Active Gourmet Holidays
Active Gourmet Holidays

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(Option: Shorter Programs)
Emilia-Romagna, Italy - 6 nights
Available March to October 


If you are interested in staying at a charming bed and breakfast in the Emilia-Romagna region, taking hands on cooking classes by the owner, and tasting your way through this gastronomical area of Italy, this may be the escape for you. You will visit the famous market of Bologna, taste balsamic vinegars at the local factory, sample incredible wines and see the area's castles and palaces. 


During your stay you will have four hands-on cooking classes in a ktichen where there are moveable workstations with the latest technology. Your accommodation is a lovely bed and breakfast wtih eclectic furnishings and unique themes in each room. Each room has its own en-suite bathroom. The home has a beautiful garden if you wish to relax and just take it all in. Relax, do some yoga, read... And if you have a pet please inquire as the owner accepts certain animals! 








Welcome to Italy! If you have a morning arrival into Bologna your host will meet you at the airport and welcome you with a lunch in a typical “osteria” followed by a visit to the downtown. You can't miss the food markets of Bologna : Mercato di Mezzo you can just have an idea of the best food excellences of Bologna but it is a touristic market so the prices are a bit high. You have to know where to look for make a deal. “Mercato delle Erbe” is a ten minute walk from “Mercato di Mezzo” and it is a lot less touristic. This market was renewed in 1910 with a high roof made of glass and an iron structure. Here you will find typical shops, restaurants, bakeries and wine shops. Not a bad way to start off your visit!


Afterwards, your host will drive you to the accommodation which will be your home for the next 6 days.


Relax with then enjoy a welcome dinner.  




After a delicious rich breakfast you will be shown around your new home, taking in the beautiful landscape and you can have a pleasant rest after a long journey.


Lunch will be served and then later on you will have your first cooking class and will prepare dinner. An example of a typical menu could be: “Tortellini” or “Tortelli Verdi pasta” (a typical pasta with a filling of swiss chard and Parmesan cheese), “Melanzane Parmigiana, “Gnocco Fritto” (a typical fried pasta from the area), “Parmigiano Cream with Balsamic vinegar”, "Torta di riso" (Emilia Rice cake).


Enjoy the fruits of your labor, with DOC wine. 




Today you will enjoy a "Castles" tour by car (Rossena, Canossa and Torrechiara castles). During this tour depending on time, you will stop at Puianello and Venturini Baldini wine farm, a short ride from your home for the week. The area is very famous for Lambrusco and white wine. Sweet Lambrusco was the biggest selling imported wine in the United States but there are different Lambrusco varieties and you will be tasting them.


Enjoy a nice lunch while on tour, and then dinner will be back at the house. 




After breakfast we will visit a typical Balsamic Vinegar Factory. Balsamic vinegar: only Modena and Reggio Emilia consortia produce true traditional balsamic vinegar. True balsamic vinegar is made from a reduction (called “mosto cotto” in Italian) of pressed Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes. The cooked syrup has to lose 1/3 of water. This is subsequently aged for a minimum of 12 years in a battery of barrels made of different wood that changes the flavor of the vinegar year after year. 



On the way back, it would be great to have a rest to buy Parmesan Cheese in an original factory. Even here time is very important. In fact, the minimum maturation time is twelve months. Parmigiano-Reggiano is produced exclusively in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and Bologna. Nobody knows why but if cows eat grass from other areas the milk that they produce isn't good to make this kind of cheese and you have to add chemicals to make it. 



Lunch back home and In the afternoon there will be another cooking class to prepare the dinner, served with DOC wine.




After breakfast you will have a trip to visit Reggio Emilia.


Lunch back home at the house.


In the afternoon we can make pizza with the antique brick wood oven. (It takes a long time and we need to wait for the leavening of the pasta and for the temperature of the oven).





In the morning, we can visit Palazzo Ducale in Sassuolo, one of the most beautiful palaces in the north of Italy. (Only open from the end of March to the end of October).


Or, there is the possibility to visit the city center of Modena where there is a beautiful old food market like Bologna and where the Ferrari Museum is located. 


In the afternoon you can say goodbye to your Italian journey by having your last cooking class. You will be preparing and tasting the last typical dish of the region for dinner.




Buon viaggio!


*The content or order of the itinerary may change depending on dates, availability of services or activities, local festivals/holidays, weather constraints, etc. Menus are samples and may vary according to the season






If you are staying elsewhere, but would like a unique experience, inquire about our day of touring followed by a cooking class. 


Arrival in the morning to Reggio Emilia train station (around 9-10am) where your host/cooking instructor can pick you up. You could visit a balsamic vinegar farm and/or a cheese farm depending on time. You will then have lunch together in a typical restaurant. Afterwards, you will be driven to your instuctor's bed and breakfast for a 3 hour hands-on cooking in a beautiful kitchen, followed by dinner at around 7pm and local wine. 


An example of the menu could be:


~TORTELLI VERDI - a typical pasta with a filling of Swiss chard and Parmesan cheese or Milanese Risotto with licorice powder





But if you are interested in making pizza, that is also a possibility. Just ask!





A minimum of 2 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 8 participants.


(The number of participants refers to how many persons are required to run the tour, not to how many persons you must have in your party. Please inquire.)





Closest Airports/Train Station: 

Bologna: 1 hour by car
Florence: 1 hour by high speed train, 2 hours by car
Milan: 40 minutes by high speed train, 2 hours by car
Rome: 2-2.5 hours by high speed train (depending on which train)


*These details are provided as additional information. Please check below to see if transfers are included in this tour.






2017 Fees Per Person


Double Room/US$2275
Single Supplement/US$675 




*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation 




After availability is confirmed, a 30% deposit and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due in full 75 days before your arrival date.


2017 Dates


Available March to October - please inquire about availability for other months. 





*Six (6) nights’ accommodation with breakfast in double rooms
*Six (6) dinners with wine included
*Six (6) lunches with wine included
*Four (4) hands-on cooking classes including recipe book and all food ingredients
*Wine tasting, balsamic vinegar tasting, museum/castles tickets
*All transfer from/to Bologna airport and during the tours




*Lunch in a typical restaurant
*Three hour hands-on cooking class with meal and wine


Airfare, personal expenses, gratuities and meals not mentioned as part of the program are not included. 



For further inquiries or to register, click here.


Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended. 



Furnished upon request.



MAP*This exciting region is depicted below. You can also access Google MapsTM by clicking HERE.  
*In some cases mapping may give clients a general sense of location due to changes in venue. Please inquire about specific location. Click here to return to top of page.    







"Believe me we were impressed...very impressed...I don't know how we could possibly top this vacation...any suggestions? Active Gourmet did good. Everyone we came in contact with was superb. Friendly, professional, efficient, accommodating,fantastic. What a pleasure having them assist us with our was the best vacation I ever had. Thank you." Fran and Daniel U., Torrance, California

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