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Food, Culture and Wellness in the Hidden Emilia Romagna

Discover the charming Bologna
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Fabrizio Lucci

Founder & Tour Guide of Italia Sweet Italia

Fabrizio Lucci

Founder & Tour Guide of Italia Sweet Italia 

1-7 September 2024

Fully escorted small groups tour up to 7 travelers

Why a small group of travelers and a local tour operator

Here’s why we believe that traveling with a small group of people and a local tour operator as we are can really make the difference:

We love our region – Attention to details – Local knowledge and experience – Support sustainable and responsible travel - Live like a local – Feel part of a big family – Make new friends – Explore on your own – Everybody feels at home – Small groups tour up to 7 travelers.
Click here to learn more!

Join us on a 7-day Italian cultural, wellness and culinary vacation in the green and hilly area of the Emilia Romagna region. A fully escorted tour in the land where Parmigiano Reggiano was born and where the first University of the West World was founded. Stay in a quiet Spa village where the old Romans took already their bath with precious healing waters. An authentic territory  between the city of Bologna and Tuscany, in the Italian Appennines. Live an immersive adventure in the Italian culture and traditions, in a quiet territory, historically a land of passage between North and South Italy. You really get to know the local life with a licensed and local tour guide that shared University with Fabrizio. Visit secrets places, the best of the region’s off-the-beaten-track. This is a tour that will give you the insights to daily life, food & wine, culture and production in Emilia Romagna and will let you discover the authentic and uncrowded Italy in a balanced mix of experiences, relax, adventure and learning.

Who is this tour suitable for?

Like-minded travelers - Everybody that travelled enough to know that touristy vacations are just not them - Travelers that appreciate la dolce vita and want to learn something new - Solo travelers - Couples - Group of friends - Families

HIGHLIGHTS

ITINERARY

Day 1 | Bologna airport/railway station pick up and welcome with an Emilian dinner! (dinner)

PM

  • Bologna airport/railway station pick up at 2:30 pm and transfer to Porretta Terme Spa village

  • Check in at the charming Hotel Helvetia Thermal Spa in the town center

  • Start relaxing by getting free access to the Thermal SPA with salso-bromo-iodine pool, vascular path, sauna, bio-sauna, steam room, cave relaxation area, showers
  • Get to know your guide and learn more about the 7-day cultural, wellness and culinary vacation

  • Orientation tour of Porretta Terme with Catia. Discover the village and the highlights to enjoy your free time in the next days

  • Try the regional hotel restaurant to enjoy a welcome group dinner

Day 2 | A visit to the local food market, make homemade pasta, explore the countryside (breakfast, cooking class, and lunch)

AM

  • Meeting at the hotel with your private guide after a leisurely traditional breakfast. We’ll drive to a bolognese local food market to get seasonal products. Here you’ll have the opportunity to practice a little bit of Italian even if you don’t speak any of it
  • Next we’ll drive to the relaxing countryside where we’ll have an exclusive and authentic cooking class with Marisa. We’ll learn how easy it is to make fresh pasta and we’ll be introduced to the authentic Emilia Romagna mood. A sample menu based on traditional recipes, includes bread, tortellini, and a traditional dessert – of course this depends on seasonal availability.

PM

  • Lunch with the traditional dishes, while enjoying the relaxing and quiet countryside atmosphere
  • Return to the hotel in Porretta Terme
  • Enjoy the village or try the hotel spa wellness area
  • In the evening you may experience dinner on your own in one of the restaurants of Porretta. After the big family lunch, based on our many years of experience, we know that nobody is looking for a rich dinner, so our travelers usually enjoy spending time like a local trying a simple aperitif, a gelato or a pizza. Obviously your guide will suggest you her favorite places.
Day 3 | Discover Bologna and enjoy a bolognese traditional lunch, taste balsamic vinegar and chocalate (breakfast, vinegar and chocolate tasting, and lunch)

