Bologna Culinary & Cultural Expedition

The origins of Bologna can be traced back 3,000 years to the Bronze Age, but it was during the Iron Age that Villanovan villages emerged with a unique culture inhabited by skilled blacksmiths and potters. They fostered trade links with Greeks and the Phoenicians, but by the 6th century the Etruscans dominated the area. Then the Gauls arrived in the 4th century BC, and were succeeded by the Romans in the 2nd century, by which time it was named Bononia. Often called the breadbasket of Italy, Emilia-Romagna is the home to lasagna, ravioli, tagliatelle, tortellini, and numerous other pasta shapes, along with other items such as prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and balsamic vinegar from Modena. Don’t forget mortadella, the (much better tasting) inspiration for the lunchmeat many people simply know as bologna.


Trip Summary: Bologna, Italy | 7 Days

Trip Dates:  Year Round

Group Size:  Maximum 16 People

Price From: $3600 per person


Dates & Prices:

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Trip Price $3600

Single Room Supplement + $600

3-Day Extension to Rome / Milan + $1200

Single Room Supplements and Extension add-ons become available after you select Book Now and hit continue. *Extensions are not eligible for discounts or promotions.

Comprehensive package including accommodation for all nights, in-country transport by private bus, train, or flight, lecture and instruction materials from our expert guides, all activities, and 2 meals per day. *International Airfare and Visa Fees not included


Expedition Route:

This Acanela Expedition © is the perfect fusion between comfort & adventure. Embark on this small group exploration and have hands-on encounters with local peoples and cultures, while experiencing all the historical & culinary highlights along the way.



Contact Us: 1-323-657-3496

Call to speak with one of our agents about this trip, or email us at: expeditions@acanela.com



Trip highlights

  • All nights included at a historic 4-star hotel accommodation
  • Incredible hands-on cooking courses from a local chef
  • Culinary odyssey of the flavors of Parma and Modena (parma ham, balsamic modena, and parmigiana reggiano)
  • Visit to a traditional Aceto Balsamico with guided instruction
  • Guided Bologna culinary tour paired with wine
  • Traditional pasta classics class  
  • Parma ham tasting experience at an authentic Parma ham production facility
  • Round-trip airport transfers

Itinerary | 7 - 9 Days

Arrival Airport: Bologna International Airport  (BLQ)

Day 1:  Upon arrival at Bologna airport you will be greeted by your private driver who will meet you outside the departure hall - holding a sign bearing your name. You will journey through one of the oldest cities in Italy, check-in to your hotel, and take the time to explore your medieval-manor home. In the evening dine on a traditional Italian welcome dinner that features a set menu of some of the finest foods in all of Bologna, including a delicious glass of house wine. Accommodation: Art Hotel Commercianti

Day 2: Enjoy a delicious breakfast at your hotel followed by your first cooking class.  During our first cooking class we will learn how to prepare fresh pasta including tagliatelle, lasagna, and passatelli. Watch carefully the techniques by which fresh pasta dough is created and carefully cut into thin sheets of pasta. Be sure to take plenty of notes of the secrets of crafting perfect Italian pasta typical of the city of Bologna. Following our cooking experience we will eat the dishes we prepared with wine and will receive a token apron from our Cesarine instructor along with the recipes of the dishes we prepared. Following your cooking class you will have time to explore the many local sights in Bologna. Feel free to explore the cultural and historic locations, or browse one of the many traditional Italian shops that line the historic streets of Bologna. Accommodation: Art Hotel Commercianti

Day 3: Enjoy a delicious Italian breakfast at your hotel before getting an early start on the day. Today you will have a full day of exploring Parma and Modena, visiting the home of some of the most famous ingredients from Italy.  Our day begins with a morning excursion to a cheese factory where you will witness the entire production process for Parmigiano Reggiano, the king of cheese. We will witness the process by which this incredibly important traditional ingredient is prepared including the heating of fresh milk, separation of curds and whey, crafting of curds by the casaro (the cheesemaker), and the formation of the wheel of what will become Parmigiano Reggiano. Following our visit of the cheese factory, we will continue our journey on to one of the region’s most historic areas – acetaia, a family-owned farmhouse where the traditional balsamic of Modena is made. Savor the distinct and delightful aroma of this certified ‘black gold’ (aged for a minimum of 12 years) and learn about the methods and wood barrels used to produce this artisanal treasure. From the acetaia we will take you off the beaten path to one of the best prosciutto factories in the region. Here we will meet a family that, for over 3 generations, has been committed to making one of the world’s most delicious pork products. After each experience we will have the opportunity to try the artisanal products. Accommodation: Art Hotel Commercianti

