Flavors of Italy
Bologna, Florence, and Rome
10 Days/9 Nights
Departs Daily from Bologna
A flavorful feast of foodie experiences! Learn traditional recipes while cooking in local homes, stroll through city streets and lively markets tasting regional specialties, and discover Italy's famous wines.
•3 Nights Bologna
•3 Nights Florence
•3 Nights Rome
•Private Arrival & Departure Transfers Per City •Private Bologna Art & Gourmet Walking Tour •Private Cooking Class in Bologna Home
•Gastronomic Florence Walking Tour* •Wine Tasting in Florence •Private Cooking Class in a Tuscan Home •Semi-Private Rome Tour* •Dinner in a Roman Home •Wine Tasting in Rome •Florence & Rome TripBuilder City Guides •First-Class Rail between Cities with Seat Reservations •Daily Breakfast
*These tours available April - October only
Your driver will meet you just outside the Bologna rail station for your private transfer to your hotel. Your 3-course dinner this evening is at a famous local restaurant:
The Pappagallo Restaurant was established in 1919 and has remained a landmark in town for almost a century. Here, Bologna's history and tradition blend in with evolution and modernity to grant a unique taste experience. Located in a historic 13th century building, right in the heart of medieval Bologna and next to the Two Towers, our restaurant presents its guests with an elegant and welcoming atmosphere. The interior is typical of old bolognese architecture and boasts high-vaulted ceilings with big crystal chandeliers illuminating the many autographed photos collected by the owners over the years. Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, Alfred Hitchcock, Sharon Stone, Lionel Richie, Ugo Tognazzi, Matt Dillon, Brigitte Nielsen, Frank Sinatra and many other artists and stars of the last 100 years have chosen the Pappagallo for their taste experience, and even nowadays you could meet someone you may want to ask for an autograph...
(Dinner, Accommodations, Bologna)
Bologna - home to Ducati (motorcycles), Lamborghini and Maserati (cars) - has one of Europe's largest and best preserved historic centers, with a wealth of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque buildings. Bologna is one of the richest and interesting cities in Italy. Here you will find the details of your half-day walking tour of the city:
Private Half-Day Walking and Gourmet Tour of Bologna
Bologna is one of the richest and most interesting cities in Italy. While strolling with your guide you will discover why it was given various nicknames: the red one, the learned one and the fat one. This tour is a combination of art and eno-gastronomic traditions. During the walking tour you will see some of the most important buildings. You will visit Piazza Maggiore, the city's main gathering place, opened in the 13th century with its famous statue of Neptune, the Basilica of San Petronio, the Medieval market, the Two Towers and the Archiginnasio, the first permanent seat of the University with the Anatomical Theatre. You will then make a stop at Majani s shop, a traditional chocolate maker where solid chocolate was invented. You will not miss the visit at Atti s shop, which is a must in Bologna, where you will hear the history of tortellini and tagliatelle. The tour will end at Tamburini s shop, where, while hearing the history of Mortadella, you will taste some delicious local products such as Mortadella, Parmigiano Reggiano, salami, accompanied by local wine. Please note that in July and August Majani s chocolate shop is closed. In this period it will be replaced by Venchi s shop, the famous ice-cream makers.
(Breakfast, Accommodations, Bologna)
Today, you will have a private cooking class in a home in Bologna, to educate you further about the riches of Cucina Bolognese:
Private Market Tour and Cooking Class at Ritas Place
Rita meets guests at their hotel and takes them downtown for a short tour and a visit to the old market (Sundays and Monday mornings excluded, as many of the most interesting shops are closed). On they way to her house, they will stop and buy some products and, if there is some spare time, they will have a drink and buy some wine. The city tour and shopping would take about one hour and a half. Once at Rita's house, the guests will put on an apron and begin. They will begin to knead the dough and to make the Bolognese meat sauce and then a dessert. While the sauce is cooking, they will finish making pasta (usually tagliatelle and tortelloni so as to show how to prepare both simple and stuffed pasta). After preparing the meal, sit down to enjoy the feast!
