Unforgettable private Grand Tour of Italy for food and wine lovers

Unforgettable Private Grand Tour of Italy for Food and Wine Lovers

Our Gourmet Grand Tour of Italy is the ultimate food lovers tour of Bellissima Italia! Taking in the absolute best of Lombardy, Emilia Romagna and the Veneto, you will enjoy outstanding VIP gourmet experiences, all with your own private driver guide. You’ll stay in luxurious boutique hotels; tour by comfortable chauffeured Mercedes; see how Italy’s exquisite Culatello Ham and other prosciuttos are produced; visit a Parmigiano cheese maker; learn how to make homemade pasta in Bologna; taste historic Balsamic Vinegars in Acetaias in Modena; tour castles and fine wine estates in Piacenza; indulge in velvety Amarones and Franciacorta bubblies; delight in special private guided walking tours of various cities such as Verona, Bergamo, Bologna and Venice; and dine in carefully selected trattorie and ristoranti. Sound delicious?

The tour begins in Milan and heads southwest into the wine country of Piacenza, then further south to the gourmet paradise of Parma, Modena and Bologna, stopping for a fun visit at the Galleria Ferrari, then veers east to Byzantine Ravenna and north on up to gorgeous Ferrara, and romantic Venice. After a few unforgettable days in La Serenissima, head west to Roman Verona, and into Valpolicella. Continue west towards Lake Garda, stopping in Franciacorta near Lake Iseo to sleep in a wonderful Relais & Chateaux set amid the vineyards. The historic and little known art city of Bergamo is next with a few nights in spectacular Lake Como to complete the magnificent gourmet journey through some of Italy’s most beautiful towns and villages. We have created this itinerary for foodies also looking for luxury, spectacular scenery and culture. Taste the best of Italy on this private chauffeured gastronomic tour of a lifetime, contact us for more info!

We have created this itinerary for foodies and wine lovers also looking for luxury, spectacular scenery and culture. Taste the best of Italy on this private chauffeured gastronomic tour of a lifetime, contact us for more info!

Tour Highlights:

  • Balsamic, Parmigiano, Culatello tastings
  • Amarone, Piacenza and Franciacorta wine tours
  • Sightseeing in Bologna, Ferrara, Verona, Venice, Bergamo, Lake Como
  • Cheese tour to Parmigiano
  • Visit Castles and Historic Wineries
  • Galleria Ferrari visit
  • Mosaics of Ravenna
  • Private Mercedes and Art Guides
For Your Personalized Quote!

Below is a suggested Day By Day Itinerary for your private Gourmet Grand Tour


Day One - VIP Wine Tasting at Torre Fornello & Lunch in Historic Trattoria

Wine Tasting, Piacenza

Wine Tasting, Piacenza

This morning your own private driver will pick you up at your Milan hotel or at the airport this morning, by private chauffeured Mercedes. Let the Italian Gourmet Grand Tour commence!

You will head south into the Ancient Roman winemaking region of Piacenza, known for its sweet malvasias and juicy Gutturnio based reds. You´ll first visit will be to one of the emblematic wineries of Piacenza such as beautiful Torre Fornello. You´ll have a private VIP tour of the estate and vineyards, in English of course, and finish with a tasting of their best wines.

After a morning of wine tasting, you´ll be famished and lunch is in a medieval village near the Rivalta Castle in a historic trattoria. Enjoy various local dishes, paired wine great wines from the Piacenza region. After lunch, take a walk around the pretty little hamlet to get some fresh air. You´ll next head for Bologna, which is where you´ll be based for the next few nights. Bologna is one of Italy’s most fantastic cities with a real bohemian atmosphere and you´ll love the array of charming restaurants and wine bars. Free evening on your own with our suggestions for dining.

Overnight: 4* Charming Hotel in historic Bologna

Meals Included in Price: Lunch with wines, wine tasting Piacenza, welcome gourmet gift

Transfers: Milan- Piacenza region- Bologna


Day Two - Culatello Ham Tasting

Culatello Ham

Priceless Culatello Ham

- Today you will taste a little slice of heavan- Culatello ham, the Crème de la Crème prosciutto of Italy.

