Join us for a grand culinary tour of the Jewish tradition in Bologna, the hotbed of Italian cuisine, as you prepare Kosher-style recipes in 2 hands-on cooking classes. To get acquainted with the extensive Jewish history, our expert Bolognese guide will provide a tour of the ghetto ebraico, the Jewish Ghetto, where old relics dating to the Middle Ages are nestled together with terracotta archways and local artisan shops. Learn to shape tortellini in the Bolognese tradition, wrapping Parmigiano-Reggiano in delicate egg dough circles, and in the land of ragu alla Bolognese, substitute fresh tuna loaf and fennel flan for a Kosher-style treat. Topping off your 4-day adventure is the Food Lover’s Tour, where you will have small tastings and explore the plethora of food stands and vendors. Lunch or dinner always follows, with a toast of local red or white wine included.
Kosher-style Cooking Classes
Jewish-Italian cuisine emerged in Medieval times, when Bolognese ingredients such as fresh tuna and cod, aceto balsamico, yellow squash, artichokes and fennel were combined with existing Jewish recipes and preparation methods born in ancient times. The program features 2 Kosher-style cooking classes in our private Bolognese homes, where you will learn hands-on preparation of Jewish-Italian recipes. Learn to fashion tortellini the Bolognese way, in delicate, handmade rounds filled with Parmigiano-Reggiano, then use the egg dough scraps to carve oblong geometric shapes called maltagliati, or course pieces. Tossed in a savory onion sauce and served with a side dish of green beans and fennel flan, preparing maltagliati will leave you with the skills to prepare a hearty meal for any season. The second class takes you on a journey through two Jewish mains still seen on Bolognese tables– fried baccalà, and tuna loaf good for the heart. After each cooking lesson, dine on the lunch or dinner prepared in class. Both classes include a toast of local red or white wine and a recipe booklet.
Also known as la grassa, the fat lady, Bologna is a Medieval City of old world intellect with a strong Jewish presence since the 14th century. Amidst the former palaces of rich Jewish merchants, the ghetto ebraico is lined with charming artisan shops and terra-cotta alleyways, arched doorways and cobblestone walkways, ideal for a morning stroll. Let our expert guide Anna lead you on a grand historical tour of the Jewish Ghetto, down Via de’ Guidei toward the Piazza Maggiore and into the San Petronio, one of the largest churches in Europe and home to a medieval fresco that marks the earliest Jewish presence in Bologna, dating back to 1398. This private tour of the ancient streets preserves remnants of the tumultuous Jewish history– see tombs salvaged from the 16th century liquidation, or the reconstructed synagogue that was all but destroyed after the 1943 Allied Bombings. The facade facing via Mario Finzi honors 84 Jewish citizens deported to German extermination camps, and a Star of David shines in the window high above. Finish your morning with a humbled view of the Museo Ebraico and a hearty slice of Challah bread from the local bakery, as our guide concludes the centuries-old history of Jewish tradition.
Check in and relax at the privately-owned Palazzo with Agostino as they welcome you to Bologna. This exquisite 5-bedroom property is minutes from the Piazza Maggiore and centro storico. The property entrance spills onto the sitting room and library area. You are at home at the Palazzo; furnished with a collection of Filippo’s Italian art, Provencal furniture, and Venetian artifacts from the 1700’s. Each bedroom, named and decorated a color, has a private bathroom, air conditioner, mini bar, WiFi Internet, writing desk, sitting area-elegant Bolognese! Staying at a private Palazzo surrounded with fine furnishings, a welcome fruit basket, chocolates on your bed pillow and a welcoming breakfast with cafe, cappuccino, an assortment of pastries, and jams makes you at home in the heart of Bologna.
Alternatively, stay at our 3-Star By The Piazza Accommodations. Our charming 3-Star is centrally situated and offers all modern conveniences just a few steps from Bologna’s main sites and monuments. Rooms are prettily furnished and are equipped with mini bar, air conditioning, satellite TV, safe, and free internet connection. Breakfasts are generous and are served in the handsome breakfast room, with staff to hand for hot cappuccinos and teas.
Day 1: Welcome to Bologna
- Check in and relax.
- See your Welcome Bag and read through all the food and touring notes you will need for 4 days in Bologna.
- Later in the evening, you will be served the full course Chef’s Welcome Dinner just a short walk from the property. Toast with a glass of local wine.
