untold italy small group tours

Delicious Bologna, Modena, Parma Tour Overview

6 days exploring Italy’s food and cultural heritage in the Emilia region

In Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, food is an institution that inextricably links the people who live there to their land and the culture. Nestled between the Po River, and the Reggiano Appenine mountains, the unique and fertile landscape surely adds to the deliciousness of the region’s iconic produce.

Join us on a 6 day adventure on the ultimate food lover’s tour through charming villages and vibrant cities, as the scent of rich prosciutto and the piquancy of sharp Parmigiano Reggiano wafts down the streets tempting you for a taste. This is truly authentic Italy where the pace of life is a little bit slower, and where the tourist hordes are yet to find their way.

Our exclusive food and wine focused tour introduces you to well known Bologna and takes you further afield to discover Modena, Parma, and the surrounding countryside where you’ll meet the people of Emilia to discover their way of life and connection to the land.

We meet food and wine producers who have worked this land for generations, chat to artisans, and soak up wonderful views that leave you with a deep appreciation for the importance of slow living and slow travel.

Upcoming Tours

book now
book now
book now
book now

Bologna Modena Parma Tour Highlights

Meet the artisan producers of Italy’s most beloved products • Parmigiano Reggiano dairy visit • Markets and historic providores • Balsamic Vinegar experiences • Pretty towns and 15th century castle  • Tortellini cooking class • Wine tasting

balsamic vinegar tasting
culatello parma
acetaia batteria modena
untold italy bologna modena parma tour
balsamic vinegar of modena

What our guests say about Untold Italy Tours

Magical! Beautiful! I’m a bit of a dreamer and I just got lost there last night. Lost in this beauty.. Magnificent! I just loved it – view video

Vicki / Australia

We have been to Italy several times, but never like this. It has been a wonderful experience – view video

Pati / USA

Aside from every little surprise around every corner, I’ll remember Cosimo and the genuine excitement and pride that come out of him and his storytellingview video

Steve / USA

Bologna Modena Parma Food Lovers Tour Itinerary

bologna food tour

Day One

La Dotta, La Grassa, e La Rossa

Welcome to iconic Bologna, also known as la dotta (the learned), la grassa (the fat), and la rossa (the red). Did you know it’s home to the world’s oldest university dating back to 1088? The city is alive with a youthful, welcoming atmosphere which you will feel as we walk the medieval streets together.

Arrive mid-morning where you’ll meet with the rest of your group and your host Giulia to start discovering just why the city has so many nicknames. Bologna is a city full of contrasts. Admire the elegant portici interspersed with street art, terracotta hued buildings and striking medieval towers that loom out from the city center.

We meet with our expert local guide and set off for a three hour food walking tour where we share a drink in a historic bar, enjoy exquisite cured meats, taste the region’s ‘black gold’ that dates back to the 11th century, visit a local market, wander past the city’s iconic towers, and begin to understand what makes the Bolognese people tick.

This afternoon, we venture to our beautiful country house hotel where you have time to unpack and relax. Set amidst the rolling green hills and vineyards, unwind in your elegant suite or take a walk around the property and admire the views.

Tonight, our palates will be treated to the first of many gastronomic adventures over dinner. We’ll try wines from the Terre di Castelli region nestled between the plain and the Apennines in the province of Modena. This area is full of charming towns and we will travel to them through our glasses as we discover some of the hundreds of stories from this wine making land.

  • ACTIVITIES: Guided food walking tour of Bologna
  • MEALS: Lunch, Evening welcome apericena (light dinner)
  • ACCOMMODATION: Luxury 4 Star country house hotel
parmigiano reggiano tour

Day Two

12TH CENTURY CHEESE

If there is one iconic product (besides pasta) that makes you think of Italy, we’re guessing it’s parmesan cheese. Yet did you know that it is made almost exclusively in the Emilia region?

This morning we have the opportunity to learn all about what makes it so special as we head off to visit a local dairy, who just so happened to be featured on Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy.

Parmigiano Reggiano dates back all the way to the 12th century thanks to the Benedictine and Cistercian monks in the area who wanted to make use of all the fresh milk. Not only does it taste delicious, but you are actually enjoying a bite of history today. The only question left to answer is how many months you prefer your parmesan is aged!