- Head towards Colorno in Parma province and visit a small and upmarket producer´s Culatello cellar and finish with an elegant lunch focusing on local specialties. Sample dishes include crema ai carciofi (artichoke soup), flan alle tre ricotte e salsa alla carbonara (Cheese and cream custard), Culatello di Zibello d.o.p. e selezione di salumi da noi prodotti e stagionati (a selection of the best charcuterie including culatello) and Risotto con radicchio veronese, Montasio e aceto balsamico (Risotto with chicory, cheese and real balsamic). Superb wines will be chosen for you from the encyclopedic wine list

- After lunch enjoy a digestive “passeggiata” in Parma, a small gourmet town that was also the home of Italy’s famed composers Giuseppe Verdi and Arturo Toscannini. Don’t miss the wonderful Duomo.

- Before returning to Bologna, you have a fun visit in store at the Galleria Ferrari in Maranello, an actual museum dedicated to Ferrari (this is the birthplace of this mythical car!) Learn all about the “prancing horse” and visit the museum, which is quite large and you can see over 40 real models such as Formula 1 racecars from many different decades. For Ferrari-philes, there is also a Ferrari shop!

- Return to your hotel and the evening is yours to explore Bologna on your own. It´s a fantastic city to just enjoy a stroll, it is small and easy to maneuver and there are endless churches, palaces, and charming squares to find on your own.

Overnight:4* Charming Hotel in historic Bologna

Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast, elegant lunch with wines, ham tasting

Transfers: Bologna- Colorno- Parma- Maranello- Bologna


Day Three - Parmigiano & Balsamic Vinegar Tastings

Beautiful Bologna

Beautiful Bologna

- Early bird breakfast this morning! This morning, you will leave Bologna extra early in order to get to an authentic Parmigiano Reggiano producer by cheesemaking time (roughly 8AM). There are dairies in an array of cities and you´ll visit a dairy in Reggio Emilia, about one hour from Bologna. The visit is complete and you will be an expert by the end of the cheese tour. You´ll see all elements of the Parmigiano production from the processing of milk in the vats, the moulding of the curd, the salting and then the ageing process of the photogenic cheese wheels.

- After this fascinating visit you´ll you will head into the wealthy little town of Modena for a visit to the 11th century Unesco heritage preserved Duomo, and relax over an aperitif of bubbly or vino bianco, outside if weather permits.

- Lunch today is at the avant-garde 2 Michelin * La Francescana, right in Modena. A complete contrast to the traditional cuisine you’ve had until now, this exciting restaurant is a unique experience. This will be a convivial nearly three-hour affair, so sit back, relax and dig in!

- After lunch, you will probably want to enjoy a short little digestive walk! Before heading back to Bologna, you will visit a beautiful “Acetaia”, a real “Aceto Balsamico” cellar, where you´ll learn about the interesting history and production of this liquid gold and taste a few aged balsamics. This is a treat!

- Arrive back to Bologna in the early evening and enjoy free time on your own.

Overnight: 4* Charming Hotel in historic Bologna

Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast, Michelin starred lunch with wines, cheese tasting, Balsamic tasting

Transfers: Bologna- Reggio Emilia- Modena- Bologna


Day Four - Cooking Class in Bologna including Paste Making

Making Pasta in Bologna

Making Pasta in Bologna

- Enjoy a later start today, and around 11AM you´ll have your very own pasta making class right in Bologna. Learn how to make pasta such as the famed local specialty of Tagliatelle al ragù (this is an ancient Bolognese recipe). Other local specialties include Lasagne al ragù, Tortellini in Brodo, Tortelloni Burro e Oro, Cotolette alla Bolognese (Veal Cutlets), and then for desserts- Torta di Mele (stunning homemade apple pie) and Raviole stuffed with “Mostarda” (a kind of jam made with quince, pears, sultanas, almonds, dried prunes, etc.)

- After a private cooking class, sit down and enjoy the results of your efforts!

- After some free time, you will enjoy a private guided walking tour of Bologna with a local art guide to take in some of the highlights such as the Two Towers, the Piazza Maggiore and Piazza del Nettuno, the Jewish Ghetto, and the fascinating 16th century Anatomical theatre of the ancient university (your guide will have a lot of anecdotes during this visit!). The evening is yours to enjoy the wonderful osterie of Bologna, many with live jazz music.

