.
Remaining off the beaten track, some of the other highlights of your holiday will include a typical Italian Easter lunch on Easter Sunday, a visit to the recently discovered mummies of Roccapelago; browse the the large markets in Sassuolo and a visit to the elegant city of Modena and a walk through the chestnut woods to the monolithic bridge of Ponte Ercole.
The highlight of this tour will be a visit the fairy tale town of Sirmione on Lake Garda, before driving onto the countryside of the Valpolicella wine region for a wine tasting at Le Marognole. On our return we will make a short stop in the lovely city of Verona to visit Juliet’s house and the Arena (coliseum).
Other points of interest will be an early morning visit to the local ‘caseficio’ to see how the famous Parmigiano Reggiano is made and the delicious local ricotta as well as visiting a local dairy farm to learn about the different method of farming as practised here.
Also included will be cooking class to learn to make egg pasta and how to make and shape tortelli and tortellini. The class is followed by a leisurely lunch sampling the dishes you have made.
A visit to the large weekly markets in Pavullo nel Frignano will give you an opportunity to shop, and to explore small towns and villages in the area.
On this tour we will explore the lovely city of Modena as well as learn about the foods of the province when visiting its special undercover food market where you will see an amazing variety of seasonal fruit and vegetables. Famous for the traditional Balsamic Vinegar we will see how it is made and have a taste, as well as learning all about Italy’s fabulous gelato, when visiting the Gelato Museum.
Another highlight is a visit to the city of Mantua, famous for its renaissance architecture, and 500 room Ducal Palace and the beautiful Palazzo Tè. We will also visit the theatre where Mozart played a concert at the age of 14.
As Thursday is market day in Polinago, after purchasing our ingredients we will go to the small farmhouse in Cinghinello for our cooking class, followed by a leisurely lunch made by you.
In the larger town of Pavullo nel Frignano you will spend a morning at the large weekly market day, see the coffee shop where the local farmers have congregated for years and have an opportunity to shop and bargain for a variety of wares such as clothes, shoes, household items etc.
After meeting at Bologna Station, we will walk around the City of Bologna, the capital of the region of Emilia Romagna and famous for the oldest university in Europe and its 45 kilometres of covered arcades.
On Saturday after visiting the weekly market in Pavullo nel Frignano, we will go to Ponte Olina a 16-century bridge which linked the cities of Pistoia and Modena and now sits in the middle of a farming area. From here we will go on to have a walk in the woods and walk on the monolithic bridge, Ponte Ercole.
During your stay in Polinago you will also spend a day learning to make several local dishes, such as fresh egg tagliatelle and the art of making tortelli (large tortellini filled with spinach and ricotta) as well as see how the world-famous Parmigiano Reggiano is made.
Tour packages include:
Tours DO NOT include: