Cooking In The Apennines Of Bologna & Modena™

Chef Stefania’s Bologna Country Kitchen ~ 8 Day

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Join Marco & Stefania in their countryside villa for a week of relaxation and wonderful farm-to-table food in the national park of the mountains and hillsides  of Bologna. Chef Stefania leads your hands-on cooking classes making fresh tagliatelle pasta rolled out by hand, traditional slow-cooked ragù Bolognese, and sweet mascarpone tiramisu are just a sampling of the foods you’ll prepare in her professional kitchen.

When you’re not in the kitchen, Marco & Stefania offer lots of suggestions for visits on your own to visit nearby Bologna, Modena, Parma or Florence as well a visit to the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese maker, grappa producer, Balsamic vinegar artisan, and butcher making mortadella and salami.  The focus of this tour however, is cooking and relation in a beautiful and quiet location.

Bologna Cooking Classes

Join Chef Stefania in her professional kitchen and learn how to make traditional sfoglia, hand-made pasta, and sfoglina. Once you have prepared the delicate sheets of pasta, fold, cut and twist the pasta into tagliatelle, tortellini, pappardelle, and stricchetti, to name a few. Then, learn how to prepare the  traditional sauces of Emilia Romagna including:  Bolognese, a meat sauce, seasonal vegetable sauces or in traditional vegetable broths.  Chef Stefania also hosts a hands-on pizza-making class.  Each guest will mix, knead and work the dough to create delicious pizza accompanied by vegetable and cheese toppings – all cooked in a wood-burning oven.

Each cooking class includes the preparation of traditional recipes, using local, seasonal ingredients.  Following each cooking class, everyone enjoys the the foods that were prepared in class with local wine.  A recipe book and Chef’s apron offered to each guest.


The region of Emilia-Romagna is one of the country’s wealthiest regions and is home to the fertile plains of the Po River Valley, which produces much of the country’s wheat and dairy products.  Not far is Bologna, the capital city of Emilia-Romagna which is often called, Bologna La Grassa, Bologna the fat one! Food scholars and chefs also refer to this region as the culinary capital of Italy.

Take the day and visit Bologna.  Bologna is wrapped inside a Medieval Wall with porticos or arches.  Inside this precious city, you’ll discover beautiful monuments such as the towers of Asinelli & Garisenda and Neptune’s Fountain, the Basilica of San Petronio, endless art museums, arcades, charming piazzas, bookshops, artisan clothiers, handcrafted shoe and boot makers, and caffés & restaurants.  Bologna is also well-known for its Michelin Star restaurants, trattorias, cafés & restaurants.  Throughout history, Bologna has attracted intellectuals, politicians, writers, painters and musicians from around the world.  It is also home to Europe’s first university!

Parma! The charming city of Parma is a must on every traveller’s list. Renown for Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Prosciutto Di Parma ham, Parma also boasts one of the oldest universities in Europe.  It’s a city that not only has many beautiful museums and art galleries, but has retained its deep-rooted food traditions.  Parma, originally a Roman colony, still displays traces of Roman architecture – in its streets and palazzos.  Parma’s delicious cuisine continues to tempt every visitor!

We also suggest a day trip to Ravenna, a city famous for its Byzantine mosaics and endless Renaissance art. Modena, is another suggestion.  A short trip to Modena ensure you will discover its ancient aged Balsamic vinegar.  Visit Ferrara, Rimini and Faenza, also in the heart of Emilia-Romagna, just a short day trip away.

 Bologna Country Accommodations

The Villa is located in the national park halfway between Bologna and Florence, making it a perfect location to visit both Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany. Day trips can be taken to Bologna, Florence, Parma, Lucca to name a few. The villa is immersed in a quiet mountain landscape, off the beaten path in the gorgeous countryside, making it perfect for a quiet and relaxing retreat.  A swimming pool is open for guests in summer months and ski resort areas are a short drive away in the winter. Hiking paths wind through the Apennines nearby, so pack a picnic lunch for a hike through the national park.

The villa is divided into individual apartment suites furnished with fresh and comfortable beds and bedding, fully equipped kitchens, a fireplace, satellite TV/radio and wifi. Ample parking is available for those guests who have a car and would like to explore the area.

