"Food & Motor Valley" Day Trip from Bologna

The perfect balsamic drizzle
Explore slow food and fast cars in the Emilia Romagna region! On this tour, you’ll start slow by visiting boutique producers of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, balsamic vinegar, and local prosciutto. Then go fast at the world-famous Ferrari Museum in Maranello. Slow back down and savor the region’s traditional flavors with wine pairings and a delicious five-course Italian lunch at a family-run restaurant. 

At your first stop, you’ll discover the “king” of Italian cheeses, Parmigiano-Reggiano. Enjoy a rare opportunity to watch how experts create and age this savory delicacy. While in a live production facility, stand side by side with cheese artisans as they prepare and work with special milk. Watch as they fill iconic molds and age the cheese to perfection. Finally, enjoy a generous tasting featuring a variety of ages. Along with local Lambrusco wine, you’ll understand why this cheese always lives up to its divine reputation.

Next, visit a multi-generation, family-owned artisanal prosciutto production facility. Enjoy a tour of the facilities and watch the entire meticulous and time-consuming feat required to produce this one-of-a-kind product. You’ll visit different seasonal simulation storage rooms, so bring a light jacket or sweater for the “autumn” room. The visit concludes with some of the highest quality and freshest tastings you’ll enjoy of this classic Italian staple.

Continue to another local production site, where you can taste 15- or 30-year-old barrel-aged balsamic vinegar. Perhaps you’ve seen balsamic vinegar from Modena at the grocery store, but this one is the pure “black gold” that you can’t find anywhere else. Your tour begins with pressing Lambrusco grapes and cooking the mosto (juice). The secret at this facility is its multiple “small family” barrel aging process. Taste what this method produces and pair the vinegar with cheeses and ice cream.

Whether you’re a sports car fanatic, art lover, or simply want to extend your Italian cultural experience, you’ll surely enjoy the Ferrari Museum tour. Located next to the actual factory where each Cavallino is born, this modern museum takes you through the history of Ferrari and its iconic sports and race cars. Visit the newly updated Hall of Victories to see world-champion Formula 1 cars. For an additional fee, you can tick “driving a Ferrari” off your bucket list by test driving a choice of models on the roads of Maranello.

After an exciting day of learning and tasting, you’ll conclude with a delicious five-course afternoon lunch. Savor the traditional Italian flavors and local wines in a picturesque setting. Enjoy the company of your newfound friends and share your thoughts and favorite parts of the day.

Read more about unique and interesting cultural activities and culinary experiences in Italy.