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Bologna - La Grassa

This holiday is a foodie's delight, we'll have plenty of time to discover the heritage of the world renowned produce of the region, walk in the Apennine hills and enjoy the historic cities of Parma, Modena, Ravenna and Bologna itself.

From£1,565

  • Italy

  • 7 nights
  • Half Board
  • May

    Sep

    Oct

    Nov

  • Guided Adagio Holidays

Tour codes: 51820

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Guided Adagio Holidays

This holiday includes an active sightseeing programme with unchallenging walks, either city tours or strolls on relatively easy terrain in the surrounding countryside. If in a mountainous area, the walks will be amongst the hills rather than up and down them. Local guides, winery visits, traditional villages and time to pause and watch the locals going about their lives are likely to feature.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Discover Bologna's history and culture with a local guide
  • Taste the local cheeses and hams in Parma with a local guide
  • Explore Ravenna and its superb Byzantine art
  • Venture through the famous market and town of Modena
  • Visit a producer of traditional Balsamic Vinegar
  • Stay in the beautifully preserved city of Bologna, surrounded by the delicious smells of tasty culinary delights

Situated in the middle of the Po Valley that runs across Northern Italy, Bologna city in Emilia Romagna province is surrounded by a vast area of fertile farmland. This land produces some of the finest foods on the planet. An Italian dictionary will probably translate ‘La Grassa’ as ‘The fat one’. Rather than a person or persons, Bologna’s nickname refers to the superb, world renowned produce that originates near by. The delights of Parmesan cheese and Parma ham are well documented. It is less well known that close by Modena is the home of balsamic vinegar, and coincidently Ferrari cars. Parma is obviously associated with the ham and cheese. The Bolognese lay claim to Mortadella sausage, lasagna and tortellini. However they most certainly do not lay claim to Spaghetti Bolognese and a mention of it here will be met by a blank stare, the term is not know in Italy.

We are not here just for the food; Bologna has a beautiful preserved centre, accessible from the front door of our hotel, Modena has perhaps the finest Romanesque cathedral in Italy. We spend time in Ravenna, former capital of the Western Roman empire after the fall of Rome itself and filled with fine buildings dating back 1,500 years. Parma is another beautiful city well worth a visit. We have a day strolling in the Apennine foothills and a final day completing our exploration of Bologna.


  • Return flights from London Gatwick or London Heathrow to Bologna with British Airways or Easyjet
  • Airport transfers
  • Half board en suite accommodation
  • All local transport costs, entrance fees and tipping to local providers
  • Personal Expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary Tips
  • Optional Excursions
  • Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice. All local transport costs, entrance fees and tipping to local providers are included in the cost of your holiday. 

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

We fly to Bologna and have a short transfer into the city to our hotel just off the Piazza Maggiore. We may have some time for a stroll around the local area before dinner in a local restaurant.

Transfer Time = 30 minutes

Day 2

Bologna

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

After breakfast we start the day with a guided tour of the city of Bologna. You will immediately see how well preserved the beautiful city centre is. Unsurprisingly with all the superb produce from the surrounding area the markets and food shops are mouth watering sights. Also look out for Bologna’s famed porticos and towers.

Day 3

Parma

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

It’s off to wonderful Parma today. It will take about an hour in our private coach. We explore the town, its history, its food and its culture with a local guide. We also have the fantastic opportunity to stop and taste the delicious local cheeses and hams.

Day 4

Walking in the Apennine Hills

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Today we take our private coach into the picturesque Apennine hills to stretch our legs and enjoy the fresh mountain air.

Day 5

Ravenna

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

We travel an hour to the east to Ravenna. Briefly the capital of the Western Roman empire in the 5th century, the town is small and easily explored but contains some superb mosaics and Byzantine art. The Basilica of San Vitale is world renowned.

Day 6

Modena

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Now to Modena! We explore the famous market and enjoy the town with a local guide. We visit the town and see the Duomo in the Main Square, Cross the Via Emillia (from which the Region gets its name), visit the Market and end the tour with a traditional tasting of Balsamic Vinegar.  There is free time for a relaxed lunch or visit the Galeries. It is not included but we will make time for anybody who wishes to visit the Ferrari Museum. It is well worth it for everybody. The cars are things of beauty and beautifully presented. 

Day 7

Bologna

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

We have a final day in Bologna and there is plenty to see in the city but the walk up the 4km porticoed walkway to Santuario di Madonna di San Luca to enjoy the view should be considered.

Day 8

Departure

Meals

Breakfast

It is time to say goodbye to the delicious tastes and sweet smells of Bologna. We may have some free time before our short transfer to Bologna Airport for our return flight home to the UK. 

From (GBP)£1,565

Departure dates for your selected tour

3rd Sep 2020 - 10th Sep 2020 (7 Nights)

10th Sep 2020 - 17th Sep 2020 (7 Nights)

6th May 2021 - 13th May 2021 (7 Nights)

9th Sep 2021 - 16th Sep 2021 (7 Nights)

7th Oct 2021 - 14th Oct 2021 (7 Nights)

4th Nov 2021 - 11th Nov 2021 (7 Nights)

Travel Details

We fly from London Gatwick or London Heathrow to Bologna Airport and return with British Airways or EasyJet. Sometimes we fly from London Gatwick to Venice Airport with British Airways. 