Itinerary ~ 8 Days, 7 Nights

Check in on Saturday for a 7-night stay and check out the following Saturday. Cooking Classes are held Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Day 1: Arrival, Check In & Chef’s Welcome Dinner

  • Arrival & check in at the villa. Meet your hosts Marco & Stefania and settle in to your private apartment.
  • Afternoon free.  Chef’s Welcome Dinner featuring a dinner fare of local traditions.  Wine not included.

Day 2: Lunch at the Villa

  • Morning – set out to explore the garden, visit charming nearby villages, the walking trails or simply take a moment to sit back and relax and enjoy your first day.
  • Lunch at the property. Enjoy a delicious traditional lunch at the villa, with local wine included.
  • After lunch – suggestions: Go for a hike or relax by the pool.
  • Afternoon free & dinner on your own.

Day 3: Cooking Class 1 & Wine Tasting

  • In the morning, head into the kitchen with Chef Stefania for Cooking Class 1. Work alongside the chef to prepare some of Bologna’s best-loved pasta dishes – like handmade tagliatelle with Bolognese ragù and tortelloni.
  • Lunch follows and includes; aperitivo, appetizer, two types of pasta dishes, main course and dessert, with wine tasting included. Additional wine & beverages at a surcharge.
  • Evening free & dinner on your own. Suggestions upon request.

Day 4: Cooking Class 2 & Wine Tasting

  • Tie on your apron for Cooking Class 2 with Chef Stefania. Hands-on cooking preparing local traditions of Tuscany and central Italy from start to finish.  Tastings follows on the foods prepared in class.  Wine tasting included, additional wine & beverages at a surcharge.
  • Afternoon free & dinner on your own.

Day 5: Cooking Class 3 Pizza & Wine Tasting

  • Return to the kitchen for your third hands-on cooking class with Chef Stafania. Work alongside the chef to prepare a traditional pizzas.  Learn how to mix, knead and work the dough along with the technique on how to cook in a wood-burning oven.  Also learn how to prepare an assortment of vegetables and cheeses for pizza toppings.  Lunch follows and includes the food that was prepared in the cooking class.  Wine tasting included, additional wine & beverages at a surcharge.
  • Afternoon free & dinner on your own.

 Day 6: Free Day

  • Free Day.
  • Suggestions: check with Marco & Stefania to reserve a visit the surrounding Apennine villages, or take a bike tour, or take the day to drive or drive to Florence, Bologna, Lucca, or Modena.
  • Return to the Villa in the afternoon.
  • Evening free and dinner on your own.

Day 7: Parmigiano Reggiano Tour & Lunch Included

  • In the morning, visit the Parmigiano Reggiano factory and indulge in a Tuscan food tasting along the way.
  • Following your tour, lunch is included with local wines.
  • Evening free and dinner on your own.

Day 8: Departure

  • Check out & Arrivederci Marco & Stefania!
  • Departure on your own.

*Note: This schedule may vary due to weather, feast days, market days, etc. All activities, in the event of rescheduling, are always included during the program.

Program Includes:

  • 7 nights accommodations in full service villa apartment. Click to view!
  • 3 hands-on cooking classes including the preparation of an antipasto, first course, second course, and dessert. Lunch or dinner follows on the foods prepared in class. Local wine included, additional wine & beverages at a surcharge.
  • 1 Lunch included at Tuscan local restaurant, including tasting menu and local wine. Additional wine & beverages at a surcharge.
  • 1 traditional lunch at the property with wine included.
  • A welcome bag including a Chef’s apron, recipe book and Prosecco.
  • A copy of Lauren’s cookbook, “It’s A Dream Place – Stories & Recipes of Food, Love and the Amalfi Coast”
Program Prices:

$1,895 per person, based on 2 guests.
$1,595 per person, based on 1 single guest.

*This program suggests a rental car. This program is designed for the person who wants to blend our scheduled cooking classes, with free time to explore the Emilia-Romanga & Tuscan Countryside on your own or check in for a week of total relaxation and cooking. Marco & Stefania provide information, suggestions, directions and maps for you. Driving through Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany along with getting from town to town is easy and the driving is pleasant. There are no transfers included from the train station or airport.

Check Availability

2024 Dates: This program is available throughout the entire year. You can check in and start your cooking program on a Saturday. Rates are subject to change based on currency exchange. Call for updated rates. Airfare not included. Group transfers for any cooking tour or tours that include transfers, are for the group and are not private. Transfers before, after or to another destination outside of your cooking tour are not included in the program price. If you would like to add on a private transfer or transfers, let us know and we will send you pricing.