Emilia Romagna’s Culinary Delights Plus!

Emilia Romagna's Culinary Delights
  • Length 12 days
  • From USD$6450
  • Style/Level Classic 1.5
  • Countries Italy
  • Begin/End Cremona / Cesenatico
See related tours

On this popular bicycle tour, you’ll ride through Italy’s premier pasta region. Every meal will include extraordinary local dishes made according to tradition. Every day of pedaling will not only take you on behind-the-scenes visits of parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, and wine makers, but also to ancient castles and World Heritage UNESCO sites. History, art, culture, and tradition conspire to make this tour unforgettable!

***If this sounds great but you’d like a shorter tour check out our, Emilia Romagna’s Culinary Delights.***


  • Cremona – home to torrone or Italian nougat

  • Visit to a violin workshop

  • Balsamic vinegar cellar

  • Parma famous cured ham

  • Parmesan cheese

  • Bologna

  • Castle of Torrechiara

  • Modena

  • Resort country house in the hills

  • Gala seafood dinner on the coast

  • Casa Artusi cooking demo


  • 12 days, 11 nights accommodation

  • meals as noted in itinerary

  • 3- two-night stays at the same hotel

  • activities listed in itinerary

  • All Classic tour inclusions

Keep in mind

We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

  • You will be riding on popular bike paths and through some urban areas where cobblestones are common. Though the terrain is gentle bike handling skills are necessary.
  • We highly recommend you spend an additional day in Cremona before the beginning of the tour. It’s a true little gem to discover. For things to do, we recommend visiting the amazing Museo del Violino (note it is closed on Mondays). Read our article about Cremona.
  • Restaurant Osteria Francescana: This restaurant in Modena, our Day 6 location, has been voted one of the world’s top 50 restaurants! If you’d like to enjoy an evening here on your free night (Day 6), you will need to make reservations online in advance: osteriafrancescana.it
  • If you are looking for a more laid-back alternative, you may enjoy the Restaurant Franceschetta 58 in Modena, our Day 6 location. Franceschetta 58 is a bistro-style restaurant under the same ownership as the Osteria Francescana. If you’d like to take this opportunity, be sure to make your reservations in advance: franceschetta.it

Date Price Private room fee Note
Aug 25-Sep 5, 2024 USD$5995 USD$650  Departure confirmed to go!
May 25-Jun 5, 2025 USD$6450 USD$650 Book now and save $200 per person. 
Aug 24-Sep 4, 2025 USD$6450 USD$650 Book now and save $200 per person.
DateAug 25-Sep 5, 2024
Private room feeUSD$650
Note Departure confirmed to go!
DateMay 25-Jun 5, 2025
Private room feeUSD$650
NoteBook now and save $200 per person. 
DateAug 24-Sep 4, 2025
Private room feeUSD$650
NoteBook now and save $200 per person.

Download Itinerary

We’ll send you a link to a full day by day tour itinerary that can be downloaded and printed so you can review all the details online and offline. This packet also includes details about what to expect on tour and arrival and departure details.
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  • Total distance 399 km (248 miles)
  • Average daily distance 50 km (31 miles)
  • Tour style Classic
  • Tour level 1.5

Highlights: Cremona, home to creamy Italian nougat, handcrafted Stradivari violins, and an impressive plaza

Arrive in Cremona, home of the noble tradition of violin making. Visit the Museo del Violino to learn how Antonio Stradivarius raised violin-making to an art form and taste some torrone (the creamy nougat made from honey, nuts, and egg whites) in one of the several pasticcerie in town! We meet in the afternoon for our bike fitting at the hotel. After enjoying an aperitivo together, we celebrate the beginning of our culinary experience with a welcome dinner.

Meals : Dinner
Lodging : Delle Arti Design Hotel

Highlights: Giuseppe Verdi’s homeland, Po River valley, Local gastronomy

A quick visit to Cremona’s important “liutai” or violin makers sets the tone for the day as we pedal through opera composer Giuseppe Verdi’s homeland. We’ll leave the city cycling along the Po River bike path and wind our way through a rural area to the small town where Verdi was born, raised, and started his music career at age 8 as the official organist. Continue pedaling to our boutique hotel, famous for its cuisine and maintenance of local culinary traditions including its special cold cut ageing and production (King Charles III has prosciutto here being cured for him!). A visit allows us a deep understanding of the local gastronomy.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Antica Corte Pallavicina

Highlights: Regal residence of Colorno, quiet country roads, Parma ham and Parmesan cheese, World Heritage Site of Parma

We head south to Parma today, one of the undisputed culinary capitals of Italy, through pleasant country roads where you can catch a glimpse of local farm life. Our journey takes us to the ducal palace of Colorno. While it has passed through the hands of many rulers, today, it houses the headquarters of ALMA, the International School of Italian Cuisine. We continue on to Parma, where your taste buds will not be disappointed. It is a city where the arts have flourished Parmigianino, Correggio, and Giuseppe Verdi are some of the most famous citizens.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Button

Highlights: Parma hills, castle of Torrechiara, lunch with a view

Get ready for another day of bicycling amidst ancient castles and local traditions! Today’s ride will loop to the breath-taking castle of Torrechiara. Dominating the Val Parma, the castle was constructed between 1448 and 1460, devised as an instrument of defense as well as a distinguished home for the count and his lover. This area is famous for its cured prosciutto and local salame–we will have lunch in this historic setting to taste them! We return to Parma, where, if you are still hungry, our tour leaders will suggest restaurants for dinner.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging : Hotel Button