Day 2: Cooking Class 1
- Breakfast is served.
- Gather for Kosher-style Cooking Class 1 in the heart of Bologna, where our expert chef will help you prepare handmade dishes in private Bolognese kitchens. Knead and shape your own egg dough into small circles, tortellini “the Bolognese way,” then use the leftover dough to create a second dish, Maltagliati, pasta in oblong shapes served in a savory onion sauce. Pair your pasta dish with green beans and fennel flan, or Burriche, pastry puffs stuffed with egg and almond. Lunch follows and includes the foods prepared in class. Toast with a glass of local red or white wine, included.
- In the afternoon, take time to discover the footpaths and medieval porticoes, or rent a bicycle and ride through the cobblestone city stopping in time for an aperitivo. Bookshops filled with great reads, churches filled with art, or a rich espresso in the Piazza make for a perfect day.
- Evening is free and dinner is on your own.
Day 3: Cooking Class 2 & Jewish Ghetto tour
- Breakfast is served.
- Head off on a late morning Jewish Ghetto Tour with our expert guide on Bologna. Everywhere in the quaint town are remnants of centuries of religious confinement. Hebrew inscriptions carved in the stone Palazzo Bocchi, and the Star of David illuminated in the window of the synagogue name but a few of the Jewish landmarks you and our guide will explore– the San Petronio, Europe’s largest church, hides a medieval fresco, while the tombs salvaged from the 16th century liquidation provide a humble view of Jewish-Italian history. The Museo Ebraico is a short walk from the Piazza Maggiore and provides a comprehensive history of Jewish Bologna. (Museum tickets not included in the program price). End your morning tour with a hearty slice of Challah bread, baked locally, and wander your way through archways of the red roof city back to the kitchen.
- Return to our private Bolognese kitchen for Kosher-style Cooking Class 2. Prepare mains, such as fried Baccala and fresh tuna meatloaf, a popular dish on Bolognese tables today. Together you will learn how to bake warm Challah, or serve your fresh fish dishes with green beans and fennel flan. Traditional dinner follows with the foods prepared during class. Toast with a glass of local red or white wine, included.
Day 4: Food Lover’s Tour & Ciao!
- Breakfast is served.
- Join your private Bolognese expert for an unforgettable Food Lover’s Tour of local artisans and purveyors residing in the centro storico. The morning begins near Piazza Maggiore, at one of Bologna’s finest bakeries, open since 1880. Under high frescoed ceilings, saleswomen in crisp white aprons bustle about arranging fresh pillows of pasta into rows behind glass display cases. The tour continues down the block to the corner of Via Drapperie, marked by fragrant rounds of parmigiano-reggiano, to enter Bologna’s main street market. Fruit and vegetable stalls stand tall under the weight of purple-fringed artichokes, crinkly bunches of arugula, sleek indigo eggplant, pink pomegranates, orange zucchini flowers, pungent mushrooms, tiny Susine plums, pointy San Marzano tomatoes, mounds of grapes, trays of chestnuts, garlands of fiery red pepperoncini, and ropes of garlic decorate the stage as vendors shout out their daily specials. Just at the corner, there are a pair of fishmongers always mobbed by the local Bolognesi waiting patiently on the water-slicked cobblestones. Tastings and discussions follow. After your culinary excursion, head to the Towers of Bologna for a medieval history lesson, or take short walk to Piazza del Nettuno and cool off at the Fountain of Neptune. (Museum tickets not included in the program price.)
- Transfer to Bologna airport or train station. Ciao & see you soon!
- 4 days, 3 nights at privately-owned Palazzo in the center of Bologna, based on double occupancy.
- Daily breakfast.
- Chef’s Full Course Tasting menu-first evening in program (wine not included).
- 2 hands-on Kosher-style cooking classes with lunch or dinner following. Glass of local wine included with each meal.
- Daytime Jewish Ghetto Tour with private guide and overview of Jewish-Bolognese history.
- Food Lover’s Walking Tour with tastings and discussions included. (Museum tickets not included in program price.)
- Chef’s apron and recipe booklet.
- Welcome bag, Chef’s apron, and recipe book.
- Arrival & Departure transfers from Bologna Airport or Train Station.
$1,595 per person, based on double occupancy.
Please contact us for single pricing.