AM

  • Meeting at the Hotel with your private guide after breakfast. Then we’ll drive to Bologna
  • Visit Bologna city center. Cultural, wine and food city highlights. Piazza Maggiore, with the main monuments and the historical places of this ancient city. You will visit some old bottega to try some local regional products (such as chocolate and traditional balsamic vinegar)

PM

  • Lunch in a traditional Trattoria (you will taste the Bolognese style)
  • Free time to do some shopping or take a break in the central Piazza Maggiore
  • Return to the hotel and free evening
 
Day 4 | Discover the unexpected Tuscany for a day. A short trip by train to South (breakfast and lunch)

AM

  • Meeting on time at the Hotel with your private guide, after breakfast. We will take a train to Tuscany traveling on a historical railway line, one of the oldest in Italy
  • Explore Pistoia, a Tuscan charming city center with the traditional market where you can find leather products, Italian clothing as well as the fresh fruit and vegetable market

PM

  • Lunch in a “slow food ” traditional restaurant where you can taste some Tuscan food in a warm atmosphere
  • Train back to Porretta
  • In the evening you may experience dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants of the village
Day 5 | Discover the food land. Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto producers in the Bologna hills and a small village decorated by artists (breakfast, prosciutto and cheese tasting, and lunch)

AM

  • Meeting at the hotel with your private guide after breakfast. We’ll drive to a Parmigiano Reggiano authorized mountain producer. The “king of the cheeses” is made in a special way, following the Consortium rules. You will understand why this natural product is so appreciated all over the World together with Francesca and Antonio.
  • Afterwards we will reach a village on the hills, around 700 metres above the sea level. The small town walls are decorated by artists.

PM

  • Lunch in a simple and genuine family owned restaurant active since 1936. The food served is produced by local farmers
  • In the afternoon, immersed in the nature and surrounded by green sceneries, we’ll drive to reach Emanuele and Giuseppe, Prosciutto producers. It is a niche production, for the high quality of the meat. You will understand the reason on the spot.
  • Drive back to the hotel
  • In the evening you may enjoy a dinner or aperitif on your own in one of the many restaurants and wine bars of Porretta
Day 6 | Discover the Appennines landscapes. The ancient medieval villages and a fascinating castle (breakfast, cooking class, and dinner)

AM

  • Meeting at the hotel with your private guide after breakfast. We’ll drive following the North side of the river Reno and explore the area with a Castle and an ancient medieval mountain village in the timeless atmosphere of a land rich of history

PM

  • Return to hotel and free lunch (get ready for a great last dinner) and free time to relax at the spa and do some last-minute packing or shopping
  • In the evening  we’ll meet agn Marisa and we’ll prepare and we’ll have the last dinner together (including the traditional tigelle) immersed in the Appennines countryside that will become familiar to you during your stay. A moment of conviviality before departure
 
Day 7 | Goodbye and transfer to Bologna airport (breakfast)
 
  • After breakfast we will leave (usually at 09:00 am) for Bologna airport or train station (they are around 1 hour driving from the hotel) or your next destination so make sure to get an afternoon flight

Want to read it later?

Download this tour's PDF brochure and start tour planning offline

Want to read it later?

Download this tour's PDF brochure and start tour planning offline

NOTE ABOUT YOUR ITINERARY 

Your Itinerary is a guide to your activities during the week. However, sometimes we modify the final itinerary to take advantage of the season and the weather. Our goal is to ensure that everyone has a fabulous time, and that sometimes means tweaking the schedule even after your arrival. Your guide will provide suggestions during the week, and the group will decide if any modifications are desired. Be assured that only enhanced experiences are ever considered.

PRICE

1-7 September 2024: € 2,595.00*

*Prices are per person and land only, with accommodation in a twin/double room with ensuite bathroom. Airfare and travel insurance are not included. Single occupancy supplement: + € 180.

Click here for exchange rate

During this tour you will stay at the centrally located 4* Hotel Helvetia (classic rooms). A refined hotel, an excellent wellness center, a thermal water paradise: a spa and beauty farm that comes from centuries-old tradition. It’s located in Emilia Romagna, in the heart of the Tuscan Emilian Apennines where hospitality, the art of welcoming and “good living”, is at its best. Helvetia Thermal Spa, has Classic, Superior and Deluxe rooms, elegantly furnished and equipped with all the comforts to make your stay pleasant. Discover more here and inquire for a quote and availability for deluxe rooms.

