Embark on a week-long culinary journey through Bologna, Tuscany, and Rome, savoring the best in Italy's regional produce and wine. Treat your taste buds to Parmigiano Reggiano and prosciutto in Parma, then head to Florence for, culture, Chianti, and Bistecca alla Fiorentina. A masterclass in the perfect Pizza Romana and aperitivo in the shadow of the Pantheon completes your small but perfectly formed trip.


  • Eat and drink your way through Bologna, Italy's food capital
  • Discover artisanal produce in Parma
  • Tour Tuscan wineries and gaze at Renaissance masterpieces in Florence
  • Polish your pizza-making skills with a master pizzaiolo in Rome (pizza maker)

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Rome, Train to Bologna Bologna
Day 2 Day Trip to Parma, Prosciutto & Parmigiano Reggiano Tasting Bologna
Day 3 Train to Florence, Self-Guided Tour of the City Florence
Day 4 Tour of Tuscany & Wine Tasting Florence
Day 5 Train to Rome, Self-Guided Tour of the City Rome
Day 6 Free Morning, Afternoon Pizza Making Masterclass Rome
Day 7 Depart Rome  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Rome, Train to Bologna

Stroll Bologna's famous Quadrilatero
Stroll Bologna's famous Quadrilatero market and neighborhood

Benvenuti in Bologna! Welcome to Bologna. Arrive in one of Rome's two international airports and make the 2.5-hour train journey from Termini Station to Emilia-Romagna's foodie capital. Settle in and relax at your hotel, then head out to discover the historic charms of Europe's oldest university town and, of course, its renowned gastronomy. 

Start with caffè in Piazza Maggiore, the town's grand 13th-century plaza, overlooked by some of Bologna's most prominent and historic buildings, including the impressive Basilica di San Petronio. Stroll over to the Due Torri, the city's two leaning towers (Asinelli and Garisenda) that flank the square, and wander the narrow alleyways of the Quadrilatero, the area's historic market and foodie neighborhood. Here, you'll find everything for a delicious lunch on the go, with great street food, bakers, and an array of vendors and stall holders proffering delicious morsels. 

Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the town's artistic heritage and discover renowned 14th-century artists such as Jacopo di Paolo, Lorenzo Costa, and Guido Reni at the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna. For a modern take on the city's renowned art, head to the Museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna (MAMbo). In the evening, enjoy aperitivo at one of the local bars and dine on typical Bolognan cuisine: tagliatelle al ragù or tortelloni in brodo (tiny meat-filled pasta served in a delicate broth).

Day 2: Day Trip to Parma, Prosciutto & Parmigiano Reggiano Tasting

Sample the region's best produce, including Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto Crudo di Parma

Known for its ornate medieval architecture, castles, and its famous prosciutto namesake, Parma, along with Bologna, is considered one of the top foodie destinations for travelers to northern Italy. This morning, you'll catch an hour's train to the city and meet your guide in the center. You'll discover highlights, including the 10th-century University of Parma, the Museo Glauco Lombardi, the 12th-century Piazza Duomo, and the world-renowned opera venue Teatro Regio.

Next up, it's time to explore the local production sites of the city's two main food exports, Prosciutto Crudo di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, staples not just in Italian cooking but around the world. You'll learn about and see the production process in action and the hard work that goes into ensuring they meet high regional standards and the coveted DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) status or PDO. 

Whet your appetite with a tasting of Parma's coveted produce, and then it's off to a local family-run trattoria for lunch. Northern Italian cooking favors ingredients such as butter, cheese, truffles, risotto rice, and polenta, so expect dishes such as risotto Milanese and ravioli al burro e salvia (ravioli with butter and sage). After you've feasted on regional specialties, spend the afternoon strolling the town before returning to Bologna in the evening.

Day 3: Train to Florence, Self-Guided Tour of the City

Explore Florence today
Explore Florence's back streets and make time for a traditional Tuscan-style lunch

After breakfast, head to Bologna's station to catch a train to Florence, Tuscany's regional capital, which is famous for its Renaissance art and architecture. Spend the day at leisure touring the top sights, starting in the Piazza del Duomo, where the magnificent Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (Il Duomo) and it's mighty terracotta dome attract visitors from all over the world. Don't miss the nearby Uffizi Gallery, which houses works by Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli, and the Galleria dell'Academia, which displays Michelangelo's famous "David."

 Florence is brimming with great eateries, so make time for a leisurely lunch and try dishes such as bistecca al Fiorentina (flame-grilled T-bone steak) and ribollita (a hearty soup made of beans, vegetables, olive oil, and bread). Afterward, wander the back streets and stop for gelato; the city has some of the region's best gelaterias with traditional and innovative flavor combinations. Alternatively, spend the afternoon on a guided walking tour of the city, where you'll be shown the best artisanal produce and off-the-beaten-path bars and cafés. 

End your day in Florence with aperitivo at one of the city's elegant rooftop bars, such as Il Continentale or Hotel Lucchesi, where you can watch the sun go down and admire the city's skyline.