Highlights: Stay in an agriturismo

We’ll cycle to Montecchio today before heading to Reggio Emilia where you can grab lunch and explore this lovely village. Reggio Emilia was also known as the Tricolor town because it was here that the future Italian flag was first adopted in 1797. We’ll continue along back roads and bike paths to reach our agriturismo, a country house/hotel with a working farm, where we’ll stay tonight.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Agriturismo La Razza

Highlights: Parmesan cheese making, a balsamic vinegar visit in a historical vinegar cellar, World Heritage Site of historic Modena

We have an early start this morning to observe the artistry of a working Parmesan cheese maker. The proud Consorzio will explain the intricacies of this poignant but delicate cheese on our guided tour. Another culinary mystery is unveiled today as we stop at an acetaia, a traditional balsamic vinegar factory to learn how leftover grapes are transformed into the sweet rich vinegar that can sometimes be worth hundreds of dollars. Tradition is beautifully preserved here as the historic methods of production are still in use. A picnic lunch will follow the visit to the acetaia before continuing on to Modena. Don’t miss a visit to the historic center of town.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging : Phi Hotel Canalgrande

Highlights: Guided tour of Bologna

We leave Modena’s Duomo and the Ghirlandaia tower along a rails to trails bike path that leads to the fortress town of Bazzano, a perfect spot for a morning snack before enjoying stunning views of the hills along our route to Bologna. Later this afternoon we’ll have a guided visit of this great city.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Dei Commercianti

Highlights: The World Heritage Porticoes of Bologna, cooking class

Rest day in Bologna, Emilia Romagna’s administrative capital, and, arguably, its culinary capital as well. Home to the oldest continually operating university in the world, Bologna has a long tradition of studies, arts, and gastronomy. Speaking of gastronomy, Bologna gave birth to the mortadella, vulgarly distorted abroad as “bologna,” although the fresh, artisanal mortadella has nothing to do with processed meat! Make sure you put this culinary delight on your ‘must try’ list! Join us for a cooking class as we learn a few secrets from local artisans. A stroll through the historic center and its porticoes completes a perfect afternoon. If you’re still hungry, stroll over to Eataly, the worlds biggest “agri food park” and a tribute to farming and food diversity in Italy.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging : Hotel Dei Commercianti

Highlights: Romagna, country villa dinner

We’ll leave the bustling city of Bologna today to head to the ‘heart of Romagna’, a quieter and “smaller” part of Emilia Romagna. With fewer large cities compared to Emilia, this region within a region, is known for its hospitality and exceptional food. We’ll shuttle from Bologna to Brisighella and visit an olive oil cooperative to learn more about shared production and selling efforts between local growers. After our visit we’ll get on the bikes to pedal past orchards and fortress towns nestled in the Apennine foothills ending at a beautifully restored parish house – your home for two nights. Lovingly renovated by architect Sara and her husband, this elegant resort and farm is a tribute to food, agriculture and architectural traditions.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Corte San Ruffillo

Highlights: Lunch and walk in the Romagna hills, visit to winery and learning about farm

We’ll take a day off the bikes to get to know the area with a walk, picnic lunch and visit to our hosts’ farm and winery. This region traditionally has been farmed by families with small/medium plots of land who pool their resources into local cooperatives to share farming equipment. As younger generations inherit the land, fewer and fewer are interested in working their family land. Thankfully there are still some, like our hosts, who are returning to the land and are using modern and innovative farming and marketing techniques to create a niche market for their products.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging : Corte San Ruffillo

Highlights: Casa Artusi, cooking institute, piadina demo, gala seafood dinner

Coast down hill on our way to the world famous institute for traditional “home” cooking. The “Casa Artusi” honors Pellegrino Artusi, the first writer and chef to compile recipes from all over Italy into one cookbook titled “The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well” in 1891. Hailed as the first person to document and therefore establish a national Italian cuisine, Artusi claimed all recipes were scientifically tried and true by his housemaid/collaborator Marietta. Today women who act as teachers (alongside chefs) in the institute are referred to as “Marietta.” We learn to make piadina from a “Marietta” before continuing to the beach town of Cesenatico where a seafood gala dinner awaits at ExperiencePlus! founder’s and owner’s family restaurant. A wonderful celebration to end our culinary bike tour. There is the option for an extra ride of 35 km (22 miles) to the beach.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging : Grand Hotel da Vinci

Highlights: Beach time!

Enjoy a sumptuous breakfast before heading off to further adventures, or spend a few days at this beautiful, historic hotel to pamper yourself in the spa or on the beach. Whatever you do, buon viaggio and buon appetito.

Meals : Breakfast

Visit our Tour Level page to learn more about terrain levels and how we determine day and tour levels.

Pre-trip planning checklist

Italy travel planning page

  • picking a favorite is difficult, but the things I particularly enjoyed were: 1. The riding was great. Beautiful. Quiet roads or bike paths. The castles were also beautiful.

    Patty J., Incline Village, NV- August 2023
  • Outstanding, easy enough for weekend bikers like myself but enough biking to justify the great food we had!

    Nanette S., Denver, CO – August 2023
  • It was truly a perfect tour for me..I was totally looked after & loved all the cultural and culinary opportunities .. well done.

    Marilyn H., Vancouver, BC, Canada