(Breakfast, Lunch, Accommodations, Bologna)
BOLOGNA TO FLORENCE:
After breakfast, private transfer to the train station for the 40-minute train ride to Florence. Upon arrival in Florence, you are met on the platform at the rail station by your driver for a private transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure to explore on foot the incomparable treasures of this jewel of the Renaissance. Use your TripBuilder CityGuide to help prioritize your sightseeing. We suggest dinner at:
Restaurant Buca Mario:
For over one hundred years travellers have come here, to the heart of Florence, from all over the world, to delight their taste buds with old Florentine recipes. Buca Mario is housed in a sixteenth-century buca. In Florence, buche were typical cellars situated beneath imposing historic palazzos often owned by aristocratic families. They were used to store salted meats, ham and salamis, and, above all, to house precious wine.
(Breakfast, Bologna; Accommodations, Florence)
After breakfast, your Florence city tour is scheduled:
Select Florence Gastronomic Walking Tour
A three-hour tour dedicated to the flavors and the savors of Florence, a different way to get to know, through smell and taste, the heart of a city which has embodied, since the Renaissance, the perfect equilibrium between Beauty and Grandeur, Art and Power. This same equilibrium is nowadays to be found in Florence cuisine, constantly striving between the two souls of the city: the House of Medici, aristocratic, powerful and future-oriented, architects of Florence prominence, and the stream of artists, craftsmen and workers who gave the Medici ground and tools to build Florence splendor. All of them are still alive and kicking in Florentine food, and we will be proud and delighted to accompany you in its discovery. Meet our guide outside Bar Scudieri in Piazza S.Giovanni, and walk in locals' shoes by sipping a caffè, accompanied by a homemade, mouth-watering pastry, to balance the strength of caffeine. Head then for the Mercato Centrale, an imposing XIX century building where butchers, fishmongers and grocers display their goods in a triumph of colorful and lively bustle. Refreshed by some fruit or a smoothie, wander around to observe, breath and take in the life of the market and, before leaving it, stop for a fritto toscano, delicious battered, deep fried fish and vegetables morsels. From here, head for the very heart of the city and its lively tiny streets to taste a fragrant schiacciata with truffles. All these strong flavors require a sweet interlude, and a creamy gelato will serve our cause, accompanying us Oltrarno, across the Arno River, to pay a visit to one of the finest winehouses in Florence, where we will be served a cheese and cold cuts board accompanied by a goblet of Chianti coming from the hills around the city. Here, our guide bids you farewell.
After the tour, free time in the afternoon to explore Florence on your own. Consult your TripBuilder CityGuide to make best use of your time. At 5:00, arrive at the site of your wine-tasting experience:
Wine Tasting at Canova di Gustavino
Enjoy an interesting evening of wine tasting in the cozy wine cellar of a typical trattoria in Florence. The wine tasting will consist of 4 wines: one white, 3 red. These wines will be accompanied by small portions of meats, cheeses and breads. It is also possible to order dinner at the wine bar after the wine tasting for an additional cost.
(Breakfast, Accommodations, Florence)
Morning at leisure, or you can book one of our most popular optional tours:
Semi-Private Morning Walking Tour of Florence
Your walking tour will start from Piazza della Signoria, a beautifully preserved square, where the guide will show you its highlights, among which the Loggia dei Lanzi Arcade and Palazzo Vecchio. By walking through the medieval streets of this renaissance city, you will reach Piazza del Duomo, with the magnificent Duomo Complex including: the Duomo Cathedral with its imposing dome by Brunelleschi, recognized as the architectural masterpiece of the Renaissance, Giotto s Bell Tower, one of the greatest examples of Gothic architecture in Florence, the Baptistry dedicated to St. John the Baptist, with its wonderful gilded bronze Doors of Paradise, one of the Florentine Renaissance masterpieces by Lorenzo Ghiberti (no internal visits). The final tour destination is the Academy Museum, where, among other masterpieces by Michelangelo, you will admire the statue of David, which represents the symbol of the Florentine Renaissance art. The tour will end at the Academy Museum at approximately 12:00pm.