WHY US?

WE ARE PROUD TO BE LOCAL

  • Only 100% authentic experiences
  • Deep connections with the people who live here
  • We have a passion for our culture and our communities

ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME TRIP

  • Read the glowing reviews from our  guests on Tripadvisor
  • We know how to make you feel right at home
  • We keep our groups small so we can  take care of every detail

SUSTAINABILITY AND PASSION

  • We promote the local culture as a sign of responsible travel
  • We are focused on preserving our way of life
  • We involve small, family-run and passion-driven businesses

FAQ

Pick up

For this tour the pick up at Bologna airport or railway station is planned at 2:30 pm on day 1. Normally it takes 1-1,5 hours to drive to Porretta Terme, our base on. A few weeks before the tour starts, we’ll send you a pdf with exact pick-up location and times. Please consider also this information:

  • If you want you can be picked up at an Hotel in Bologna, but this service has an extra cost of around € 50 that you can pay at your arrival. We’ll come earlier to pick you up at your accommodation (it depends on the exact location). Sometimes it could be also after the airport pick-up
  • When we’ll have all flights and arrival information from all the travelers, if everybody that is joining the tour is supposed to arrive before 2:30 pm, we could anticipate the pick-up time

Drop-off

For the drop-off to Bologna airport or railway station we usually leave the hotel in Porretta after breakfast, at around 09:00 am so that we arrive at Bologna airport or railway station at maximum 10:30 pm. If anybody in the group has an earlier flight, we could leave 1-2 hours before (so at 07:00-08:00) but we make our evaluations from time to time. If there is any specific need, there are also trains from Porretta (3 minutes walking from the hotel) to Bologna or other destinations in Italy (take a look here)

Private pick-up and drop-off for group tours

Of course, we are always happy to support you to organize a private pick up/drop off only for you to let you join our small group tours listed in our calendar. Please keep in mind that a private transfer (before or after the planned one) from Porretta to Bologna airport or railway station costs around € 150.

Connecting to or from another part of Italy

If you are connecting to or from another part of Italy we are happy to assist you in planning your pre and post trip connections. If your planned arrival or departure does not coincide with the specified meeting time we can assist you in booking a private transfer at an additional cost or some extra nights in Emilia Romagna.

Once a complete booking is made you may also contact us directly for further details and assistance. We are always here to help and have the insider knowledge and on the ground support to ensure you find the best option available to arrive or depart from your tour.

Make sure to arrive at the meeting point on time but don’t get stressed

Please note that all guests joining our tours are responsible for ensuring they make it to the meeting point by 2:30 pm at Bologna airport or railway station. Those who are unable to be on time will not be guaranteed a transfer from Bologna to Porretta o and will have to seek other arrangements to participate in the remainder of the tour. Anyway, don’t worry, there are many daily public buses trains that connect Bologna with Porretta as you can see here.

Italia Sweet Italia (ISI) is a small incoming tour operator specialized in organizing vacations around Abruzzo Italy, our home. ISI is a fully licensed company covered by insurance policy no. 4378340 by Europe Assistance Italia S.p.A. band authorised by the local government to create and sell tour packages from 2011. 

Our mission is to show people from all over the world the beauty of Abruzzo and other Italian regions so they can experience our homeland, traditions, arts and folklore in a unique way, also demonstrating the benefits of sustainable tourism to everyone. In order to help you discover everything Abruzzo and other Italian regions have to offer, we organize small groups (up to 12 people) escorted tours including cultural, culinary, active, pottery, Italian language and ancestry experiences. We are happy to create a tailored vacation around your wishes. Our tours provide you with the rare opportunity to be invited into homes and farms, as well as into the daily lives of locals.