We transfer approximately 30 mins by private coach to our central hotel. Obviously, city traffic can slow us on occasions. For those holidays with flights to Venice Airport , the transfer to the hotel is approximately 2 hours. 

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is a summary of the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

Hotel Orologio

Bologna enjoys an historic legacy as fine as any city in Europe. It has the oldest university in Europe. The city centre is beautifully preserved, note particularly the porticos, covered walk ways, for which the city is renowned. Originally they protected the Bolognese from sun and rain, a function they still serve to this day. Another notable feature is the towers, vanity projects for the wealthy citizens in the middle ages which add to the city’s distinctive skyline. The view from the Torre degli Asinelli is inspiring but the stairs to the top are certainly not for the faint hearted.

Named after the city clock tower clearly visible from some bedroom windows, the Hotel Orologio is ideally located for our sight seeing programme. We are about 50m from the main square in Bologna in the heart of the centro storico. All the city sites are within a short walk as are the sumptuous markets and food shops. The hotel is family run and simplistic, but ideally located for this holiday. There is a bar area that you can relax in after dinner. 

We stay in en suite rooms that are decorated with dark wood furnishings and bright pastel colouring. Hotel room facilities include:

  • Satellite Television
  • Minibar
  • Safe
  • Air Conditioning
  • Hairdryer
  • WiFi

For interest the art works in the square outside the hotel by Nicola Zamboni and Sara Bolzani were unveiled in November 2017.

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

All Adagio holidays are expertly designed to allow you to immerse yourself in the destination. Leisurely exploration of the must-see, as well as lesser known, highlights together with relaxed enjoyment of local food and wines is what we have in mind. 

There may be days of sightseeing on foot around a spectacular city or unchallenging strolls on easy terrain in open countryside interspersed with winery visits, guided tours, boat trips, cafe stops and traditional restaurants. 

Walks & Excursions

We use a mix of privately hired vehicles, taxis, and public transport which gives us some flexibility in our itinerary. We have a wonderful programme of walking, sightseeing and visits planned to let you fully experience the area along with opportunities to relax at our wonderful hotel and enjoy your surroundings.

Local Costs

Holiday Budgeting

Local transport costs, entrance fees and tips to local providers are included in your holiday price. You may wish to budget for any meals and drinks not included in the holiday arrangements, non-included entrance fees and any optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Tipping

We include tips in the holiday cost and your Adagio Leader will take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers.  If you feel that someone has gone out of their way to make your holiday enjoyable or help you in anyway, please feel free to give a personal tip to the person should you wish. If you are having an independent lunch or other service not included in the holiday arrangements, tipping is at your own discretion.

Your Group

Group Size

We believe that the best things come in small packages, and our Adagio holidays prove just that. We limit our groups to a maximum of 18 persons, plus the Adagio Leader, so that everyone has the opportunity to mix, share their love of travel and return home with new friendships. Small groups also have less detrimental local impact, allows us to use public transport on some days, eat at small local restaurants and, we believe, offers a better experience.

Your Leader

An Adagio Leader will accompany you throughout the holiday. They are all experienced travellers with a love for exploring and will help capture the true essence of the destination with their stories, knowledge and insights.  They are well-organised, pay great attention to detail and enjoy being with people.  They are there to help make your holiday as enjoyable and stress free as possible.

Leaders Evening Briefing

Your Adagio Leader will discuss the programme for the following day with the group at each evening briefing. This will be your opportunity to find out more details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. Also, if you have any questions or concerns on clothing or lunch arrangements, this can be discussed then. If you wish to opt out of the organised group programme, this is fine, just let your Leader know.

Travel Plans

Getting to your Holiday

We fly from London Gatwick or London Heathrow to Bologna Airport and return with British Airways or EasyJet. Sometimes we fly from London Gatwick to Venice Airport with British Airways. Details of your baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days before departure.

We transfer approximately 30 minutes by private coach to our central hotel. Obviously, city traffic can slow us on occasions. For those holidays with flights to Venice Airport , the transfer to the hotel is approximately 2 hours. 

If you intend joining and leaving the party in Bologna we assume, unless you have advised us otherwise, that you will meet and leave the party at our hotel. If this is not your intention, please let us know in writing at least 5 weeks before departure.  

Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements

If you wish to organise your own flights from either a non-UK or UK regional airport, or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. If you choose to do this, before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.

If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at the hotel. Although airport/train station transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport/train station, depending on your flight/train arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details. 

Please note that your flight/train must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight/train to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight/train number, arrival time and departure point so that your Adagio Leader is able to meet up with you.

Luggage Allowance & Tickets

When booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday with us, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.

Personal Details Check

Please ensure that the personal details we have on file for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. 

Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to accurately manage your holiday booking are correct at the time of booking (including health and dietry requirements). You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.adagio.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 386700. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Passport Information

General Passport Advice

It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport page (with your photo on). Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country. Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements. 

