One of the most productive regions of Italy, thanks to its coastal climate and proximity to the Adriatic Sea, the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna is famed for its Parma prosciutto and balsamic vinegar. On this superb itinerary, take in towns and cities brimming with exquisite medieval structures, including those left behind by the D’Este family and those that are also protected by UNESCO. Begin in Ferrara, one of the country’s greatest walled cities, before a tour of Bologna which hosts Europe’s oldest university. If fast cars are your dream, then a visit to Modena will fuel that fantasy, being home to Ferrari and Maserati amongst others. For opera fans, a visit to the birthplace of Giuseppe Verdi won’t disappoint, and with tastings of local produce also included - balsamic vinegar and cured meats - you won’t go hungry either.
7 nights in hotels (accommodation as specified or similar)
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your journey to London Heathrow Airport for a direct, scheduled British Airways flight to Bologna. Upon arrival we transfer to Ferrara and our hotel for four nights, the Hotel Principessa Leonora (4T). Dinner is included at a local restaurant this evening.
Day 2 Ferrara
The Renaissance buildings of Ferrara, one of Italy’s greatest walled cities, are a legacy of the medieval ruling D’Este family and the historical centre is protected by UNESCO. We visit Ferrara today and explore the city walls, Estense Castle and Ferrara Cathedral of St George. We leave for nearby Codigoro to visit the Benedictine monastery, Pomposa Abbey. Considered a masterpiece of Romanesque art within the beautiful Emilia-Romagna countryside, it was founded in the 6th century, however the imposing 48m-high bell tower was not built until the 11th century. We discover this beautiful church and museum, before returning to Ferrara for the evening.
Day 3 Bologna
After breakfast we travel to Bologna, for a guided tour of the elegant capital of the beautiful Emilia-Romagna region. As we are led through the enchanting streets, admire the medieval gems of this city including the Piazza Maggiore, Basilica of San Petronio and the Towers of Bologna. The 16th century grand Fountain of Neptune and the historic Palazzo d'Accursio, used as the Town Hall until recent years, are also highlights. This afternoon is free to explore the city which home to Europe’s oldest university, which provides the streets with its youthful ambience, before we return to the hotel.
Day 4 Ferrara
Today is free to spend as you wish, or an optional excursion will be available to discover magical Ravenna and its extensive collection of Christian, late Roman and Byzantine architecture. A guided tour will take you through the streets where you’ll face history, culture and exquisite art at every turn. Ravenna also hosts a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the Ravenna Baptistery of Neon, Archbishop’s Chapel, Basilica of San Vitale, and the 6th century Mausoleum of Theoderic. This evening, dinner is included at local restaurant.
Day 5 Modena - Parma
Our full-day excursion takes us to Modena, a grand city that plays host to a number of prestigious sports car manufacturers including Ferrari and Maserati, as well as its own extensive array of prestigious architectural treasures. A visit to the city includes the Piazza Grande and Modena Cathedral and entrance to a car museum. We also visit a Modena balsamic vinegar producer, to learn of the fascinating production process before enjoying a tasting. We continue on to Parma and our hotel for three nights, the Sina Maria Luigia Hotel (4T).
Day 6 Fontanellato - Busseto
We depart after breakfast for Fontanellato, where a visit to Sanvitale Castle - a moated fortress in the centre of the town - is included. Continuing on, we visit a charming historical farm for a tasting of its produce, including cured meat and cheese. This afternoon our attention turns to Busseto. It was the birthplace of composer Giuseppe Verdi and many reminders exist here, including beautiful churches that were venues in which he played his organ, and the composer’s home, Palazzo Orlandi. We include entrance to the Guiseppe Verdi National Museum and the marvellous Teatro Giuseppe Verdi.
Day 7 Parma
Today we discover Parma, a beautiful city surrounded by glorious countryside and famous for its production of prosciutto ham, its magnificent architecture and also the University of Parma, one of the world’s oldest universities. We transfer into the city for time to explore at your own pace. Dinner is at the hotel this evening.
Day 8 Parma - Bologna - London
We transfer to Bologna Airport for a direct, scheduled British Airways flight to London Heathrow Airport. On arrival you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.