ABRUZZO TOURS

Yes, Fabrizio will be happy to guide you to let you discover his Abruzzo although there may always be some unforeseen events that may make it necessary to replace Fabrizio with another experienced and trusted Abruzzese guide who has worked with Fabrizio for many years.

ABRUZZO AND PUGLIA TOUR

Yes, Fabrizio will be happy to guide you for the first 5 days of the tour to let you discover his Abruzzo although there may always be some unforeseen event that may make it necessary to replace Fabrizio with another experienced and trusted Abruzzese guide who has worked with Fabrizio for many years. In Puglia there will be Katia, an enthusiastic local guide who share our philosophy and we prefer to have people that love and know everything (or almost) about their region just like Fabrizio does for Abruzzo. It’s best to have the knowledge of a local to appreciate all that is local. Rest assured that we designed the tour together and Fabrizio has personally met the local suppliers to make sure they share Italia Sweet Italia’s philosophy and style to create new and unique trips to support small local businesses and sustainable tourism.

TOURS IN OTHER ITALIAN REGIONS

No, Fabrizio won’t personally lead these tours. We prefer to entrust our trips to enthusiastic local guides who share our philosophy. While it would be wonderful to have Fabrizio accompany the tour, we believe in giving space to individuals from the area who have a deep love and knowledge of the region. Nonetheless, Fabrizio has worked closely with local suppliers to ensure they align with Italia Sweet Italia’s values and style. This collaboration allows us to create new and unique trips while supporting small local businesses and sustainable tourism.

Here are some general information, please read in the final part of the tour brochure that you can download by clicking on the Download free brochure button (button you will find on the page you are reading) all the details about the pick up time, drop off, the duration of the transfer to and from the hotel and the meeting point which is very simple.

Pick up

For all the small group tours listed in our calendar, the pick up is planned at 12:30 pm on day 1 at Rome Fiumicino airport  for tours in Abruzzo and Le Marche, at 2:30 pm at Bologna and Palermo airports for tours in Emilia Romagna and Sicily, at 1:00-1:30 pm or at 4:00-4:30 pm at Bari airport or Train station for the 7-day Puglia tour (see details in the brochures).

Drop-off

For the drop-off we usually leave the hotel at 9:00 am after breakfast.

Private pick-up and drop-off for group tours

Of course, we are always happy to support you to organize a private pick up/drop off only for you to let you join our small group tours listed in our calendar

Connecting to or from another part of Italy

If you are connecting to or from another part of Italy we are happy to assist you in planning your pre and post trip connections. If your planned arrival or departure does not coincide with the specified meeting time we can assist you in booking a private transfer at an additional cost or some extra nights.

Once a complete booking is made you may also contact us directly for further details and assistance. We are always here to help and have insider knowledge and on the ground support to ensure you find the best option available to arrive or depart from your tour.

Make sure to arrive at the meeting point on time but don’t get stressed

Please note that all guests joining our tours are responsible for ensuring they make it to the meeting point by the indicated time. Those who are unable to be on time will not be guaranteed a transfer from the airport and will have to seek other arrangements to participate in the remainder of the tour. Anyway, don’t worry, in most cases, there are public buses or trains that connect the airport with our locations. 

Private pick-up and drop-off for group tours

Of course, we are always happy to support you to organize a private pick up/drop off only for you to let you join our small group tours listed in our calendar which needs to be quoted as an extra cost.

Connecting to or from another part of Italy

If you are connecting to or from another part of Italy we are happy to assist you in planning your pre and post trip connections. If your planned arrival or departure does not coincide with the specified meeting time we can assist you in booking a private transfer at an additional cost or some extra nights inItaly. 

Once a complete booking is made you may also contact us directly for further details and assistance. We are always here to help and have the insider knowledge and on the ground support to ensure you find the best option available to arrive or depart from your tour.

For arriving in Italy (Rome or other airports) from abroad, we recommend allowing an average of 1.5 to 3 hours before our meeting.

This timeframe accounts for the time needed for the customs clearance process, baggage retrieval, and reaching our meeting point.

Our travelers typically take between 40 minutes and 1 hour to complete these procedures.