Overnight: 4* Charming Hotel in historic Bologna

Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast, Cooking Class and Lunch with local wines

Transfers: Walking Tour of Bologna


Day Five - Excursion to Ravenna & Michelin Starred Lunch

Mosaics in Ravenna

Amazing Mosaics in Ravenna

- Today you have an amazing lunch and exquisite mosaics in store for you! After a free morning in Bologna to get in some last minute gourmet shopping or sightseeing, you´ll dip south towards Imola and home to one of the region’s best and most refined restaurants, San Domenico. This is a gourmet gem and you´ll indulge in a superb tasting menu.

- Carry on to the sleepy town of Ravenna where you will be taken aback by the breathtaking 6th and 7th century mosaics, all with your own private art guide. These are some of the most gorgeous mosaics in the world. Located close to the Adriatic Coast, Ravenna is a town with a whole lot of history! The Roman Emperor Octavian Augustus built a port here, denoting the strategic importance of Ravenna and later the city was one of the main hubs of Byzantine culture in Italy. You´ll learn all about the town’s history and visit some major highlights such as the mosaics of 5th century Galla Placidia (daughter of Emperor Theodosius), the Saint Francesco Basilica with Dante’s Tomb, the Basilica of San Vitale (with some of the best early Christian art in Italy) and more.

- In the evening, after an interesting tour of Ravenna, you´ll head about an hour and fifteen minutes northwest to beautiful Ferrara, your base tonight. Free evening with our suggestions. The city is beautiful at night when the castle is lit up, enjoy a nice walk.

Overnight: 5* Relais and Chateaux in historic Ferrara

Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast, Michelin starred lunch with wines

Transfers: Bologna- Imola- Ravenna- Ferrara


Day Six - Privately Guided Tour of Ferrara & Arrive in Venice

Ferrara Castle

Ferrara Castle

- Today you will head to Venice, but first discover beautiful Ferrara with your own private art guide. This walled town was built by the Dukes of Este and the town is lovely, unspoiled and know for being the “Bicycle City” as it has one of the highest amounts of cyclists in Europe. You´ll enjoy a walking tour this morning and take in the best of Ferrara from the Castello Estense to the magical Via delle Volte.

- After an invigorating morning walk, you will head to Venice this morning, a nearly two-hour drive (although you can stop enroute to Padua if you’d like to break up the journey with a coffee and couple photos).

- Upon arrival to Venice, you will say goodbye to your driver for a few days and board your own private water taxi to your hotel, a luxury Palazzo right on the Grand Canal. Check into your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure, with our many suggestions for dining, sightseeing, etc.

Overnight: 5* hotel Venice

Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast

Transfers: Ferrara- Venice – private water Taxi to hotel in Venice


Day Seven - Relax and Savour the delights of Venice

Romantic Venice

Ultra Romantic Venice

- This morning, wake up at your leisure, and enjoy a free day until the afternoon in Bella Venezia, with our suggestions. If this is your first time in Venice then you will want to definitely tour the Grand Canal (easily done by vaporetto) and see all of the stunning palaces on the water, check out the picturesque market under Rialto bridge, get lost in the narrow cobblestoned laneways, have a coffee on the outdoor terrace at Cafe Florian in Saint Mark´s Square, and there is only one place to have a Bellini aperitif- at the elegant Harry´s Bar, where it was invented.

- Lunch is on your own with our suggestions.

- In the late afternoon, our art guide will meet you at your hotel and you will embark on a fun two hour walking tour, full of anecdotes and legends, from Marco Polo to Casanova.

- The evening is yours to enjoy on your own, we recommend a private Gondola at sunset!

Overnight: 5* Luxury Hotel, Venice

Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast

Transfers: Walking tour in Venice


Day Eight - Wine Tasting at Allegrini & Private Tour of Verona

Valpolicella Wine Tasting

Valpolicella Wine Tasting

- From Venice today you will head west to the Valpolicella wine region, home to the one and only Amarone. The wine region is nestled in a cozy valley just east of Lake Garda and north of wonderful Verona. You will visit a top winery such as Allegrini or Villa Monteleone, and after a private tour of the estate indulge in a hedonistic tasting of various wines from Amarone to Recioto.

- Lunch is up next at a traditional and warm trattoria in wine country, this will be a special treat and apart from the fine wines selected for your meal, you´ll finish off with a digestive Grappa.

- From Valpolicella you will head into Verona where you are staying tonight. You are based in a lovely hotel, full of antiques in an ancient palazzo. Enjoy some free time to freshen up, take a walk, etc.

