The Best of Emilia Romgana
- Price from:
- 2200 EUR /person
- (US) 260-418-5538
- Payment Types:
- Credit Card
- Travellers cheque
- Wire Transfer
- 9 days
- Location Start:
- Our Hotel in Bologna
- Location Finish:
- Our Hotel in Ferrara
- Start time:
- 04.00 pm
- End time:
- 10.00 am
- We Speak:
Last updated: 05/15/2008
Spend nine days with Esperia Travels exploring the best of Emilia Romagna, from the largest cities to the smallest, Italian villages.
Our tour starts at 4pm when we meet at our hotel, located in the heart of Bologna, for a welcome wine and cheese party. Here we will meet our fellow travellers while enjoying some local snacks and a glass of wine. Afterwards, we will take an early evening stroll through the historic streets, followed by dinner in quaint osteria located in the center of town.
The day begins with a walking tour of Bologna's most important historical sites. A local guide will lead us through the medieval streets while giving us a brief history of each place we visit. You have the afternoon free to visit museums, shop under the city's porticoes, and have lunch where you please. I advise you to eat light because tonight we will feast on an extravagant meal at Bologna's most famous restaurant, Il Papagallo. The Parrot has been serving locals and tourists for decades; including Einstein, Hitchcock and even Toscanini. Here we will enjoy some the best dishes in all of Bologna.
This morning a private coach will take us out of the city and into the countryside where we will be guests at a charming farmhouse nestled amongst the vineyards and olive groves. On our way we will make a stop in Faenza, a city whose name is synonymous with ceramics. After visiting the International Ceramic Museum, you will have time to shop in some of the city's sixty-plus ceramic shops, grab a light lunch, or take a walk through Faenza's historic center. In the afternoon we will say arrivederci to Faenza and make the short journey to our new home Ca Balbì, a rustic farmhouse in the hills of Romagna. The rest of the afternoon is yours. Perhaps you will want to take a hike in the hills, go for a bicycle ride, or relax near the pool while enjoying the peaceful surroundings of the Italian countryside. This evening we will meet in the farmhouse kitchen for a cooking class. There we will learn how to make a simple yet hearty meal that is typical of Romagna. After our class, we will sit down at the table and delight in what we made together.
After breakfast we will travel by private coach to the hillside village of Brisighella where a local guide will take us on a short tour through the town's winding cobblestone streets. Brisighella is famous for its delectable olive oil, which is considered to be the finest in the region. We will make a stop at a local negozio (shop) to sample the famous oil on thick slices of Tuscan bread. When our tour concludes, we will sit down for a delicious lunch before saying good bye to the sleepy village. Our next stop will be in the tiny town of Dozza. Every two years an art festival/competition is held here and the wining artists paint their masterpieces on the facades of homes in the historic center. We will take a stroll through the village, pausing to admire the artwork along the way. Our last stop will be at the Sforza Castle, home to Emilia Romagna's regional wine library. After a tour of the castle, we will head down into the cellar where over seven-hundred different types of regional wines are on display, of which we will get to sample a few. Dinner tonight will be back at our farmhouse where we will dine on another delicious, homemade meal.
This morning we leave the hills and head north to the city of Ravenna, famous around the world for its early Christian monuments adorned with Byzentine mosaics. Along the way we stop at Sant'Apollinare in Classe. This town once stood at the edge of the Adriactic Sea and was an important Roman port. The sea has moved and the Romans are gone, but the umbreela pines, planted by the Romans and used to build their ships, remain; they stand tall and beautiful against the horizontal landschape. At the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe, we will have our first look the famous Byzentine mosaics. When our visit is complete, we wil drive to our villa located in the center of Ravena. After we get checked in, we'll take a walk through the city, making a stop at the church of San Eufemia, where a Roman stone carpet was uncovered in the basement. You will have the afternoon free to explore this interesting town on your own. Ravenna is often called the city of bikes because cyclists out number motorists. Perhaps you will want to rent a free bike at the tourist office and see the city as a local. Tonight we will meet back at the villa for an apertivo before heading out for a scrumptious dinner together.
The treasures of Ravenna await us as we start the day with a guided tour of the city. Be prepared to be wowed as we visit the church of San Vitale, the mausoleum of Galla Placida, Sant'Apollinare Nuovo and the Neonian Baptistery, all of which are covered with sparkling mosaics and listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
During our tour, we will pay a visit to the grave of Dante, Italy's most beloved poet. Originally from Florence, Dante was thrown into exile after being found guilty of trumped up charges. He spent much of the remainder of his life wandering the lands of northern Italy before making Ravenna his home. It was in this city that he finished his most famous work The Divine Comedy.
