Bologna. The gastronomic heart of Italy. | Wine And Food Traveller

Bologna. The gastronomic heart of Italy.

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  • Bologna and the surrounding Bolognese hills. 2022 tours now available

    Tour privately between Emilia and Romagna. Bologna has been chosen as the central hub for our new private tours which will cover a  a selection of the regions surrounding  the food capital of Italy. The first itinerary takes 4 days, 2 nights in Bologna, and 2 nights in Ferrara.

     The tour starts in Bologna and includes 4 nights, with the Comacchio Valley and Ferrara also visited. On Day 5  you will return to Bologna after breakfast  by train, or you can build an extra 2 days onto your tour and include Ravenna-Cervia, or perhaps Cesena- Forli – Brisighella.

    We meet you in Bologna, with everything taken care of for the duration of the tour. Just enjoy everything as you travel this beautiful region with a personal guide and driver.

    If you have more than 4 days planned for the region, consider adding one of our 2 night modules  where you get to explore some of the lesser known sub regions, the links for those tours will be as follows;

    Ravenna & the Cervia Salt Marshes. 2 days, 2 nights

    Forli-Cesena- Brisighella 2 days, 2 nights.

    Either of these can be added to the Bologna and surrounds itinerary.

Experiences in Bologna: 

Even the hotel we are staying in is an experience. Overlooking Basilica di San Petronio which is the beating heart of Bologna, peculiar in its unfinished state and beautifully hugging  Piazza Maggiore (or as Bolognese people call it, ‘Piazza Grande’).

We start the day with a  tour of Bologna  markets and secret little specialty places with a local tour guide and this can be designed to your specific taste ( and wine, historical, musical tour or a personalised mix) This will be followed by lunch at one of the local markets (cheek to cheek with the locals) If you like exploring markets, Bologna has so many to choose from.

In the afternoon , time to explore, shop or just relax, which is hard to do when there is so much to see and do.

A delicious cooking class to learn how to make the perfect ‘sfoglia’, the base for all kinds of traditional pasta, followed by dinner with what has been prepared, and wines made by the Podere itself.

Day 2 AM; Dozza Imolese (Regional Winehouse) & town walk  followed by lunch  

PM; Castel San Pietro Terme, wine tour and tasting session

Then dinner in one of the most traditional Bolognese restaurants 


Day 3 and 4 Ferrara and the Comacchio Valleys.  We stay at a beautiful little hotel for the next 2 nights, (incredibly peaceful and a very charming courtyard only a few steps away from the beautiful Piazza Ariostea) 

Experiences in Ferrara: 

A morning bike tour of the Renaissance center of the city, with a local tour guide; a short cooking class preparing ‘Cappellacci di Zucca’ followed by a traditional lunch  

Back on your bike for a tour of the city (the Medieval part) with a local tour guide . If you prefer not to cycle there are so many places to walk and explore.

 Dinner tonight is guaranteed to be special. It is at one of the most delicious traditional restaurants in the whole of Ferrara, a place where locals eat, and as we know, if they dine there, it will be good! 


Day 4  a day in Comacchio, a guided tour of “Manifattura dei Marinati”  a factory-museum dedicated to the production, cooking and preservation of eels. A delicacy in this part of Italy.

 Lunch at  an ancient fishermen’s house overlooking the Comacchio lagoons  followed by a short walking tour of Comacchio to see the famous Trepponti then back to Ferrara for some relaxation or shopping  if you prefer.

A fish-based dinner back in Ferrara at a local trattoria , another local experience.

Day 5  Return to Bologna after breakfast by train.



Bologna is the culinary heart of Italy, and it is the perfect starting point to explore ‘Between Emilia and Romagna’  Bologna has been chosen as the central hub for our new private wine and food tours which will cover a  a selection of the rural regions surrounding  the food capital of Italy. The first itinerary takes 4 days, with 2 nights in Bologna, and 2 nights in Ferrara. 

Bologna. Wine & Food Tours Italy


The city of Ferrara gained  considerable prestige under the House of Este and to this day is a fine example of  balance and harmony. Alongside its historical and cultural heritage, the court of the House of Este left Ferrara an excellent culinary tradition.  The vines of Ferrara grow on thin sandy soil. The most famous varietal from the region is Fortana, which is gaining favor recently, although it was first planted here in the 16th century, and its the only grand cru from Bosco Eliceo and the only DOC wine in the region. Well worth trying.

Comacchio is famous for eel, in fact there are 48 different eel dishes available, and we will spend time here understanding just how sophisticated  this regional speciality has become.

For some more research on this amazing region try this link to my Regions of Italy page.

If you want to better understand the grape varieties of Italy there is a book available on Amazon by Ian D’Agata titled NATIVE WINE GRAPES OF ITALY, a truly amazing read. I also refer to Italian Wine Unplugged, Grape by Grape.