Next, we head off to a nearby chestnut museum where we will roll up our sleeves for a short fun cooking experience learning to make our own crescentine nelle tigelle. Afterwards, we’ll sit back and enjoy our lunch with products from the mountains, including borlenghi and ciacci. Squisito!

Relax back at the hotel this afternoon before tonight’s culinary adventure. This evening we visit a family run acetaia (balsamic vinegar cellar) for dinner. Here we learn about the incredible tradition of balsamic vinegar making that dates back to the 1700s and is carried on today only in Modena.

The family will show us all the steps of production, from the hilly vineyards of their farm to the cooking room, and two aging rooms before we sample five different kinds of balsamic vinegar. Buonissimo!

Afterwards, we learn how to make tortellini – the iconic pasta of this region together. Find out the cheeky way it got its name and shape in our class this evening and relax as we savor every last bite of pasta together with local wines.

  • ACTIVITIES: Dairy visit with tastings, Chestnut museum, and Tortellini cooking class
  • MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch with wine, Dinner with wine
  • ACCOMMODATION: Luxury 4 Star country house hotel
balsamic vinegar modena tour

Day Three

Black gold – EMILIA’S TREASURE

Buongiorno and welcome to beautiful Spilamberto. Not on the regular tourist route, this charming village has some very sweet surprises just waiting to be discovered…

Here we will visit the Consortium of traditional balsamic vinegar producers via the Museum of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar to learn more about the history and traditions of this luxurious product. You will never go back to supermarket bought ‘dressing’ after trying the ‘black gold’ of Modena.

Enjoy some free time in the town of Spilamberto before we meet again for a light lunch with salads and local cured meats and cheeses.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’re in luck for this afternoon we learn the art of gelato making with seasonal fruits like cherries in the springtime and gain a newfound appreciation for this creamy delight.

Later, we head off to another wonderful Emilia village off the beaten path. Bring your cameras and your sense of style to this afternoon’s activity. We can’t wait to see your reactions to our little Medieval surprise.

After all that excitement, it’s time to relax at our favorite restaurant in town. It’s the perfect opportunity to try more homemade tortellini in brodo or an indulgent parmigiano-reggiano cream sauce or some of the other tasty regional dishes.

  • ACTIVITIES: Museum of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar visit, Gelato making class
  • MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch with wine, Dinner with wine
  • ACCOMMODATION: Luxury 4 Star country house hotel
historic pasticceria modena

Day Four

MARVELLOUS MODENA

After a leisurely breakfast, we bid farewell to our countryside hotel and make our way towards culinary gem Modena. Famous for the most luxurious food product of all, we are in for a serious foodie treat.

Our day starts with a guided tour with an expert guide as we uncover the untold stories behind this small city of artisans, historic food shops, world famous restaurants, and art. We’ll wander the market together and chat to the vendors who share their passion for their produce, before we have some free time to explore, shop, or grab a bite to eat while the Modenese decide what they are having for dinner. 

This afternoon we take a drive to Parma and check-in to our elegant city center hotel and have some free time to relax or head out for shopping and more sightseeing. 

Tonight’s dinner is at a special restaurant dating back to 1925. Come hungry because a famous delicacy of Parma, scrumptious culatello cured meat is involved.

  • ACTIVITIES: Walking tour of Modena
  • MEALS: Breakfast, Dinner with wine
  • ACCOMMODATION: Gorgeous 4 star city hotel

Day Five

Parma’s proud artisan heritage

This morning starts with a deep dive into the local culture of Parma. We start our time here with a walking tour led by our local expert guide and uncover some of its most beautiful sites together as we talk about what makes this Emilian city so special. 

Enjoy some free time afterwards to continue wandering the charming streets, go shopping, or relax back at the hotel. We’ll let you know our favorite places for lunch too.

We meet again later in the afternoon for an olfactory experience like no other. Together we take part in a perfume making workshop and learn to craft our very own fragrance, the ultimate one-of-a-kind souvenir to bring home.

