27 May - ! June 2750 euros
This is a repeat of my most food-orientated Gourmet Adventure inaugurated last year. We will be visiting Emilia Romagna, the region famous for its superb cuisine and beautiful cities undiscovered by mass tourism.
From Bologna we will steal a day to explore the Liberty-style food market and Malpighi balsamic vinegar acetaia in Modena.and we will
take a fast train to visit Ferrara or Mantova. We won’t spend time with any industrial producers but we will drive on to Parma, an elegant city which owes much of its charm to Napoleon’s Hapsburg wife, Maria Luigia. When Napoleon was forced to abdicate the Great Powers made Maria Luigia the Duchess of Parma. She founded the lovely, pale yellow Teatro Regio with Toscanini as her orchestral director. Today music lovers still come to enjoy superlative performances.The ex- Empress bought Paris fashions with her to exile and there is an amusing story of the local dress-makers feverishly copying the cast-off gowns Maria Luigia gave to her maids to satisfy the local ladies’ pretensions. The clothes shops still prove an attraction and we will window-shop as we sample gastronomic specialities.
After four nights in Bologna we will move on for 3 nights to Faenza, famous for its glazed ceramics and one of my favourite chefs, Silverio. We will enjoy two cooking sessions with him and visit Brisighella for a lunch and olive oil tasting.
Ravenna under Justinian became the capitol of the Byzantine Empire and we will take a day to visit the famous mosaics in San Vitale, built ten years before Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia and the small tomb of Galla Placidia.
Price 2750 euros.