Cooking School Tours In Italy with Mama Margaret & Friends

Cook, Eat, Drink, Make Friends With Local People In Authentic Italy

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Food Lovers’ Adventure in Italy’s Gastronomic Paradise, Bologna & Emilia-Romagna Spring & Summer


** This tour has set dates so you can join a group. Or bring your own group.
** This tour is also available on any dates you like from April to September. Please contact us to ask for your dates.

Spring & Summer

5 nights

As a true food lover, you want to immerse yourself in exceptional, authentic, insider experiences with local people like cooking with families and learning right with the artisan producers how they make world renowned Parmesan cheese and the real 25 year old  traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena.

Participate in an extraordinary variety of food and local life experiences, many off the tourist track. Tour the famous Bologna food market with your cooking teacher to shop for ingredients for your cooking class in their home. Make silk-like pastas with a pasta expert in her country home.

In private visits, see first hand all the steps they go through to make Parmesan cheese in an artisan factory and Modena’s traditional balsamic vinegar in cellars. Taste these food treasures right with the producers.

Your outgoing, fun loving, thoughtful guides were born near Bologna, have lived in Bologna for years, and introduce you to an amazing variety of local friends and off the tourist track places. You feel you’re making new local friends.

See tour itinerary below.

5 Night Italian Cooking School Tour Itinerary

View fall & winter Italian cooking school tour itinerary
View 3 night Italian cooking school tour itinerary

Italian Cooking School Traveler’s Story

Mindy Smith, MA, USA

We had a wonderful time! We laughed, ate, drank. Our local hosts were fabulous! At the parmesan cheese factory, we watched the fascinating process of cheese making. Our host explained the different stages and how the wheels of cheese receive their “D.O.P. stamp.” We entered a huge storage room where I experienced a “David” moment. I had the same feeling in my chest that I did when I first laid eyes on the statue of “David”. I couldn’t believe my eyes! For a brief moment, I thought I was in Costco where they sold nothing but Wheels of Cheese! This experience was one of the highlights of our trip.

View all of our testimonials here

View Detailed Itinerary

Travel Consulting

Let your Italy travel expert, Mama Margaret, plan and book your whole Italy trip before and after your Italy cooking school tour so you save time and stress and have more fun. Contact us today.

Sunday: Welcome dinner in charming hill town

Private transfer from Bologna airport or train station to your four star hotel in the heart of Bologna.

In the afternoon, visit Bologna’s city centre with an English-speaking guide for an introduction to Bologna and the Emilia Romagna region.

Drive to small, charming hill town, Dozza. Wander through its medieval streets famous for colourful murals on many walls and doorways.

Sit down for a delicious multi-course dinner with regional wines at a fine Dozza restaurant.

Monday: herb garden visit, class cooking with herbs

Drive into the hills of Romagna to walk in a privately owned, aromatic herb garden with more than 40 kinds of herbs. The joyful owner explains how she uses the herbs in cooking. For lunch she prepares delicious samplings of her products.

After lunch, enjoy superb gelato and then drive to a nearby winery to taste some of their regional wines like Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Albana, and others.

Enjoy a demonstration cooking class with a chef in his restaurant. Well known for his expertise in cooking with herbs, he shows you how to cook dishes with local herbs. Apertif in the restaurant’s beautiful garden while waiting for your divine dinner of your cooking class creations.

Tuesday: parmesan & balsamic vinegar artisan visits

In the early morning, head to the Parma area to visit a Parmesan cheese factory. After watching the men go through all the fascinating steps in making the cheese and visiting the incredible storage rooms, nibble on fresh and aged parmesan right in the factory.

Proceed to the Parma area to visit a prosciutto producer who shows you all the steps of preparation and aging, followed by a tasting.

For lunch, drive back to the Modena area to enjoy an aperitif in the kitchen with restaurant chef Luigi. Watch Luigi prepare lunch in the kitchen with dishes featuring Parmigiano, prosciutto and traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena. Along with his delectable dishes, sip Lambrusco, the red sparkling wine of the Modena region that is a perfect accompaniment to Parmigiano.

Drive to Modena, home of balsamic vinegar. In the cellars see how they make it, learn how to use it in cooking and sample 12 and 25 year old balsamic vinegar that feels like liquid velvet in your throat.

Drive back to Bologna. Dinner on your own.

Wednesday: Ravenna & pasta cooking class in country home

Drive to Ravenna to walk with a local guide and learn about its world famous Byzantine mosaics and architecture.Ravenna boasts eight different UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Light lunch in Ravenna’s centre at a historic osteria.

Drive to Brisighella for a tasting of the best extra virgin olive oil in the region.

Drive to beautiful countryside for a three hour hands-on cooking school class with an Italian mamma, an expert on hand made pasta, in her 150 year old farmhouse among olive trees. Learn to make many traditional Emilia-Romagna pastas. Dinner of your creations at her table.

Thursday: Bologna market visit & cooking class at home

In the morning, walk with your cooking teacher in Bologna’s central food market, with ancient, narrow streets lined with colorful, irresistible food shops and stands. Learn about regional foods. Buy the ingredients for your afternoon cooking class.

Enjoy lunch of local salumi and cheese with a glass of wine in Santo Stefano square at a pretty osteria.

Roll up your sleeves a hands-on cooking school class at a private home with an excellent family cook to learn traditional regional dishes. For your farewell dinner, savour your dishes with the friendly family around their table and take a recipe book home.

Friday: ciao for now

Reluctant departure to Bologna airport or train station after breakfast at the hotel.

View the Route



  • 5 nights in 4 star hotel in Bologna with breakfast
  • 3 cooking school classes
  • tour of Bologna food market
  • 4 lighter lunches & 4 multi-course dinners with selected regional wines, mineral water, coffee
  • visit a parmesan cheese factory
  • visit traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena producer
  • winery visit and wine tastings
  • olive oil tasting
  • gelato tasting
  • herb garden visit
  • visit a prosciutto factory with tastings
  • recipe book in English
  • traditional, local hand stamped apron
  • guided walks in Dozza, Bologna and its market, Ravenna with Byzantine architecture/art with Ravenna entrance fees
  • private transport to/from Bologna airport or train station
  • private transport throughout tour, except in free time
  • local bilingual tour director, except in free time

Not Included:

* one dinner

Tour Dates

For 2016

10-15 April
24-29 April
22-27 May
19-24 June
10-15 July
24-29 July
​31 July-5 August
4-9 September
This tour is also available upon request for other dates from April to September. Contact us if these dates do not fit in your schedule.

Tour Prices

Price per person, double occupancy.

Subject to foreign exchange fluctuations

CDN: $3570 about
U.S.: $2715 about
Euros: about €2380


price per person: Single Supplement

CDN: $345 about
U.S.: $265 about
Euros: about €230

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