Arriving early will allow you to manage any delays and complete the checks without rushing.

As for returning from Italy ((Rome or other airports) to your Country, we suggest arriving at the airport at least 2 or 3 hours before the scheduled departure time of your international flight.

This additional time is necessary for check-in, security screening, and customs checks for international flights.

Please note that these times are indicative and may vary depending on passenger flow and the efficiency of checks at the time of travel.

Therefore, it’s advisable to plan with some extra time to avoid stressful situations.

To book your flights and check available schedules, we recommend using the website www.skyscanner.com.

This tool allows you to compare different flight options and find the best solution for your travel needs.

  • Our tours are suitable for everybody that travelled enough to know that touristy vacations are just not them and long for more authentic travel, ways to truly experience the culture and people they’re visiting
  • Our travellers appreciate la dolce vita and the pleasures of exquisite food, wine, and fellowship with others who share their passions
  • Our guests are not afraid to take bold steps…to learn something new…to explore something completely out of the ordinary
  • The minimum age for pre-arranged tours is 14 (14-18 accompanied by an adult) with no upper age limit. For tailor-made and private tours any age is fine
  • Our tours are perfect for solo travellers (we don’t charge single room supplements for our 7-day tours in Abruzzo), couples, groups of friends and even families are welcomed
  • Our guests don’t need to have any experience in cooking or painting or do pottery or speaking Italian to join our tours. Our experienced course tutors will soon discover your level of knowledge and will adapt their approach accordingly

All classes are taught in both Italian and English so you’ll have the opportunity to learn and practice a little bit of Italian

The booking process with Italia Sweet Italia is very simple. All you have to do is follow the 2 easy steps. At any stage you are welcome to contact us and we will help you with any doubts or problems:

  1. To Pay a deposit of 25% per person by:
  2.     Credit card using the book now button on the tour page
  3.   Bank Transfer

(Italia Sweet Italia Holidays di Lucci Fabrizio)

Account number: 1231254113 IBAN: IT21R0526277910CC1231254113 SWIFT: BPPUIT33 Banca Popolare Pugliese – Società cooperative per azioni Via XXIV Maggio, 25 66054 Vasto (CH) – Italy. Motivation of the payment: Deposit for Tour… to add name of the tour, month and year). Please inform your bank to make it directly in €.

  1. You pay the 75% balance within 45 days before arrival

You can pay the balance by Bank Transfer or Credit card (you will receive an automatic email from our booking platform).

Tours booked less than 45 days before their start date must be paid in full

Welcome to Italia Sweet Italia, where each day blends cultural immersion, scenic beauty, and culinary delights. Arriving at Rome Fiumicino airport, our team whisks you away to Sulmona or Vasto amidst the stunning Abruzzo landscape. After settling in, explore at your leisure before a warm welcome briefing with our guide. Indulge in authentic Italian cuisine at local eateries, with flexibility to accommodate preferences. From optional activities to leisurely strolls, every moment promises an unforgettable Italian adventure. Read more 

PHOTOS

MAP

REVIEWS

Price: € 2,595

Cultural, Culinary and Active Tours in Italy - Enquiry

To get more info and for booking enquiries, select your preferred starting date, add your personal data and needs and I’ll get back to you with more information accordingly as soon as I can! Thanks, Fabrizio

Download Free Brochure

Enter your email to get the "Food, Culture and Wellness in the Hidden Emilia Romagna" brochure containing all the important information right to your inbox.

Download Free Brochure

Enter your email to get the Cultural, Culinary & Olive Harvest Experience in Abruzzo brochure containing all the important information right to your inbox.

Cultural, Culinary and Active Tours in Italy - Travel Privately

To get more info and for booking enquiries, select your preferred starting date, add your personal data and needs and I’ll get back to you with more information accordingly as soon as I can! Thanks, Fabrizio, Founder and Tour guide

  • This tour can be booked privately from a minimum of 6 travellers
  • There may be an additional fee when booking this tour privately

Discover Authentic Italy With Fabrizio: How to Plan an Amazing Tour of Abruzzo

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