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For our GALS only !!!

Experience Bologna, Italy

May 11- 19, 2018

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The REAL Heart of Italy-The Best of Bologna

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9 days - Cities visited: Bologna, Longiano, Villa Venti, Santarcangelo, San Marino, Bertinoro, Florence, Faenza, Ravenna, Cinzia

COST $2,050.00 per person double occupancy twin beds**  / single room supplement $400**

May 11th itinerary dates shown are for VagabondGALS Womens trip. Other dates available for your group!


Nestled in between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea is the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.  On this tour, you’ll experience the best of Romagna scenery, food and wine, culture and warm hospitality, see glorious Ravenna, lovely Santarcangelo, take a scenic train trip through the hills to Florence, visit to the mountaintop republic of San Marino, Plus…learn to cook Italian in a great cooking school, learn to taste wines in an historic vineyards and more !!!

Tour Highlights Include:

1 night’s stylish city center accommodation in Bologna

4 nights accommodation with breakfasts in a lovely Italian Country house in the 'Ancient Valley of Cherries'

3 nights accommodation in a 3/4 star central hotel in Ravenna such as hotel Palazzo Galletti Abbiosi

7 superb Dinners or lunches including wine or soft drinks in specially-selected restaurants.

2 fabulous vineyard winetastings

Daily tastings of local breads, prosciuttos, salamis, cheeses and olive oils

Guided visits to Foodie capital of Italy Bologna, World Heritage Ravenna, ancient Santarcangelo, lovely Longiano and San Marino

Cooking day in "Italy's best cookery school" including wine tasting at historic vineyard in wine-hill Bertinoro

Train trip to Florence

Transportation between cities on the tour and luggage transfer.

Area Map:


Day 1 - Friday, May 11 – Welcome to Bologna
Arrive Bologna. Depending on our arrival time there will be an opportunity for an early evening walking tour of this colourful medieval city. One of Italy's richest cities, Bologna is famous for its 3,000 year history, its world's oldest university, its miles of covered arcades and lovely squares, fabulous art and architecture - but above all, its FOOD and FUN. We’ll stay overnight in a specially-selected city-center hotel (such as the family-run Touring Hotel with its warm atmosphere), lovely breakfast and sensational rooftop terrace with panoramic view of Bologna.

Day 2  - Saturday, May 12 - Welcome to the Feast!
Bologna is a food city that awakes early so we’ll start the day with a breakfast-time tour and avoid the crowds of day trippers! It’s not for nothing that Bologna is known as ‘Fat City’ It is the food capital of Italy (and therefore the world?!) The ancient Mercato di Mezzo and the food shops, café’s and restaurants around it, all in the medieval quarter, are astonishing homes to intoxicating taste, scent and aroma which pervades the whole area and heightens appetites. Naturally our full-on guided visit will include many tastes!

Next our eyes will feast on the best of this rich, fabulous city including the Piazza Maggiore, the, Podestà Palace, Neptune’s Fountain, King Enzo’s Palace and the extraordinary Sala Borsa library…We’ll admire the enormous Basilica of Saint Petronio.  We’ll stop at the first seat of the world’s first university, the University of Bologna, Archiginnasio and its famous Anatomical Theater. And we’ll see Bologna’s gothic Merchants’ Palace, the Seven Churches Complex of Saint Steven’s Basilica, and meet Asinelli and Garisenda, Bologna’s famous leaning Towers.  After a very full morning, around midday we'll leave Bologna towards the country on the historic Via Emilia ( the scenie and oldest road in the region) to Romagna. 

First stop … WINE !!! We’ll visit the superb internationally-rated organic Zuffa Vineyard and take a tasting in the open air, amidst the vines. After, we will see the painted city of Dozza with its fabulous castle and wine heritage. Then, we'll take the short journey to the hilltop castle-town of Longiano where we’ll enjoy the atmosphere and stunning views as well as another taste of great Romagnolo food and wine - a special welcome dinner at the Ristorante Dei Cantoni. Overnight at Alloggio San Girolamo (or similar high grade country-house style accommodation)

Day 3  - Sunday, May 13 – Enjoy the Tastes of Romagna

After a relaxed home-cooked breakfast, we'll take a short tour of lovely Longiano, seeing the fabulous medieval castle with its extraordinary views and great modern art collection, then enjoy the fabulous jewel-box theatre Petrella with its museum of masks. After, we'll cross the valley to the stunning Villa Venti where we'll taste the unique Mora Romagnola prosciuttos and salamis, plus the sensational cheeses of Renato Brancaleoni. With these delicacies we'll savor the superb organic wines Mauro and his family create in this wonderful vineyard.  Off then to Santarcangelo di Romagna for a visit of this fairytale hilltop city and something really special – a visit to Mutonia, an open-air art gallery and sculpture park, followed by a great dinner at the Ristorante Dei Cantoni. 