Plan your trip to Italy
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 4: Tour of Tuscany & Wine Tasting

Venture into the hills of Chianti for wine tasting and a Tuscan lunch

This morning, you'll embark on a tour of the gorgeous Tuscan countryside and towns dotted along the rolling hills outside Florence. Admire the landscape filled with olive groves, cypress trees, and farms as you approach one of the region's gems—the medieval village of San Gimignano. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its 14th-century Torre Grossa, which, at 177 feet (54 m), stands as the tallest of the town's 14 towers. Explore the beautiful squares and stop for award-winning gelato in Piazza della Cisterna or a glass of the local Vernaccia di San Gimignano white wine.

Your next stop is a winery in the Chianti hills, where you'll tour the vineyards and cellars behind the region's eponymous wine. Made from a minimum of 80% sangiovese grapes, Chianti Classico is made from vineyards within a distinct area that stretches between the cities of Florence and Siena. Learn about the centuries-old production process and then sit down to a tasting of various vintages accompanied by a typical Tuscan lunch of cured meats, cheeses, a primo (usually a pasta course), and a choice of dolce (dessert). 

After lunch, you'll visit nearby Siena and tour the Duomo di Siena, a magnificent Romanesque-Gothic cathedral known for its intricate marble inlay floor and treasures, including works by Bernini, Pisano, and Donatello. Roam the narrow cobbled backstreets until you reach the vast Piazza del Campo, the town's central square and site of the famous Palio di Siena horse race. It's a great spot for aperitivo and to catch a breather before you finish the day with a visit to the medieval fortress of Monteriggioni and head back to Florence for the evening. 

Day 5: Train to Rome, Self-Guided Tour of the City

Ancient Roman ruins at sunrise
See ancient ruins, including the incredible Roman Forum

Enjoy one last lingering glance at the Duomo this morning before catching a high-speed train back to Rome. Check in at your hotel, and the rest of the day is yours to explore the "Eternal City" and discover the ancient ruins, art, culture, and food scene that draws millions of tourists each year. First-time visitors shouldn't leave without seeing the Colosseum, the city's iconic amphitheater built by Flavian emperors that served as the epicenter of Rome's public entertainment.

The nearby Foro Romana (Roman Forum) is a must for history buffs, with a vast archaeological site comprising the fascinating ruins of the temples, squares, and religious sites that witnessed some of the Roman Empire's key political spectacles, including the downfall of Julius Caesar. Spend the afternoon wandering the 45 galleries of the Vatican Museum and admiring the frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and Bernini's celebrated Piazza San Pietro.

Alternatively, soak up the beautiful gardens at Villa Borghese, a green oasis in the north of the city. Here, you'll also find the ornate rooms of Galleria Borghese, with wonderful frescoes, Bernini statues, and numerous works by Bellini, Raphael, Titian, Rubens, and Caravaggio. As dusk falls, head to Gianicolo Hill to see the sunset and the twinkling St. Peter's Dome and dine at Armando al Pantheon, a Roman institution, moments from the historic temple. Finish with a nightcap in the Piazza Navona before seeing the Trevi Fountain, whose Baroque carvings are illuminated at nightfall.

Day 6: Free Morning, Afternoon Pizza-Making Masterclass

Polish your Pizza Romana making skills with today's lesson
Learn the secret to a perfect Roman pizza with a master pizzaiolo

Spend the morning exploring Rome at your own pace and follow in the footsteps of locals with the tradition of caffè and a cornetto semplice (croissant) at one of the local bars. Head along the River Tiber to the wisteria-filled back streets of Trastevere to browse the boutiques, wander the shady piazzas, and people-watch. Or stock up on foodie treats to take home with a visit to the vast covered market in Testaccio, where you'll find all manner of cured meats, formaggi (cheeses), artisan pasta, pestos, and chocolates. 

If you're feeling peckish, the market is a great spot to try traditional Roman street food such as supplì, pizza bianca filled with stracciatella, mortadella, and pistachios, and porchetta (roast pork, stuffed and rolled with herbs). You'll want to save some room, though, as this afternoon, you'll be taken under the wing of an expert pizzaiolo (pizza maker) and instructed in the art of authentic Italian pizza. Guided by your chef, you'll learn the best ingredients to use, how to master the perfect dough using traditional techniques, and choose from a variety of toppings to create your masterpiece.

With your pizza freshly out of the wood-fired oven, you'll join your fellow chefs in savoring your creations as part of a three-course meal, with appetizers, gelato, and local wine, beer, or a soft drink. Afterward, soak up the city's sights at dusk and enjoy a walk along the umbrella pine-dotted Via dei Fori Imperiali as the sun sets behind the nearby ruins of the Roman Forum. 

Day 7: Depart Rome

Take one last walk around Rome's cobbled streets before catching your flight
Take one last walk around Rome's cobbled streets before catching your flight

Say goodbye, or ciao, to Italy for now. Take advantage of any extra time with one last morning stroll around Rome before transferring to the airport, where you'll catch your flight home or continue your European adventure. Safe travels!

More Great Italy Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Italy? Check out these other Italian itineraries, explore different ways to spend a week in Italy indulging in food and wine, or discover the best time to visit Italy.


Map of Food & Wine in Italy: Bologna, Florence & Rome - 7 Days
Map of Food & Wine in Italy: Bologna, Florence & Rome - 7 Days