Ride a Vespa in Italy and experience the Country like a local! Emilia Romagna is a land of gastronomic excellence. A place where knowledge and culture come together in slow recipes with ancient roots that have become part of the lifestyle of the people who live here. On this tour, you will immerse yourself in these traditions while enjoying a Vespa ride in the countryside.
Trip in a nutshell
- Ideal for: foodies, adventurous types, groups of friends
- Highlights: Vespa rides on the hills, Parmesan cheese factory, Lambrusco wine tasting
- What you will learn: history of Prosciutto di Parma, the differences between gnocco fritto and tigella, the secrets of vinification
- Local professional guide throughout your entire trip
- Length: 3 days, 2 nights
- Starts from Bologna and ends in Bologna
- Transportation: Vespa! (if a Vespa ride in Italy is not your thing, self-drive or car and with driver options can be arranged)
- Accommodation and meals: family-run Agriturismo/hotels; typical meals at the farm or in traditional restaurants
- Price: starting from €1630 per person (based on a group of 4 people).
DESCRIPTION OF TOUR
On this Italy travel itinerary, you will discover how to prepare authentic traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, and sample the king of cheeses, Parmigiano Reggiano directly at the dairy.
Passing through the Emilian provinces of Modena, Reggio Emilia, and Parma with a departure and return to Bologna, you will realize how many details are needed to make a product unique.
You will discover that there is not just one Lambrusco, but many different varieties and that the wind is the secret to the slow maturing of Parma Ham.
In essence, you will learn about our culture through typical food and enjoy La Dolce Vita on a Vespa ride in Italy.
DAY 1 Slow ride through the vineyards to Castelvetro (“City of Wine”)
Morning – Vignola and Balsamic Vinegar
Safety first. I will brief you about your Vespa and we will try out our vehicles by the rental point. In fact, your safety is our priority on this Vespa ride tour. Since most of the itineraries are in the hills, it is necessary to have a good driving experience and to be able to demonstrate this before departure.
Ready? We will leave the city and venture into the foothills of Bologna, and along provincial road 569, we will reach Vignola. This small town in the province of Modena is famous for its beautiful medieval fortress, its cherries, but above all for its traditional balsamic vinegar, the local “black gold”, which has been aged for 25 years or more. A small bottle of balsamic vinegar can fit in your bag, so I will recommend to you my favorite places to shop for this delicacy.
Afternoon – Castelvetro and Lambrusco Wine
After the restart, we will stop at a farmhouse in the Modenese hills near Castelvetro, a charming village nicknamed the “City of Wine”. Its name is also an important Lambrusco appellation associated with the Grasparossa variety, with its impenetrable color and intense aroma. For instance, the La Cavaliera farmhouse has been capable of interpreting the pure vinification of this grape variety at its best, giving a frothy, intense, and fragrant aroma. Furthermore, this wine s totally organic, therefore healthier, lighter, and more digestible. In the second part of the day, we will reach the town of Scandiano, in the province of Reggio Emilia, and check into our hotel.
DAY 2 Italian classics: Parmesan cheese and ham
Morning – Parmigiano Reggiano in Consorzio Vacche Rosse
Early in the morning, we will visit a local cheese factory that produces Parmigiano Reggiano, nicknamed the “king of cheeses”. In fact, we will discover that to make a great cheese you primarily need excellent milk and the skilful hands of the cheesemakers. Afterwards, we will visit a Parmiggiano cheese factory and discover the Rossa Reggiana. The Rossa Reggiana is a native cow of northern Italy whose presence in the area has been documented since the Middle Ages. During the decade from 1960 to 1970, the Rossa Reggiana almost disappeared, falling from 60,000 to just over 3,000. In recent years there has been a revival, led by the Vacche Rosse Consortium, founded in 1991. The Consortium promotes small productions and long maturation periods. A classic Parmigiano, for example, can be released on the market after 12 months of maturing, while a Vacche Rosse after at least 24.
