Travel Matters Ltd

25th June 2021

Italy – Bologna Gastronomic Delights Tour from £1,395 per person

Emilia-Romagna, the region often overlooked by tourists, is known for its medieval cities, fantastic gastronomy and seaside resorts. On this gastronomical tour we will be concentrating on all things food – think mouthwatering back truffle tortellini, mature parma ham and parmesan cheese as well as richly aged balsamic vinegar – all washed down with loads of delicious local wine. Yum!

Oh, and on the last day we will have some free time to enjoy the resort’s magnificent SPA!

Itinerary (Departing 28 October 2021)

Day 1:

Your flight will arrive at Bologna airport, located about 35 min away from the beautiful Palazzo Di Varignana resort where we will spend four nights in a standard room (upgrade available for a supplement). Palazzo di Varignana is nestled in 30 hectares of private park, surrounded by the unique beauty of the Bolognese hills, only 19 km from the centre of Bologna.

To complete this beautiful setting, 90 elegant rooms set in different buildings connected by underground corridors are creating an exclusive resort-village.

You will have some free time to unpack and settle in up until 7 pm when we will have welcome drinks and dinner at “Le Marzoline” restaurant, a homage to the typical “trattoria” of the bolognese area, immersed in the lush greenery of the hills surrounding Varignana.

Day 2:

Brace yourselves as we are starting our trip on a high! Today we are heading for an ultimate food tour where parma ham, parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar are guests of honour!

Duration: 8 hours from 8.00 am to 4.00 pm. The tour includes private transportation by air-conditioned minivan, private English-speaking tour guide, a private visit to a Parmesan Cheese producer with savory breakfast and tasting, private visit to a Prosciutto producer with tasting, private visit to a traditional balsamic vinegar producer with tasting and aperitif.

And to top it off we will indulge in a traditional Italian 6-course lunch at a family-run restaurant with wine included.

After such a long day, we understand that you might want to have some free time and perhaps have dinner at leisure or even order room service while you are enjoying your book, so the rest of the day is free.

(Breakfast and lunch included)

Day 3:

Enjoy your breakfast at leisure and prepare for another exciting day ahead! Today we have two very special activities planned and we will start our morning with a Bologna walking food tour which will take 3.5 hours.

Explore one of Bologna oldest food markets with an insider and visit the most traditional food shops. Learn about the history, culture, architecture, that make Bologna’s medieval market so unique. During this tour you will enjoy a variety of food specialties that has secured Bologna’s reputation as being the foodie capital of Italy. Discover the secrets to having the ultimate food and cultural experience off the beaten path!

The tour includes: Expert local guide, orientation tour of Bologna, visit to Bologna most ancient food market, visit to 5 local food shops, 5 delicious food & wine tastings: pastries, chocolate, gelato, homemade pasta, local wines, cured meats and cheeses.

In the afternoon we will make our way to the famous Umberto Cesari winery where we will embark on 1.5 hour Superior Wine tour. From the very beginning, Cesari believed strongly in the power of the land, capable of producing extraordinary grapes and excellent wines, on par with the most notable Italian red wines.

The Wine Tour Superior will guide you through the winemaking cellar and the ageing barrel, with a tasting of three different variations of Sangiovese, paired with the best gastronomic specialties carefully selected from their excellent partners, ambassadors of the region’s fine food like Mortadella IGT La Favolosa di Palmieri served with different types of bread, Salame Rosa di Artigian with wholemeal black bread, mandarin jam from Ischia and Caciotta (soft cheese) from Monte San Pietro, Pecorino Gran Cru di Grotta from Brisighella Caseificio L’Antica Cascina and a dark chocolate wafer 75% Variety Sao Tomé by Guido Gobino.

The rest of the afternoon is at leisure until we meet for dinner at the resort’s Aurevo restaurant. Their pizzas are phenomenal!

Aurevo is a tribute to their Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Green Gold of the lands, precious fruit of the olive groves that today draw the profile of the resort, that has become the soul of their kitchen: a direct, contemporary and sustainable cuisine, a meeting between Emilia Romagna Region and Italian excellences, the result of the work of a team of young and creative chefs, capable of giving new life to tradition.

(Breakfast, dinner as well as food tastings as per the itineraries included)

Day 4:

Today is mostly at leisure and you will have a chance to immerse yourself in well-being at the beautiful VarSana Spa. You will have a 3 hour complimentary access to the facilities but should you decide to treat yourself to something extra, like a massage or a facial, a SPA menu could be found in your room. The free entry includes: access to the Grotta dei Calanchi and the Cava d’Oro Bianco, swimming pools with hydromassage, Finnish sauna, Mediterranean sauna, Turkish bath, emotional showers, hydrosound pool and relaxation area with herbal tea corner.

Our farewell dinner will take place at the resort’s finest restaurant Il Palazzo located in the most stunning building of the Resort, where style and beauty are the setting for the most sophisticated dining venue. Their original gourmet dishes have been created from a painstaking and expert interpretation of the tradition of creative cooking and local cuisine. For more discerning palates, dishes are paired with meticulous attention to detail, making the most of all their flavour and nutritional aspects.

(Breakfast and dinner included)

Day 5:

Ciao Italy!

Breakfast and other meals as per the itinerary
4 nights accommodation based on two sharing (single supplement from £400 in total)
Private transportation & a guide where mentioned
Return transfer from Bologna airport or train station
A tree will be planted by our charity partners Trees for Cities for every participant
Not Included
International Airfares
Travel Insurance – highly recommnded
Anything not explicitly listed as included

Places are limited. Get in touch to book your space. Tel 0208 675 7878, email


By Karen Simmonds
25th June 2021