Today, you will have a cooking class in a Tuscan home just outside the city:
Private Afternoon Cooking Class at Chef's villa in Bagno a Ripoli with Dinner
You will be met at your hotel and transferred to Bagno a Ripoli, at approximately 5 miles away from Florence, in the Tuscan countryside. You will arrive at the chef`s villa, situated on a hilltop overlooking Florence and surrounded by the typical Tuscan landscape. The house was built as a lookout tower in the 11th century and later it belonged to Francesco Granacci, a successful 16th century painter, a close friend of Michelangelo, and the reason why it is known as the "Casa del Pittore" (painter's house). The guests will prepare each of the three courses, all based on typical Tuscan recipes. Once the dishes are ready, you will enjoy tasting the results of your work. During the summer months, weather permitting, dinner will be served in the villa garden overlooking Florence.
After enjoying the dinner you have prepared, you will be transferred back to your hotel.
(Breakfast, Dinner, Accommodations, Florence)
FLORENCE TO ROME:
After breakfast, private transfer to the train station for the 1.5 hour train ride to Rome. Upon arrival in Rome, you are met on the platform at the rail station by your driver for a private transfer to your hotel.
This evening you will be picked up at 7:30pm for your dinner:
Dinner in Local Roman Home
At 7:30 pm your driver will meet you at hotel and will take you to Barbara`s house for an unforgettable evening and memories in the Eternal City. At 8:00 pm Barbara will be glad to warmly welcome you as friends for dinner in her place in Trastevere. You will meet other guests that decide to live this culinary and social experience in a Roman home with Italian people instead of going out in search of a restaurant like most other tourists.
Everyone in Barbara`s house speaks very good English and have traveled all around the world, so you will be able to engage an interesting conversation with everyone. She will introduce you some excellent Italian wines, and you will start by tasting delicious appetizers. For dinner you`ll enjoy a traditional dish such as bruschetta, amatriciana, carciofo alla romana , or pollo e peperoni. The dinner will end with the authentic desserts prepared by Barbara like tiramisu, panna cotta, crostata di ricotta.
After a lovely evening of food, wine, and conversation, return to your hotel on your own.
(Breakfast, Florence; Dinner, Accommodations, Rome)
This morning you will have a three-hour tour of the city with an English-speaking guide, to orient you to the highlights of Rome:
Semi-Private Panoramic Tour of Rome by Driving Guide
A panoramic drive through Rome during which your driving guide will show you the highlights of the Eternal City, including The Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo, Piazza Venezia, Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Gianicolo Hill
After the tour, you have the afternoon and evening to explore more of Rome on your own. Consult your Rome TripBuilder CityGuide to make best use of your time.
Begin your evening with a wine-tasting experience:
One wine tasting session at Enoteca Angolo Divino
Enjoy a wine tasting at the "Enoteca L'Angolo Divino" winery. Make your own way to the winery, which is situated approx. 20 minutes walking distance from our centrally located hotels. The wine tasting is held by an English speaking somelier and it includes three different wines, accompanied by some Pecorino cheese and local salami. The winery is located in the Campo di Fiori area, famous for its daily open-air market.
(Breakfast, Accommodations, Rome)
Morning and afternoon at leisure for personal exploration of Rome's attractions. Consider a visit to the Roman Forum—the city's center and most important district 2,000 years ago, with many monuments that will evoke the golden age of the Empire. (Admission cost extra)
(Breakfast, Accommodations, Rome)
After breakfast, enjoy a private transfer to the train station or airport, to head for your next Avanti destination!
** Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change