Parma to Florence: Italy's Culinary Highlights

Parma to Florence: Italy's Culinary Highlights

7 Days From



Parma to Florence: Italy's Culinary Highlights

7 Days Starting in Roncole Verdi, Parma and ending in Florence

Visiting: Le Roncole, Province of Parma, Modena, Bologna, Faenza, Brisighella, Florence

Tour operator:


Tour code:


Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

6 - 16

Physical rating:


Age range:


Trip Styles:

Adventure Tours


Sightseeing, Walking

$4055 Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$115

NB: Prices correct on 19-May-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

So much more than pizza, pasta and gelato, Italy’s foodie credentials are hard to beat. This delectable adventure delves into the most celebrated gastronomy region in the country, Emilia-Romagna, where we discover the origins of culatello ham, Parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar, among other delights. We hit Bologna (named the World Capital of Food by Condé Nast Traveller in 2022) and head to lesser-known spots including the picturesque hilltop town of Brisighella. A train ride through rolling hills takes us to Florence, the beating heart of Tuscany, where our adventure culminates.

Did you know you can travel by train to this trip? Find out more here


  • Join a cooking class led by a local chef to make a traditional Bolognese menu

  • Visit producers of culatello ham, Parmesan cheese, Modena balsamic vinegar and olive oil

  • Take a train through rolling hills to Florence

  • Discover Brisighella, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy


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Day 1 : Start In Roncole Verdi, Parma

Location: Le Roncole

Meals Included: dinner

Our tour starts in the village of Roncole Verdi in the province of Parma, Emilia-Romagna. Nestled in the fertile heart of the agricultural Po Valley, the village is best known as the birthplace of Giuseppe Verdi, one of the greatest Italian opera composers of the 19th century. This evening, we enjoy a welcome dinner at the restaurant in our locanda (inn), a delicious introduction to the traditional cuisine of Emilia-Romagna.

Overnight in Roncole Verdi.

Day 2 : The Culinary Traditions Of The Po Valley, The Bread Basket Of Italy

Location: Province of Parma

Meals Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

We take a 15-minute transfer to Antica Corte Pallavicina this morning, a farm and restaurant with a fascinating history. We learn about the traditional methods still used to cure the prized culatello ham and sample the produce, all washed down with a glass of wine. After a 45-minute transfer to Parma, we have lunch at a street food spot favoured by locals, the more adventurous foodies may wish to try the horsemeat panino. We follow lunch with a short walking tour of the historical centre.

Leaving Parma, we take a one-hour transfer to Castello di Canossa. Set on a hilltop overlooking the Po Valley to the north and the Apennines to the south, the castle harks back to medieval times and was testament to many events of historical importance, including the pardon of King Henry IV by Pope Gregory VII in 1077.

We end the day with a transfer to our agriturismo accommodation in the Reggio Emilia countryside, where there is time to relax in the farmhouse grounds before a traditional Emilia dinner at the on-site restaurant.

Overnight in the Reggio Emilia countryside.

Day 3 : The Secrets Of Parmigiano-Reggiano And Balsamic Vinegar; Modena And Bologna

Location: Modena

Meals Included: breakfast, lunch

We start our gastronomic journey today with a visit to a celebrated producer of Parmesan cheese, enjoying a tasting along with explanations about what makes this protected cheese so special. We continue with a transfer (15 minutes) to Cavalli Balsamic Vinegar Mill and cellars, where we learn about the vinegar-making process and understand why Modena balsamic vinegar is considered the best of its kind.

After a tasting with a light lunch, we transfer to Modena for a guided walking tour of the historic centre. In the late afternoon, we transfer to Bologna (one hour), named as the 2022 World Capital of Food by Condé Nast Traveller, where there is time for independent exploration. Our tour leader can provide suitable restaurant recommendations for dinner.

Overnight in Bologna.

Day 4 : Cooking Class And Guided Tour In Bologna

Location: Bologna

Meals Included: breakfast, lunch

It's time to put our own cooking credentials to the test as we embark on a full-morning cooking class led by a local chef. We prepare a complete Bolognese menu from scratch, which we eat together at lunch time. The menu will vary based on the season and availability of the produce, but we can look forward to creating authentic dishes using locally sourced ingredients.

In the afternoon, we take a guided walking tour of the picturesque historic centre of Bologna before enjoying free time.

Overnight in Bologna.

Day 5 : Discover The Romagna Region – Faenza And Brisighella

Location: Faenza, Brisighella, Florence

Meals Included: breakfastlunch

We depart Bologna by train (40 minutes), heading to the small Romagna city of Faenza. Renowned for ceramics and neo-classical architecture, the city is well away from the tourist trail and gives us the opportunity to see a lesser-visited part of Italy. After a coffee stop in the central piazza, we visit a ceramic shop to learn about the tin-glazed earthenware (known as majolica) that is produced here, before our gastronomic journey continues as we head to a small, organic winery and olive oil press in the countryside.

