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 

1-8 May 2022

23-29 October 2022

Fully escorted small groups tour up to 12 travelers

Book with flexible conditions

Need to cancel your trip due to COVID-19? You can reschedule your booking free of charge or receive a credit for your non-refundable deposit and re-book anytime. Find out more here about our FLEX AND SAFE Booking Policy

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 12 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

* B= Breakfast | L=Lunch | D=Dinner | T=Tasting | C=Cooking Lesson

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
  • Get to know your guide and learn more about the 7-day cultural, wellness and culinary vacation
  • Try the regional hotel restaurant to enjoy a welcome group dinner

* B= Breakfast | L=Lunch | D=Dinner | T=Tasting | C=Cooking Lesson

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. You are free to choose, spending time like a local trying a dinner or a simple aperitif, a gelato or a pizza. Obviously the tour guide will suggest you her favorite places.
 

* B= Breakfast | L=Lunch | D=Dinner | T=Tasting | C=Cooking Lesson

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
  • Transfer to a Winery to meet Floriano and have a tour of the vineyards with a wine tasting experience
  • Return to the hotel and free evening
 

* B= Breakfast | L=Lunch | D=Dinner | T=Tasting | C=Cooking Lesson

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
* B= Breakfast | L=Lunch | D=Dinner | T=Tasting | C=Cooking Lesson

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

* B= Breakfast | L=Lunch | D=Dinner | T=Tasting | C=Cooking Lesson

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

  • Lunch in a traditional Appennine restaurant where you will have the opportunity to try other dishes from the Bolognese culinary tradition
  • In the evening 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
 

* B= Breakfast | L=Lunch | D=Dinner | T=Tasting | C=Cooking Lesson

  • After breakfast we will leave (usually at 09:00 am) for Bologna airport (it is 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

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

1-8 May 2022: € 1,845.00*
23-29 October 2022: € 1,845.00*

*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: + € 216.

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 superior and 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 € 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 specialised in organizing vacations around Abruzzo Italy, our home. ISI is a fully licensed company covered by insurance policy no. 402485101 by Axa Assicurazione S.p.A. and 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 has to offer, we organise 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.

Pick up

For all the small group tours listed in our calendar, the pick up at Rome Fiumicino airport is planned at 2:30 pm on day 1. Normally it takes 3-3,5 hours to drive to Vasto, our base on the Adriatic Coast for all the tours (except for The Abruzzo, Puglia & Matera experience tour in which we’ll drive for around 2 hours to Sulmona). The duration of the trip depends on traffic (on Sunday, when most of our tours start, usually there is no traffic) and if you need to stop at the motor service along the way for a snack or to go to the toilette. It is a beautiful and relaxing driving crossing three National parks,from where you can see many hilltop villages and the Apennines. 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 Rome, but this service has an extra cost of € 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, but it is usually 1 hour before the pick-up at Rome F. Airport). 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.
  • You can also reach Vasto or other destinations in Italy by bus or train. Please take a look at this page. We’ll organize the taxi transfer from/to Vasto train station (10 minutes driving) or Vasto coach station to/from the hotel in Vasto (3 minutes driving).

Drop-off

For the drop-off to Rome we usually leave the hotel in Vasto after breakfast, at around 09:00 am so that we arrive at Rome Fiumicino airport at maximum 01:30 pm (if there is traffic, but it normally takes 3-3,5 hours). 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 public buses that shuttle from Vasto to Rome Fiumicino (or the city center) earlier in the morning and by night (take a look here). In this case we organize the taxi transfer from the hotel to Vasto coach station (3 minutes driving).

For the drop off to Bari for The Abruzzo, Puglia & Matera experience tour, we have this program: after breakfast, we will leave (usually at 09:00) for Bari airport or your next destination (45 minutes driving from Hotel to Bari airport and 40 minutes to Bari train station). When we’ll have information from all the people who will join the tour (about their programs on that day) we’ll finalize this. If there is any specific need, we can organize a private transfer (before or after the planned one) from the hotel to Bari airport or train station that costs € 90.

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 Vasto to Rome airport or city center costs around € 300.

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 Vasto or Puglia. .

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 Rome’s Fiumicino airport. Those who are unable to be on time will not be guaranteed a transfer from Rome to Vasto 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 that with less than € 30 connect Rome Fiumicino airport or Roma Termini coach station with Vasto as you can see here.

  • 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

To book this tour with us, check availability contacting Fabrizio (fill in the form or send an e-mail to fabrizio@italiasweetitalia.com) and go ahead with his instructions to pay by credit card. The booking becomes binding only after the payment of a 25% deposit per person and the confirmation e-mail from Italia Sweet Italia. The 75% balance has to be paid within 45 days before arrival. Tours booked less than 45 days before their start date must be paid in full. 

If you prefer, you can also pay the 25% deposit and 75% balance by 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. Headquarter: Via Luigi Luzzatti, 8, 73046 Matino (LE). 

Before the balance is due, we’ll send you an e-mail to remind you about the payment including a link to be used in case you prefer to pay the balance by credit card. 

PHOTOS

MAP

REVIEWS

Price: € 1,845

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, Founder and Tour guide

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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