Bologna, Parma and Ravenna

Escorted tour - 5 days

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“The 6th-century mosaics in Ravenna are the pinnacle of Byzantine art.” - Andrew Graham-Dixon You stay in the understated yet truly historic city of Bologna, home to Europe’s oldest university and capital of Italy’s revered culinary heritage. Plus tour lovely Modena, Parma and Ravenna with its staggering eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Highlights

  • Return flights
  • Four nights in a centrally located four-star hotel with breakfast
  • Sightseeing tour of historic Bologna, Italy’s gastronomic capital,seeing the stunning medieval centre and unique portico lined streets
  • Visit the Ferrari Museum in Maranello
  • See Ravenna’s unmissable 6th century mosaics, the world’s finestand pinnacle of Byzantine art
  • Guided tour of Parma, seeing its cathedral with Correggio’s fine fresco
  • Experience how deliciously sweet Prosciutto (Parma Ham) is cured bya family producer
  • Discover how a true artisan makes Modena’s famed balsamic vinegar
  • Escorted by our experienced Tour Manager

Itinerary

Day 1

Fly to Bologna or Venice and a coach will take you to the four-star, centrally located Hotel Internazionale, for four nights with breakfast.

Day 2

This morning we have a sightseeing tour of Bologna where you will come to fully admire this wonderfully attractive city. Beautifully maintained over the centuries, its original Roman street plan is still discernible. Twelve medieval gates encircled the historic centre and at Bologna’s heart is the majestic main square - the Piazza Maggiore. Surrounded by splendid Renaissance “palaces” and home to the enormous San Petronio, the world’s fifth largest Basilica, yet unfinished, its sponsors never achieving their ambitious goal of exceeding that of Rome’s St Peter’s! Adjacent is another beautiful square, Piazza del Nettuno, with a splendid statue and fountain dedicated to Neptune and surrounded by grandiose medieval civic buildings. One of Bologna’s many surprises is that it can ‘outdo’ Pisa, boasting not one but two medieval “leaning towers”! Of course one of Bologna’s ‘must sees’ is Europe’s oldest University – founded in 1068 its illustrious alumni include Dante, Copernicus and Marconi. Perched on a hilltop with splendid views across the city and the surrounding region, Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca is renowned for its extraordinary claim to fame, the world’s longest portico supported by no less than 666 arches leading to the edge of the historic city itself! After the tour why not explore the maze of tiny alleys and streets lined by atmospheric food shops of every description, joining locals in sampling the world’s finest produce and soaking up some of the ambience yourself. Remember you are off the tourist trail here, so this enthusiasm is heartfelt and refreshing in its authenticity. This afternoon, you can choose to explore Bologna further or to visit the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, dedicated to the brand synonymous with luxury, glamour and speed. ‘Live the dream’ and discover the history of legendary F1 cars and some of the most coveted supercars today. Have your photo taken in a Ferrari or try out a semi-professional F1 simulator (pre-booking advised).

Day 3

After breakfast you visit Parma, a name synonymous the world over with wonderful prosciutto hams and parmigiano reggiano (parmesan) cheese. You enjoy a guided tour before taking the short drive into the Apennine foothills where in bucolic villages set in rolling countryside, the ancient art of preparing the finest prosciutto (Parma ham) is practised. Your destination is Langhirano, “capital of prosciutto” where you learn and witness how the joints are selected, prepared, treated and stored to produce a delicacy of the highest quality after which you sample their handiwork! Another treat awaits just outside Modena at the Acetaia Villa San Donnino, where the art of producing traditional balsamic vinegar is still undertaken by local artisans. You enjoy a tasting at the end of this fascinating visit.

Day 4

Today you take the short drive to historic Ravenna – city of mosaics. Despite its turbulent history, Ravenna’s compact centre retains unique buildings spanning a period of 1500 years with no less than eight UNESCO World Heritage sites including the Baptistry of Neon. You have a guided walking tour bringing these amazing buildings, their stunning mosaics and stories to life. You return to Bologna for some free time and this evening choose a venue for your final dinner.

Day 5

Today at the appropriate time you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight home.

  Cost per person: €919pp
  Number of nights: 4
  Dates available from: Aug 2018

Tour supplied in Partnership with:

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  Call:  01 905 6300