A journey through music’s & food’s excellence of Emilia-Romagna

A journey through music’s & food’s excellence of Emilia-Romagna

Italy owns an extraordinary thirty percent of the world’s cultural heritage: fine arts, architecture, food, wine and design are some of the best-known treasures, but many Italy lovers care the most about the iconic music of the great Italian composers.


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DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN PARMA – Discover the Town.

Arrival in Parma and meet & greet with the local guide.
The city’s flower symbol, the violet, particularly loved by the Duchess Maria Luigia of Austria, is a famous perfume and a delicious, frosted candy, that became the gifts to purchase as a souvenir.

The soul of Parma is like the flower, elegant and refined, colorful, fragrant and tasty. The city’s center is full of art masterpieces from different ages, green spaces with an atmosphere that promises more than a small town. During the 3 hours guided tour you will:

  • walk inside the Ducal Garden, belonging to the Palace built from 1561 by Ottavio Farnese, who needed to establish a fixed base for the court of his Duchy of Parma and Piacenza.
  • Lunch at a typical restaurant all’Angiol d’Or.
  • The external visit to Pilotta Complex was formerly built to house a large hall, later turned into the Teatro Farnese, the stables and the grooms’ residences, the Academy Hall and other rooms. The Duke Charles I, later King of Spain removed much of the movable assets of the palace and taken to Naples. Nowadays the important complex hosts the National Archaeological Museum, an art school, the Museo Bodoniano, the impressive Teatro Farnese and the Galleria Nazionale di Parma (interior visit on request giving more time to delight the precious masterpieces )
  • Visiting Piazza Duomo entering the Cathedral and the Baptistery.
  • Then visit a wonderful typical Parmense food store (cheese, parmigiano etc) in the centre of town (Piazza Garibaldi)

Overnight in centrally located 4 stars Hotel. Dinner included.

DAY 2: BOLOGNA- Daytrip -Gourmet Delights and the Museum of Ancient Instruments

Your excursion begins after breakfast, reaching Bologna where you will meet your knowledgeable local guide in the city center of Bologna. Rich with architecture, history, student life and artisanal food products. Your guide will show you a fascinating side of Bologna most tourists never discover: you’ll begin your tasting adventure by sampling the products from several historic bottegas (small specialized food shops) and hear the stories and legends of Bologna as you pass through the covered walkways and side streets. Next up is the historic medieval market, a one-of-a-kind foodie experience! See the huge rounds of mortadella, flavorful ciccioli and sausages and the mouthwatering chocolate treats to be found only here.

After enjoying an included lunch you’ll be treated to one of the world’s greatest collections of musical instruments and manuscripts at the “Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale.” Here you’ll find Rossini’s original Barber of Seville music score, Mozart’s exam which he took and failed while in Bologna, and original portraits of Vivaldi, Rossini, Farinelli (born Carlo Maria Michelangelo Nicola Broschi) and many others who are of great importance to the history of music.

Independently return to Parma, dinner and overnight in hotel.

Day 3: BUSSETO – on Verdi’s footsteps, Toscanini

After breakfast you set out to learn about three of Emilia Romagna’s sons, Verdi, Toscanini and Pavarotti. Today’ Musical experience begins in the hamlet of Roncole, Verdi’s birthplace, in a modest country house, which has become one of the most evocative of Verdi’s places. Lunch in an Osteria with tasting of local products and visit to a seasoning room of the famous Culatello di Zibello and then continue towards Busseto, for a walk to discover the most significant places linked to the composer’s life. We suggest you to visit the Theater, built on the site of a pre-existing theater, where Verdi performed in his youth conducting a symphony for Rossini’s Barber of Seville and continue to Sant’Agata to see the Villa designed by Giuseppe Verdi where he lived with Giuseppina Strepponi.

On the way back to Parma delicious stop in an Ham producer site. Arrival in Parma on time for an amazing evening Opera at TEATRO REGIO, a place deeply connected to Maestros Toscanini and Pavarotti.

Overnight. Dinner at leisure.

Day 4: MODENA – Pavarotti’s hometown – Daytrip

Outside of Modena you’ll find the Novi Ark Archaeology Park where, from 1992 to 2003, Pavarotti & Friends concerts were held. The shows were especially important to Pavarotti as an opportunity to raise funds in his own hometown for needy children all over the world. Pavarotti was deeply proud about Modena during all his life, being always very happy to show the town and his beloved places (like the Ghirlandina) to the friends visiting him. The guided tour will take you in an enjoyable walk that ends at Pavarotti-Freni Theater in Modena, where Pavarotti cultivated his talent and achieved his first successes.

The visit will follow – Luciano Pavarotti House and Museum where Pavarotti spent his last years. Located in the countryside, every inch of this house reflects the vibrant personality of its owner. Warm light fills the space, from the soaring atrium – with cherished letters from friends like Frank Sinatra, Bono and Princess Diana – to the buttery-yellow kitchen. Exquisite costumes, unique memorabilia and countless awards pay tribute to his illustrious career – but it’s the everyday items in intimate rooms that reveal the man behind the scenes. Here you can get in touch with Pavarotti’s human side and the music will accompany you room after room. You can’t leave Modena without a visit to a Balsamic Vinegar Cellar were you can taste the precious product of this town rich in culture, stunning car production (Ferrari, Maserati, Pagani -visit on request) and amazing food.

Dinner & overnight in Parma.

Day 5: CREMONA – A Day with Monteverdi and Stradivarius

Breakfast and early morning departure to Soragna for a visit to the Social Dairy (Caseificio Sociale) which, since 1930, has been producing Parmigiano Reggiano in compliance with the regulations, with milk only produced by the cows of the Caseificio members. Visit to the production and aging rooms with final tasting. The visits will continue in Cremona, where you will be able to explore the life and times of Stradivarius and Monteverdi. An expert will guide you in a violin workshop to learn how these beautiful instruments are crafted and then walk over to the Stradivarius Museum. Along the way, we’ll pay our respects to the world’s first opera composer, Claudio Monteverdi, born in Cremona on the 15th of May 1567. You will see the 2 houses where the family lived.

Your journey ends here but will continue with the memories that all your senses will bring home.

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Ospitalità Italiana is an official certification from Unioncamere, Italy’s federation of local Chambers of Commerce and Industry, that tells you that the food you are enjoying is unquestionably Italian: products are authentic, ingredients genuine and recipes true to the thousand year history of Italian cuisine.

Canada is home to some leading Italian Chefs. Passionate and innovative, many have refined their skills and advanced their knowledge directly in Italy. In addition, Montréal boasts a fabulous cooking school ITHQ where young aspiring chefs learn Italian technic and Italian traditional recipes from the masters.

So the next time you make reservations for an Italian dinner in a Montreal restaurant, ask if they’ve received the Ospitalità Italiana seal of approval. You will enjoy the true Italian taste.