After a morning of walking, lunch will be a welcomed rest. Today we will enjoy an authentic romagnolo meal at a charming ristorante in the center of town. Here we will wash down a mouthwatering meal with a glass (or two) of vino sangiovese. After a lingering lunch, the rest of the day is yours to do as you please. Take a walk down the famous Via Cauour, lined with swanky shops, relax in the courtyard of our villa or leisurely sip a coffee in Ravenna's largest square, the Piazza del Popolo. Need ideas for dinner? Just ask me, I have plenty of recommendations.
This morning we leave Ravenna and head into the magical wetlands of the Po delta region, named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Our first stop is in the fishing village of Comacchio. This interesting town is known as Piccola Venezia (Little Venice) for its winding canals and charming footbridges. We will spend the morning exploring the village on foot and when our walk is complete, we will make our way to a small trattoria to rest our feet and refuel our bodies. Here we will feast on a seafood lunch that is as fresh as the morning's catch. For those brave enough, you will have the opportunity to try Comacchio's most famous dish, anguilla (eel). Not to worry, non-seafood dishes will be available for those who prefer to eat food from the land. After lunch our private coach will take us north to the rural and tranquil setting of the Abbey of Pomposa. The Abbey, settled in the 7Th century by Benedictine monks, enjoyed centuries filled with culture and prosperity before it was taken over by the marshlands and abandoned by the monks. A local guide will walk us through the Romanesque Abbey while sharing the history of the building and its grounds. In the late afternoon we will make our way to the picturesque city of Ferrara. Called "The City of Renaissance" for its contribution to architecture and culture during the 15Th and 16Th centuries, Ferrara has also been declared a World Heritage site, by UNESCO, in 1996 Here we will be guests at a hotel situated in the historic center of the city. The rest of the evening is yours to enjoy at your leisure. As always, I will have plenty of suggestions of what to do and where to eat. It being Saturday evening, you will surely want to make a stop in the city's main piazza. Here you find locals of all ages out for the evening passeggiata (stroll).
Today we will spend the morning exploring the city and visiting Ferrara's best sights. Our first stop will be at the Diamond Palace which takes it name from the thousands of glittering, diamond shaped blocks jetting out from its facade. The palace is considered to be masterpiece designed by the great architect Biagio Rossetti. The palace is beautiful to look at, but more impressive is its architecture; knowing that the building would be viewed from the street looking up, Rosetti had the diamonds at the top of the building made larger, thus making them appear the same size as the others when looking at from the ground. Though the palace is a spectacular site on any given day, it is best viewed on a sunny afternoon when the rays of light strike the white building, making it glitter and shine.
We will also make a stop at the Cathedral, located in Ferrara's main square. To say that the church is peculiar is to say the least. With a large, marble Romanesque front, brick Romanesque sides, a zebra striped Renaissance tower and a small row of shops with poritoces attached on one side, the church feels like a puzzle that has been put together with mismatched pieces. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Even if you don't think it is beautiful, you certainty can't deny that it is interesting.
Not to be missed is the Castello Estense. In the past it has been used for a variety of different things, from a castle to a fortress, but now a days it is used as government offices. The castle is one of the few in Italy that still contains water in its moat, making it easy to imagine what it must have been like centuries ago.
You are free to spend the rest of the afternoon as you like. Take time to window shop, visit the city's museums or wander the medieval streets where unexpected surprises, like garden courtyards and cobblestone alleys, await around every corner. Ferrara has one of the most complete ancient city walls with over 9 km of it remaining today. The walls of Ferrara are a popular spot amongst the locals for jogging, biking or walking the family dog.
Maybe you would like take a late afternoon walk along side and, in some places, on top of the old city wall. This evening we will meet up for one last meal together. At our farewell dinner we will spend the evening reminiscing about our travels together while enjoying the rich, delectable cuisine that Ferrara is famous for.
The tour concludes after breakfast at our hotel. From Ferrara it is a short train ride back to Bologna where you can catch a train to anywhere in Italy. Of course Venice is only an hour and a half by train. Perhaps you will want to continue on to the most romantic city in the world. Whatever your choice, I will be happy to assist with your plans.
- Inclusions -
- Eight nights accommodation with a private bath (double occupancy)
- Exclusions -
- Air transportation
- Extras -
- 2008 TOUR DATES
September 14 - 22
October 12 - 20
This tour is limited to 8 people
The cost of the tour is 2,200 EURO per person and is based on double occupancy. There are a few single spots available with a 300 EURO single supplement.
Guests are asked to pay a deposit of 400 EURO to secure a spot on the tour. Final payment is due no later than 90 days prior to travel.
It is highly recommended to purchase travel cancellation insurance.
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