- In the late afternoon, your own private art guide will take you on a short but interesting walking tour of Verona to show you the “Best of” from the marvelous Roman amphitheatre (where the opera festival is hosted each summer) to the numerous pretty piazzas in Verona. The evening is yours to enjoy on your own, and we will give you suggestions for many wine bars and top restaurants.

Overnight: 5* Historic Palazzo, Verona

Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast, traditional lunch with wines

Transfers: Venice private water taxi- Venice- Valpolicella wine country- Verona


Day Nine - Wine Tasting in Franciacorta & Lunch at Wine Country Trattoria

Ca del Bosco Winery, Franciacorta

Ca del Bosco Winery, Franciacorta

- Today you will taste the “Champagne of Italy”! Franciacorta is an ultra high-end wine region producing traditional method sparkling wines and from Verona you will head into Franciacorta wine country to see for yourself how fantastic these wines are. The vineyards and wineries are sprinkled around the tiny Lake Iseo near the town of Brescia and you will visit a fine producer such as Ca del Bosco, Mosnel or Bersi Serlini.

- Enjoy a morning of wine tasting and follow with lunch at a darling wine country trattoria with vaulted brick ceiling, the food here is just fabulous.

- After lunch, head to your hotel, a beautiful Relais and Chateaux literally located in a vineyard. There is a great spa here, and you will have the rest of the day at leisure to take in spa treatments, head to Lake Iseo with your driver for a walk around the lago or a boat ride, etc. The evening is yours and we highly suggest the hotel’s gourmet Michelin starred restaurant run by the mythical Gualtiero Marchesi.

Overnight: 5* Relais and Chateaux Franciacorta Wine Country

Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast, Traditional lunch with wines

Transfers: Verona- Franciacorta wine country- Erbusco to hotel


Day Ten - Excursion to Bergamo & Lake Como

Bellisima Bellagio

Bellisima Bellagio

- Today you are headed for the magnificent Lake Como, and enroute you will stop for a short walking tour of beautiful Bergamo, one of Italy´s least known art cities.

- Your day begins when your private driver will escort you to Bergamo, known as the Renaissance Citadel. The new part of Bergamo below is modern and uninteresting but the “Citta Alta” (“high city”) is delightful with beautiful squares, palaces and romantic fountains. You´ll enjoy a short walking tour with your own private art guide, visiting the most beautiful palaces, churches, squares, etc. Enjoy an aperitif here, tasting wines from just outside Bergamo.

- Carry on tour next port of call, Lake Como! One of the most beautiful places in earth, you will marvel at the dramatic scenery and charming lakeside villages. Your base for these last few nights in Bellagio, a historic and beautiful town located right in the middle of Lake Como (the lake is shaped like an upside down “Y”), across the waters from pretty Tremezzo. Check into your luxurious hotel which faces the lake, and enjoy lunch on your own in Bellagio and the rest of the day is at leisure to take in some shopping, walking and sightseeing.

Overnight: 5* Luxury hotel, Bellagio in Lake Como

Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast

Transfers: Erbusco- Bergamo- Bellagio


Day Eleven - Private Cruise on Lake Como & Michelin Starred Lunch

Lake Como

Lake Como

- After a free morning, you will love the relaxing private cruise we arrange today, taking in the panoramic views of the mountains hovering over the lake, all from your own boat. Remember to bring the camera!

- You´ll make a few stops for example to the divine gardens at Villa Carlotta. Today’s lunch is a gourmet extravaganza at a Michelin starred restaurant in Bellagio. Unwind and sit down to a superb food and wine pairing. This is the good life!

- The rest of the day is yours to enjoy Bellagio. Enjoy a nice walk down to the Punta Spartivento where you´ll have amazing views, and settle into a charming wine bar in the evening for your aperitif.

- Free evening in Bellagio.

Overnight: 5* Luxury hotel, Bellagio in Lake Como

Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast, Michelin starred Lunch with wines

Transfers: Private cruise on Lake


Day Twelve - End of Tour

Villa Carlotta, Lake Como

Villa Carlotta, Lake Como

- Alas, your Gourmet Grand Tour has come to an end. This morning at your preferred time you will transfer into Milan for your outbound flight, or to your hotel if you are staying on another evening.