General travel and destination advice for UK nationals is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk/travel and at www.gov.uk/travelaware.

Brexit Passport Advice

You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.

If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.

You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.

Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance. 

UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.

The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules  which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.

In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit

Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.

Meals

Breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday. Breakfasts are taken at the hotel and includes a wide choice of local products such as cereals, eggs, bacon, sausages, fresh fruit, fresh bread, cakes and pastries. 

We dine in local restaurants during the evening where we can enjoy a range of al la carte, set menus and buffets. Local restaurants allow us to enjoy an authentic experience and sometimes lively atmosphere in a traditional Italian restaurant along with local diners and the Italian hospitality. Italian dishes are usually created using locally sourced fresh ingredients. Usually we can expect a variety of international and local delicacies such as pasta, risotto, meat and fish! 

In Italy, traditional meals usually have four courses, antipasto or antipasti, primo, il secondo, and dolce; but this varies depending on restaurants and the regions of Italy.

Antipasto and Antipasti are a traditional course in formal Italian meals and translate as 'before the meal' as they are usually before the primo course. Antipasto refers to one portion and Antipasti refers to more than one portion. This usually includes cured meats such as salami, pepperoni, prosciutto or mortadella. Rich cheeses such as fresh mozzarella, gouda, provolone or Parmigiana-Reggiano are also included. Seafood like shrimp, anchovies and salmon are sometimes included too. 

The first course, known as primo, is served as an appetiser and usually consists of rich pasta, soup or risotto. The main course is called il secondo and usually includes meat, fish or vegetarian. The dolce refers to the dessert and ends a traditional Italian meal. Coffee usually follows too. 

Sumptuous markets and food shops are just a short walk from the hotel so picnic supplies of the highest standard will be easily available. 

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Comfortable, broken in, walking boots or shoes with a good sole are recommended for this holiday. Walking shoes or other comfortable footwear will be suitable for sightseeing days.

General Kit List

We recommend you bring the following items with you:

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers. It does rain sometimes! 
  • A sunhat, fleece and gloves… to cover all eventualities. 
  • Sun cream. The sun can be strong in Italy.
  • A water bottle. Just in case we can’t get to the local café. 
  • A picnic knife, fork and spoon, as required. 
  • A simple basic first aid kit. 
  • A daypack to hold all the above. 
  • Sensible footwear as some paths we walk are stony. 
  • Insect repellant.

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Travel Document Checklist

To ensure your holiday gets off to a good start, please make sure that you bring the following documents and information with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday currency
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Electricity in Italy

Electricity in Italy is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found Power Plugs Sockets.

Maps & Guidebooks

Ideal Maps & Guidebooks

The Rough Guide to Italy has some useful insights into the area and sites we will be seeing and lots of other in-depth information about the country. 

There are many Bologna based Pocket Guides by Insight Pocket Guides and Berlitz Pocket Guides.

Italy: Top sights of Bologna by Helen Williams and Lorena De Luca

The Bologna website has more information about the area that we will be staying in. 

Gino's Italian Escapes: A taste of the Sun: Bologna - Gino continues his culinary adventure in Bologna

Gino's Italian Express: Bologna o Verona - Gino continues his culinary adventure in Bologna

Rick Stein's long weekend - Series 1 Episode 5 - Rick ventures to Bologna for its culinary dishes

Italy Unpacked: The Art of the Feast - Series 1 - Andrew Graham-Dixon and Giorgio Locatelli explore the culture, food and history of Bologna, Modena and Parma

The Map Shop

If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:

The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
WR8 0HJ
England

Tel: 01684 593 146
Website: www.themapshop.co.uk
E-mail: [email protected]

If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.

Staying Healthy on Holiday

Health Advice for Italy

No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Italy.

You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK. 

You may wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus and Tick-borne Encephalitis.

Further Health Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Please make sure you are insured for guided walking. It is important that you bring your travel insurance documents with you on holiday, including your policy number and 24-hour assistance telephone number.

EHIC Cards

Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance. 

For more information please visit ehic.org.uk.

Height

It is important to ensure while purchasing insurance that you are insured for guided walking upto 1000m.

Our Ethos

Responsible Travel

We're committed to operating responsible tours in all our destinations as best we can. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel Ltd’s (inc Adagio) profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. 

In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. 

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Useful Information

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Italy

  • Capital

    Rome

  • Currency

    Euro

  • Language

    Italian

  • Time Difference

    UTC +02:00

  • Flight duration

    2.5hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    6°C

    Avg. Rain: 67mm

  • February

    7°C

    Avg. Rain: 62mm

  • March

    9°C

    Avg. Rain: 63mm

  • April

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 61mm

  • May

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 56mm

  • June

    20°C

    Avg. Rain: 47mm

  • July

    22°C

    Avg. Rain: 35mm

  • August

    22°C

    Avg. Rain: 48mm

  • September

    20°C

    Avg. Rain: 64mm

  • October

    15°C

    Avg. Rain: 89mm

  • November

    10°C

    Avg. Rain: 96mm

  • December

    7°C

    Avg. Rain: 82mm

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