With our senses invigorated, relax back at the hotel before coming together for another convivial Parma dinner. 

  • ACTIVITIES: Parma walking tour and perfume workshop
  • MEALS: Breakfast, Dinner with wine
  • ACCOMMODATION: Gorgeous 4 star city hotel

Day Six

Prosciutto and a Fortress

Our tour’s final hours end on a high note that will see you forever enchanted with food-centric Emilia.  

This morning, we set off to explore the Torrechiara Castle. This magnificent fortress at the foot of the Appenines was constructed during the 15th century. Don’t forget your camera – the views of the surrounding countryside full of vineyards are splendid.

Since we haven’t had quite enough of the cured meats this region is known for, we are making a stop at a countryside prosciutteria. Here we will learn how prosciutto is made and sample some of the finest examples in all of Italy.

Our final adventure for the day is a beautiful winery in the area where we relax together for the last time over a long lunch. Soak up the views of the beautiful Emilia countryside and share your impressions of this wonderful central Italian region with your new friends.

With all of our senses buzzing, it’s time to head back to Bologna on our private bus. Inspired and energized by this unassuming region, we leave you dreaming of just one more bowl of tortellini or slice of mortadella as you continue on your Italian journey.

  • ACTIVITIES: Torrechiara Castle visit, Prosciutteria visit, and Winery visit
  • MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch with wine
BOLOGNa food tour highlights
parmesan cheese maker
food tour bologna modena parma

Bologna Modena Parma Tour Inclusions

We have strived to make our tour of the Emilia region as all inclusive as possible with no hidden surprises. Included in your tour are:

  • 3 nights in a charming luxury 4 star country house and 2 nights in beautiful 4 star hotel accommodation in Parma
  • 4 guided walking tours with expert local guides
  • Unique experiences:  Bologna food walking tour, Parmigiano Reggiano dairy visit, Balsamic Vinegar Museum visit, wine tastings, tortellini cooking class, gelato workshop, castle visit, prosciutto tasting, perfume making workshop
  • Meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 1 aperitivo and 5 dinners as specified in the itinerary, wine and bottled water is included with meals other than breakfast
  • Luxury air-conditioned transportation
  • Tips and gratuities for drivers and guides

Bologna Modena Parma Tour FAQ

Accommodation on Tour

We have two accommodation stops on this tour. Relax and enjoy the beautiful Emilia countryside for 3 nights in our luxury 4 star country house hotel complete with wellness center. In Parma we stay right in the heart of town in a charming 4 star former palazzo.

Meet Your Host – Giulia Tamarri

giulia tamarri untold italy

When Giulia introduced herself as being born under the star sign “tortellini” we knew we would be friends for life.

A professional bilingual tour leader with experience leading groups big and small over Europe, Giulia’s heart lies in her beloved Emilia, the food bowl of Italy.

Arrivals and Departures

The tour begins in central Bologna at 10.30am. Our activities conclude in central Bologna at around 5pm at Bologna Centrale station. Inquire if you would like to add additional nights to your stay or need assistance planning transfers.

Upcoming Tour Dates

  • SPRING 2025 – April 14 – 19 – book here
  • SPRING 2025 – May 6 -11 – book here
  • FALL 2025 – September 23 – 28 – book here
  • FALL 2025 – October 7 – 12 – book here
  • Exclusive tours available on request for groups of 6-10 – inquire

Booking information

  • Price from $US 5,490 per person for double or twin share room
  • A supplement applies for solo travelers wanting a private room
  • 30% deposit required to reserve your spot
  • Cancel for a full refund up to 120 days before departure
  • Read complete terms and conditions
GENERAL TOUR FAQ

Discover the Emilia Region

Let’s travel to the Emilia region virtually and learn about its iconic food products, charming cities and towns and unique culture. This region is one of the wealthiest in Italy, built on world renowned products from Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to fast Ferrari cars. Rarely visited by English speaking travelers, here you’ll find a local charm and slower pace of life.

Emilia-Romagna Travel Guide

Uncover the highlights of the region

READ THE GUIDE

Dishes to try in Bologna

A chat about the dishes of the Emilia region

listen to podcast