After a tasting and light lunch at the winery, we visit the colourful medieval town of Brisighella, widely considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. There's time for a gelato while we stroll along the quiet streets, before we board a train* (approximately 2hr 30min) that takes us through the rolling countryside and into Tuscany, arriving at Florence in the evening.

Overnight in Florence.

*On the inaugural departure of our Parma to Florence: Italy's Culinary Highlights tour in October 2023, we will board the heritage Treno di Dante. On subsequent departures (in 2024), we use a regular train service.

Day 6 : Florence, The Renaissance Capital Of Tuscany

Location: Florence

Meals Included: breakfast, dinner

On our final day of activities, we start with a guided walking tour led by a local guide. Starting from our hotel, we cross the Ponte Vecchio (a shop-lined medieval stone bridge over the Arno River) and enter the historic centre of Florence, discovering the highlights as well as the lesser-known sites of this architecturally magnificent city. After being regaled with stories of the history and culture of the city, we head to San Lorenzo Central Market for a guided visit. We can purchase lunch at the market (not included).

The afternoon is free for independent exploration of Florence, then we meet again in the evening for a farewell dinner.

Overnight in Florence.

Day 7 : End In Florence

Location: Florence

Meals Included: breakfast

The tour ends in Florence after breakfast. If you wish to spend longer in this wonderful city, speak to your sales representative about extending your stay. Otherwise, begin your return journey home.

What's Included

  • Meals
    6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners.

What's Not Included

  • Travel insurance

  • Single accommodation

  • Visas or vaccinations


All breakfasts, four lunches (including one cooking class), three dinners and one wine tasting are included.

A selection of food inherent to the region includes:

Many types of ham, in particular prosciutto, culatello and mortadella

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (also known as Parmesan)

Balsamic vinegar of Modena

Olives and olive oil

Tagliatelle al ragù bolognese

Excellent wines

Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany are the perfect locations for gastronomy aficionados. On this trip, there will be many opportunities to taste local specialties, in particular during the produce and wine tastings, cooking class and the traditional lunches and dinners included in the itinerary.

Vegetarians and vegans may find the majority of cuisine in these regions is not created with dietary restrictions in mind; however, there is still plenty to enjoy, including lasagne verdi al forno (a lasagne dish typically created with spinach-infused pasta sheets) in Emilia-Romagna and panzanella (a delicious bread and tomato salad) in Tuscany.


All hotels on this trip have been specially selected for their location, character and comfort. We stay in a mixture of renovated traditional buildings and comfortable city hotels, all to a three- or four-star standard and offering complimentary wifi.

List of hotels normally used:

Roncole Verdi: Locanda Alle Roncole is a charming property with a restaurant and classically styled rooms featuring 18th-century furniture.

Reggio Emilia countryside: Agriturismo La Razza has a peaceful location approximately 2mi (3.2km) outside the small city of Reggio Emilia. There is a swimming pool (open seasonally) and rooms have a contemporary finish.

Bologna: Zanhotel Regina or Hotel Touring Bologna. Both hotels are in the historic centre of Bologna, allowing easy access to the main attractions of the city, including the Two Towers.

Florence: Hotel Villa Royal or Hotel Silla. Hotel Villa Royal has a classic 18th-century style, a swimming pool (open seasonally) and gardens. Hotel Silla is a family-run property whose amenities include a rooftop terrace with views over the Arno River.

Check out our Q&As

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    If you wish to make any changes to your booking, particularly if you need to alter any flights booked through us, please let us know as soon as possible. There is a booking or flight amendment fee of £40 per change and flight amendments often incur extra airline costs depending on the changes to be made and if the ticket has been issued or not.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Exodus has been trading since 1974

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Your final joining instructions and flight details, if booked with us, will then be sent out 2 to 3 weeks before departure. If you would like a hard copy posted, or if you require these any earlier, please contact the customer operations team. We advise that if you are booking connecting travel before receiving these, please ensure you leave plenty of time.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Travellers are welcome to opt to share a room with a tour member of the same gender for no additional charge. If you'd like your own room, we can request a single supplement so that you will have your own room throughout.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    You are welcome to meet the group after the tour has departed however there is no reduction in rate for joining a tour after the departure date.