- We hope you have enjoyed the mix of beautiful towns and villages, wine tasting and gourmet dining and amazing scenery featured on this tour.

- Until the next time, arrivederci!

Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast

Transfers: Bellagio- Milan


Customer Testimonial:

“La Perla showed us the fascinating process of parma ham. It was amazing to see 50,000 hams hanging in the building. The tour was conducted by the owner's daughter (Sylvia), who had a complete understanding of the process. The location was so pastoral and we enjoyed just sitting out on the patio tasting, drinking wine and looking over the fields. Sylvia told us that she and her mother were going to pick porcini mushroom tomorrow. I really wanted to stay and join them, great experience! The simplicity of the parmigiano process at Latteria Ducale is revealing. Nothing is added except salt in the water and it ages in cave temperatures, aided by technology of course. At Acetaia del Cristo (Balsamico), this was the one I was really looking forward to for I couldn't understand the fuss over vinegar. I was impressed. The process is incredibly complicated and involved. From the summer heat under the eaves to the winter processing I was interested in the process. And of course the result is amazing. The tasting was the most surprising of all. Al Vedel was a totally unique experience. I think we had six or seven course, four different wines, and pampering for two plus hours. Erba del Re was "fantistico". Ambience is wonderful, artfully decorated. Paula was a great guide for us in Bologna. She took us to all the interesting places and answered our million questions. In a brief conversation with a friend of mine he said "that is exactly what I want to do with my wife". So I plan to give him my keepsake to look at and make his plans. We had a great time and perhaps will do this in Spain in 2011.”

Ray Burnett, Brainerd, MN.


What's Included:

  • Accommodation for 11 nights in luxurious 4 and 5* Hotels
  • 11 Full breakfasts
  • Private Airport Transfers and all transfers as per the itinerary by luxury Mercedes E Model and English speaking chauffeur
  • Private Water Taxi transfers in Venice
  • All VIP Winery Visits and Wine Tastings: 3 Boutique and Premium wineries in Piacenza, Valpolicella and Franciacorta
  • Professional Wine Tasting Presentations with winemakers/Owners/top staff
  • 1 Culatello Visit and Tasting
  • 1 Parmigiano Reggiano Visit and Tasting
  • 1 Aceto Balsamico Visit and Tasting
  • 1 Private Cooking Class
  • 1 Visit to Galleria Ferrari
  • Private guided walking tour and art guide in Bologna
  • Private guided walking tour and art guide in Ravenna
  • Private guided walking tour and art guide in Ferrara
  • Private guided walking tour and art guide in Venice
  • Private guided walking tour and art guide in Verona
  • 1 Private Cruise Lake Como
  • 8 Fabulous Lunches with wines including three Michelin starred eateries
  • Various Wine Gifts
  • All Entrance Fees to Cultural Sites (Art museums, etc)
  • Detailed Itinerary of Tour- Keepsake Book
  • Keepsake personalized menus
  • Welcome gift
  • Michelin map Italy
  • Bottled water and snacks available during the drives
  • All Local taxes

What's Not Included:

  • Flights
  • Meals and Drinks not Specified
  • Personal Expenses such as Telephone, Minibar, etc
  • Tips and Gratuities (Guides, Restaurants, etc)
  • Travel Insurance (Strongly recommended)
  • Cancellation Insurance

Prices:

This is a SAMPLE TOUR ITINERARY. Please note that our private chauffeured luxury tours are totally customized to your needs and price varies according to the number of people in your group (please note tours require minimum 2 guests), specific suppliers included, number of services included,specific dates, transport type etc. Contact us today for more information and we would be delighted to get started on a tailor made detailed itinerary with pricing for you.

  • Final price depends on chosen style of accommodation and dining. Please contact us with your group size (minimum 2 guests, no maximum group size), travel dates and preferences and we will send you custom pricing.
  • Discounts available for larger groups
  • Please note that our tours are available upon demand for PRIVATE GROUPS and are not scheduled tours for mixed groups.

More Information:

If you would like Cellar Tours to customize a Culinary Tour in Italy or Luxury Gourmet Day Excursion in Italy, contact us with your requirements, and we can send you a free itinerary and quote with no obligations. We offer luxury food and wine tours throughout Italy for private groups. All of our private, chauffeured tours are available year round upon request for your group of minimum 2 people.

For Your Personalized Quote!


Be Social: