Join Chef and host Mattia for food lovers’ cooking tour set in gorgeous Parma. In a luxurious, historic palazzo – set in the center of Parma, Chef Mattia and his team of sous chefs lead this unique hands-on cooking experience that reveals the history behind some of Italy’s best-loved flavors in Emilia Romagna.
Visit local artisans producing Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano and aged balsamico, balsamic vinegar, and discover the centuries-old traditions on how they are produced. Meet the noble families who continue to carry on the tradition of producing vinegar, cheese and Prosciutto the Old World way. They have been taught the craft from generation to generation prior knowing the territory, history and using only the highest quality ingredients. Their way of making the finest products takes time with ageing, careful monitoring and attention to detail.
During your tour in Parma, you’ll be able to soak up the town’s many delights with everything just being outside your door. Check into this elegant twelfth-century palazzo built by the noble Prati family with an Old World decor and modern comforts, complete with ancient cellars that you’ll enjoy a wine tasting followed by a tour of the palazzo. You’ll also learn how to prepare full course traditional menus in the palazzo’s kitchen making fresh handmade pasta – the speciality of Emilia Romagna.
Cooking classes take place at the property’s professional kitchen where Chef Mattia will introduce you to the culinary traditions of Parma – beautiful sheets of fresh pasta, stuffed pasta such as tortellini, cappelletti and ravioli. Learn how to make lasagna – in Emilia Romagna made with spinach in the pasta sheets!
Main courses vary and include, stuffed veal, ragù alla bolognese, authentic slow-cooked red sauce with meat, bollito misto, the classic northern Italian stew consisting of various cuts of beef and veal, cotechino, sausage, and a whole hen or capon that is slow-cooked for 2–3 hours in an aromatic vegetable broth. Also learn to make fritto misto, an assortment of fried olives, puffy pizza dough and fried squash flowers to name a few.
Menus vary with the seasons (special menus are also available for vegetarian, gluten free and food allergies). Vegetables are plentiful thanks to the rich soil and growth in the Po Valley – pumpkin, artichokes, fava beans, squash and zucchini – make for excellent side dishes. Second course, either meat or fish based.
La Torta Duchessa di Parma, the classic cake made with hazelnuts or crostata di mele, a traditional open-face apple cake-pie, and lastly Spongata di Natale, a delightful cake made with nuts, honey and dried fruit – including citron – wrapped in a crispy, sugared pastry coating. After each cooking class everyone enjoys the foods that were prepared together with a toast of local red or white wine.
Parma is a small city in the Emilia-Romagna region, famed for Parmesan cheese and Parma ham and fresh handmade pasta. Romanesque buildings, including the frescoed Parma Cathedral and the pink marble Baptistery, grace the city center. Classical concerts take place at the Teatro Regio, a 19th-century opera house throughout the season. The Galleria Nazionale, inside the imposing Palazzo della Pilotta, displays works by painters Correggio and Canaletto. Parma was originally a Roman colony and follows the ancient layout of a typical Roman settlement. During the Roman era the town had a theater, amphitheater, thermal spa, basilica and forum, where Piazza Garibaldi stands today. Parma’s charm – spilling with artisan shops, trattorias and osterisa, make it a delicious destination with something for everyone.
The Palazzo is set in the heart of city center. Built in 1222, the property belonged to the noble Prati Family. The family carefully restored the property maintaining the style and art of its past, and added all of the comforts. Each elegant suite and luxury apartment is romantic, clean and fresh and decorated with comfortable bedding. Each room is carefully decorated with art from the family’s collection. Large windows overlook the medieval piazza create of each suite along with air conditioning, satellite TV, internet, telephone, and a security box. Apartment suites have fresh clean modern kitchen areas.
Step out your door to the piazza, artisan shops, wine bars and trattorias along with the Chiesa della Steccata, Piazzale della Pace, the National Gallery, the Gardens of Saint Paul and the Regio Theater!
Itinerary ~ 4 days, 3 nights
Day 1: Arrival & Welcome
- • Welcome, check and relax. Meet your host and Chef Mattia and family.
- • Chef’s Tasting dinner is included featuring the Chef’s specialities Wine and beverages are not included.
Day 2: Visit Parma & Wine Tasting Tour
- • Breakfast is served.
- • Take the day to soak up the culture of Parma. Visit the museums, churches and artisan craftsmen of this elegant town.
- Parma’s Food Tour option, add on suggestion. You opt to add our local English-speaking guide for total immersion tour of Parma, blending landmarks and food tastings. Food Lover & Landmark Tour price is $465 for a group of 2 guests including tastings.
- In the later afternoon, enjoy a wine tasting at the 13th-century cellars of the palazzo.
- Dinner is on your own. We will help you with our local suggestions.
Day 3: Cooking Class
- • Breakfast is served.
• Hands-on cooking class learning to make an authentic Parma lunch. Lunch follows and includes the foods that were prepare in the class with a toast of local red or white wine.
- • Dinner is on your own. We provide a list of our local favorite restaurants.
Day 4: Prosciutto Di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano, Balsamic, Food Tour
- • Breakfast is served.
• Tour to the Prosciutto, Parmigiano and Balsamic vinegar artisans with private driver. Visit, tour and tastings included to the famous Parma artisans.
- • Check out and Arrivederci!
- 4 nights and 3 nights accommodations, based on double occupancy.
- Daily Breakfast and maid service.
- Chef’s Tasting Welcome dinner (wine not included).
- Wine tasting and tour of the 13th-century Palazzo.
- Food Lover’s Tour, full day tour with private driver to Prosciutto, Parmigiano cheese and Balsamic vinegar artisans with tastings included.
- One coking class. Everyone enjoys the foods that were prepared in the class to follow. Wine included.
- Transfer to and from the Parma train station.
- Welcome bag with Chef’s apron, Prosecco toast and recipe booklet.
$1,995 per person, based on double occupancy.
*An Italian visitor tax may apply in some cities and must be paid directly on site at check out.