Reviews of this operator

Gergana Racheva  

Very helpful and prompt service


Very helpful and prompt service. I called to check for an already booked trip and once we sorted this, the agent was ready to help me with another booking as well. He actually waited for me to book my flight tickets, answered all my questions, informed me of all my options. Exodus is a tour company I am using regularly due to the quality of their trips, ease of booking and helpfulness of their customer service team

Tim Hardy  

Stunning walking. Walking the Amalfi Coast


This trip takes you through the most beautiful parts of the Mediterranean walking with a guide and also discovering the wonders of Pompeii and Vesuvius. The hotel had a nice feel as family run, spotless and comfortable rooms, we were well looked after for breakfasts and dinner each day, and the barmen fixed some mean cocktails for us.!

Paul Green  

It's amazing what you can do in a week! Cycling the Dalmatian Coast.


This holiday was extremely enjoyable. The itinerary is well planned and the route takes you to a variety of destinations. Not having been to Croatia before I didn't know there were so many beautiful small islands and I loved the ferry and catarmaran rides. The coastal route we took was dramatic and the World Heritage sites in Split and Dubrovnik very interesting and worth visiting. The Adriatic Sea was warm, blue and inviting, good for swimming even in October. The hotels we stayed in varied in size from medium to large. I particularly liked the one just outside Dubrovnik as I had a sea view. Tourists were plentiful in Split and Dubrovnik but in the other places we stayed there was an end of season feel and it was quiet on the roads and in the resorts. The food was good and our guide was always able to recommend a nice restaurant for our evening meal. The weather in October was good for cycling - not hot, partly cloudy most days and one day it rained!

Mrs Y Morrison  

Fabulous company and trip


We went overland from Cape Town to Zimbabwe through Botswana and Namibia. What a fantastic trip. Our first time with Exodus although we have travelled extensively around the world. We would highly recommend this company for such a brilliant trip - we got everything and more all at a good price. Thanks to everyone involved. We are looking at our next trip!

John Edwards (Google Reviewer)  

I went cycling in Albania...


I went cycling in Albania with exodus as my first holiday with them. Such a well organised and wonderful experience where I met multiple fellow travellers who have been advocates of them for many years. You can't argue with happy repeat customers and I'm planning my next adventure with them soon

Rob Burridge (Google Reviewer)  

I'v just come back from...


I'v just come back from an amazing Wildlife & Wilderness trip in Botswana and I highly recommend Exodus Travels. Our guide Brian, was extremely knowledgeable on both the wildlife and history of Botswana and neighbouring countries. The other three staff, Abbis, Chief & Mr T, who accompanied us through out our 2 week trip, put in the hard work and made sure our camp was always prepared and that we we're well fed and looked after. The tour took us to some beautiful places and we saw some amazing wildlife, and on several occasions this was due to Brian's knowledge of the area and wildlife behaviour. Exodus have been very quick to respond to any queries I had, and the whole experience ran smoothly. I was also pleased to hear that during lockdown they provided staff with food packages 👍. I'd normally go on self organised trips, however, with this trip, the tour and guide Brian took us to places not possible otherwise and showed us things that we would'v missed out on. All of which were the highlights of the tour.

Daphne Partridge (Google Reviewer)  

After 14 roup adventure holidays...


After 14 roup adventure holidays with Exofus we would not hesitate to recommend them as an excitingholiday company. They take you off the beaten track but offer great support and expertise :)

Alison Payton (Google Reviewer)  

I've done 8 trips in...


I've done 8 trips in the last 14 years with Exodus, and have been rewarded with a 10% discount on all future bookings. I feel very confident that I'll receive pleasant, efficient service, and have the unusual holiday experience that I'm looking for each time. I've trekked to the top of snow-capped peaks, wild-camped in the desert, seen amazing spectacles of nature, visited 4 capital cities in a week, and learned about local culture and experienced local hospitality in a way that I simply wouldn't on a conventional holiday. The quality of the accommodation and guides can vary, but this is mainly down to cultural differences and things that Exodus can't control. I've only ever complained once, my complaint was taken seriously, and I was sent a discount voucher - you can't say fairer than that. I remain a loyal customer.

Jacquelyn Moore (Google Reviewer)  

Food came quickly. Staff very...


Food came quickly. Staff very friendly and polite . However the chef or person preparing the food did not seem to read the menu! If it says a meal should come with vegetables, you should not have to ask for them. They served shepherds pie with garlic bread! The munchies ice cream sundae said it should come in a glass with a flake but came in a little bowl with just a few munchies! When asking the staff were happy to replace and correct but customer should get what they order and what menu says first time round!!

johanna leonor (Google Reviewer)  

If you like to be...


If you like to be mistreated Exodus is perfect for you. If you enjoy terrible choices for hotels and pseudo restaurants Exodus is perfect for you. Careless about their clients and loveless about their propositions. Exodus has been a dissatisfaction and disappointment about every dealing i and my group have had with him. Especially a man called Simone who just cares about the money he can get from you couldn’t care less about service.

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  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

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    Exodus requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

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    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of exodus charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

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