Day 4 Monday, May 14 Mountains and castles 

Morning free in Longiano then we’re off to the hills visiting stunning San Leo (called Italy's most beautiful town) with its fortress and cathedral. The rest of our day will be spent in the tiny mountaintop republic of San Marino,  A deeply-historic UNESCO world heritage site with glorious views, cobbled streets and a fascinating range of delightful boutiques. San Marino has an experience for everyone. Return to Longiano for dinner and a restful overnight. 

Day 5 Tuesday, May 15  Be a Chef Day

Depart after breakfast for a special full day event! Ever wanted to learn to cook REAL Italian? Casa Artusi "The Best Cooking School in Italy" is the place.  This foundation was created to honor Pellegrino Artusi, the father of Italian Cookery - you will learn hands-on how to make at least seven different sorts of pasta (including local specialties) from scratch ! In the fully-equipped cooking school, each participant will have the services of an assistant and their own work-station. After this life-enhancing experience we will enjoy a superb lunch of local specialties – plus the pasta that we have created. At the end of the session, we’ll have presented to us, our hand-made Casa Artusi apron together with our certificate for concluding the cookery course.  Also includes: Transportation, guide/tour manager, lunch of local specialties plus the pasta made on the course.


We’ll then travel up to the lovely wine-village of Bertinoro and visit the historic vineyard of at Fattoria Paradiso - the most historic vineyard in Romagna. Here we’ll tour the fabulous hillside estate, the medieval merchant’s house and the vineyard, after we’ll enjoy some local cheese, local olive oils and bread, plus of course we’ll taste over six of Fattoria Paradiso’s superb wines including those created for various Popes and presidents. Without any doubt, this will be the highlight of your trip! Return to Longiano for dinner and overnight.

Day 6 Wednesday, May 16Renaissance Day – Florence by scenic train

Early start today and we'll check out of our country house. Leave our bags (they’ll be transported to our Ravenna hotel for us !) and we'll go.  Our glorious scenic experience begins with a drive to Faenza where we’ll catch the little train to the heart of Florence. The train climbs up the hills, crossing little medieval towns such as Brisighella (famous for its superb olive oil), Marradi (famous for its ancient sweet chestnut trees), Borgo San Lorenzo (with its age-old vineyards and olive groves, thousand-year-old churches, ancient farmhouses and geometrically laid out vegetable gardens) and goes along wild landscapes with stunning forests, streams and rivers – one of the most scenic train trips to Florence.

In Florence, we can enjoy the foodie Central Market where you can grab lunch followed by a guided tour to the main monuments, and take a stroll through this beautiful city of art including the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze where you’ll experience first-hand Michelangelo’s famous “David”. We’ll leave Florence in the early evening for our return journey to Faenza where we will transfer to our hotel in Ravenna for a light dinner.  Overnight at a good central hotel such as Palazzo Galletti Abbiosi.

Day 7 – Thursday, May 17 Mosaics and Majesty

After a leisurely breakfast we'll have an introduction to the fabulous city of Ravenna - once capital of the Roman Empire.  This will be followed by a guided tour (including admissions) to glorious Ravenna with Cinzia . This world heritage city, (three times capital of the Western Roman Empire, of Theodoric King of the Goths, and of the Byzantine Empire) is full of marvelous mosaics and stunning 1500 year old basilicas. Afternoon and evening free to explore this fascinating city. Dinner included.

Day 8 – Friday, May 18 –  On your own spend a day relaxing, shopping, sightseeing in Ravenna.

Day 9 - Saturday, May 19 - Homeward Bound orwhy not stay a little longer in Paradise?

Arrive early or extend your stay to enjoy Venice, Rome, Milan or other areas of Italy.  Airfare, insurance (if desired) and additional accommodations will be quoted based on arrival / departure date and destination city.

Deposit $500.00 per person. Balance due 8 weeks prior to departure.

 * All photos taken by Sally Fedrizzi, President Vagabond Tour and Travel from her Romagna trip November 2017.

**This tour does not include airfare, trip insurance and agency fees. Please contact us to find out more about this trip and how to reserve your space.

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