Afternoon – Langhirano, Parma Ham and Parma Food Museum
Our Vespa ride in Italy will continue to Langhirano. This is the home of the most famous Italian ham in the world: Prosciutto di Parma. There are numerous ham processing and maturing factories in the town, as well as the Museum dedicated to this speciality, which is part of the Parma Food Museum Network. At Salumificio La Perla we will discover how old the art of meat processing is, a rural tradition made up of passion, dedication, and humility that is the foundation of the company’s production philosophy.
The real and good ham has a minimum of 14/18 months of seasoning: the preparation requires several months of processing, following a detailed procedure from slaughtering to salting. Every detail matters: from the storage in cold rooms to seasoning to obtain a tasty and savoury product that is never excessively salty. But the real secret of Prosciutto di Parma DOP is the sea, the wind that blows through the first hills of the province of Parma. It is a dry wind that emerges from the sea and loses its brackishness in the Apennine mountains, then descending to the valley to gently brush the hams that are left to mature. Finally, after tasting the best-sliced meats that the factory has to offer, we will return towards Reggio Emilia, to Montecchio Emilia.
DAY 3 Tigella or gnocco fritto? Discover the regional varieties of bread and Lambrusco while you head back to Bologna
Morning – Montecchio and Home Made Pasta
On the third day, we will gradually return in the direction of Bologna. We will sample the many varieties of bread produced here: gnocco fritto, tigella, piadina and crescente. One of these could be the ideal snack for a lunch break, perhaps together with a plate of fresh handmade pasta. In fact, Emilia Romagna is also the land of homemade egg pasta, and each province has its own typical recipe: agnolini in Parma, cappelletto in Romagna, for instance, while tortellino is shared between Modena and Bologna.
Afternoon – Bomporto and Lambrusco di Sorbara wine
We will then move to Bomporto and taste Sorbara Lambrusco. For some years now, several leading wine producers have discovered the enormous potential of Sorbara vinified as a single wine variety. Its acidity and light color make it particularly suitable for classic method sparkling wines that can age well in the bottle. In fact, we see a strong comeback for this wine, often considered a cheap and easy-to-drink product.
The route from Bomporto to the return to Bologna is completely straightforward. We cross long stretches of cultivated fields, keeping away from the busy Via Emilia, and in the late afternoon, we finally return to the capital. After I ride a Vespa in Italy I feel tired but happy and… ready to start over!
The program in details
This is an approximate schedule, exact times will be finalized and they might change during the trip
–Day 1: Slow ride through the vineyards to Castelvetro (“City of Wine)
- 9 am meet in Bologna to collect Vespa and familiarize with riding
- 10,30 am depart from Bologna
- 1 pm arrive in Vignola and stop for lunch
- 2,30 pm depart from Vignola
- 4,30 pm arrive in Castelvetro, Lambrusco tasting
- 6,30 pm arrive in Scandiano check-in
- 7,30 pm dinner
– Day 2: Italian classics: Parmesan cheese and ham
- 9,30 am depart from Scandiano snd visit a cheese factory
- 12,30 lunch between Scandiano and Langhirano
- 2,00 – 3,00 pm Langhirano: ham factory and museum
- 6,30 pm arrive in Montecchio Emilia check-in
- 7,30 pm dinner
– Day 3: Tigella or gnocco fritto? Discover the regional varieties of bread and Lambrusco while you head back to Bologna
- 9,30 am depart from Montecchio
- 12,30 homemade pasta lunch
- 1.00 – 4.00 pm Sorbara Lambrusco tasting
- 6,30 pm arrive in Bologna
- Accommodation and breakfast : 2 nights in agriturismo / B&B / hotels 3 or 4 stars (based on double room occupancy)
- 3 meals ( lunch / dinner)
- All the experiences mentioned in the program
- Vespa and helmet rental
- A local professional guide throughout your trip
- Pre-trip support and assistance during your trip
Is not included, but can be arranged
- Fuel for the Vespa
- Any other destination/experience not specified in the program
What to bring – useful info
- 1 rain jacket
- 1 pair of bicycle/scooter gloves
- Small daypack that’s comfortable to carry