Day 4: Enjoy a delicious breakfast at your hotel followed by your second cooking class. During our second cooking class we will focus on learning some of the traditional filled pastas that are common throughout the region. We will learn how to make delicious tortellini and tortelloni, along with the popular balanzoni. These dishes are authentic dishes popular in Bologna and we will apply the techniques we learned in our previous session in making these dishes. Be sure to take plenty of notes as filled pastas can be quite difficult to perfect. Following our cooking experience we will eat the dishes we prepared with wine. Accommodation: Art Hotel Commercianti

Day 5: After another delicious breakfast, we will prepare to depart for our wine tasting and culinary tour of the city of Bologna. We will begin by visiting some of the famous markets, exploring one of the oldest food markets in Italy. We will receive insider tips and insights from our guide as we visit the most traditional shops. We will learn about the history, culture and architecture that make the Bologna medieval market so unique. During this tour we will enjoy a variety of food specialties that have earned Bologna its reputation as one of the major foodie capitals of the world. This tour will offer 5 authentic tasting experiences at a variety of places. We will visit the food market with its ancient shops, a traditional bakery, a chocolate shop, a pasta shop, and a gelato shop. Enough food is served during the tour that lunch will not be needed as you’ll be sampling as you go. Accommodation: Art Hotel Commercianti

Day 6: Enjoy a delicious breakfast at your hotel followed by free time in the city, and your final cooking class. Have some free time to explore the many local sights in Bologna. Since this is your last day in the city, be sure to purchase any goods you want to take back home with you. During our final cooking class in the afternoon we will focus on learning some traditional Emilian desserts, Italian soup, chocolate salami, and rice cakes.  These traditional sweet and savory dishes will conclude our culinary experiences in Bologna and we will taste the food we prepare with wine.  With your culinary masterpieces, dine on a traditional Italian Dinner that features a menu of some of the finest foods in all of Bologna, including a delicious glass of house wine. Accommodation: Art Hotel Commercianti

Day 7:  After breakfast at your hotel, pack your bags, checkout, and head to Bologna Airport, to begin the journey back home. 

Departure Airport: Bologna International Airport (BLQ)


Optional 3 - Day Extension to Rome, Italy: For those who wish to extend your time in Italy, transfer to Rome and check-in to your beautiful hotel in the city center.  Spend the next 3 days exploring the ancient city, starting at Capitoline Hill before continuing on to the Palazzo dei Conservatori, Palazzo Nuovo, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, ending at the famous Colosseum. Wake up to a traditional Italian breakfast each day before setting out to explore the world-famous Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. With your private guide, you’ll experience the unforgettable highlights of the Vatican, such as Michelangelo’s masterpiece—the frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Afterwards, stop by St. Peter Basilica, the world's largest church, and gaze upon some of the world’s most beautiful Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Accommodation: The Empire Hotel

Optional 3 - Day Extension to Milan: Welcome to Milan!  You will transfer to the city, check-in to your hotel, and meet your guide to begin your city and culinary tours of Milan. The first stop on the tour is the famous Duomo cathedral (Duomo Di Milano). This famous structure is dedicated to St. Mary of the nativity and is the seat of the archbishop of Milan. This incredible cathedral took nearly 6-centuries to build and is the largest church in all of Italy. You will have a guided tour inside the Duomo structure, and we will get the opportunity to see the many beautiful frescos that cover the cathedral ceiling. Upon exiting the Duomo, adventurous members of the group can purchase bird seed to feed the hundreds of pigeons that crowd the courtyard grounds! The next day embark on a guided market tour where you will get to see the where local chefs purchase fresh produce, meats, and assortment of ingredients for their restaurants. The guide will explain how the perfect ingredients are selected and how to identify suitable ingredients for one of Milan’s most famous dishes -such as saffron risotto. Following the guided market tour, the group will have free time to explore the main city center and visit a number of famous historical and culinary sights.  Enjoy your final evening in Milan with a delicious Northern Italian Farewell Dinner.  Accommodation: Kilma Hotel Milan Fiere