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“Go on this tour!!”
Review of Emilian Land Tour

Emilian Land Tour
Ranked #16 of 48 Tours in Bologna
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Attraction details
Owner description: We propose food and wine tours to help people discover the Emilian lands. We'd like that our visitors appreciate our cuisine, our wines and our historic towns.We propose tour guided in a factory of parmesan cheese, a factory of balsamic vinegar and a emiliana typical wine cellar.
Reviewed 2 December 2012

Do yourself a favor and GO ON THIS TOUR!

My friend and I took an Emilian Land Tour in November 2012 and had an amazing time! The tour we signed up for included visits to a parmigiano-reggiano dairy farm, balsamic vinegar producer, wine estate and closed with an amazing lunch featuring local cuisine.

While looking at different food tours in the area, we chose this one for the personal experience. We traveled with our fantastic guide, Eleonora, our driver and that’s it. Eleonora had a great rapport with each of the local producers we met with which set an easy, friendly and fun tone to the whole day. She was very knowledgeable about each of the products and did a great job explaining each process. At each stop, we had a chance to ask several questions, joke around and really interact with these incredible artisans.

Along the way, we got to taste amazingly fresh parmesan-reggiano, traditional balsamic (on gelato, YUM!), and several delicious wines (including sparkling whites – my favorite). And I didn’t even mention the amazing views. But best of the all, the tour really gave you an inside look into the pride and passion that each producer puts into creating the best product.

So, stop hesitating and book this tour. You will walk away with a full belly, happy memories and great stories to share when you get home.

1  Thank Heidi M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 November 2012

My friend and I took this tour in mid November. What an amazing tour!! We were picked up from our B&B in Bologna and driven to a cheese maker. Eleonora was our guide. She explained how the cheese was made and were able to watch the two wonderful men make three batches while we there. What a great experience. Everyone was in great moods, answered all our questions and gave more than enough samples. We left happy and full!

Then off to the balsamic vinegar tour at a wonderful house. The owner explained the process and showed us the many barrels set in the rooftops for aging. The property was amazing as was the balsamic. We learned about the traditional balsamic and were able to sample it with vanilla gelato ... amazing!!

From here, we went to explore the vineyards with a fun and incredibly knowledgeable winemaker. We got to tour the grounds, learn about the different production methods, and then sample so many different kinds. Nothing was better than sitting out under the sun having wine with our new friends. If this wasn't enough, we went to a fabulous lunch with more vino and grappa! A perfect way to round out an incredible day.

Thank you to Eleonora and her driver. Everything was incredible. The reservation process was smooth, you answered all of our questions, and you were an absolute delight the day of our tour. We were so happy we found Emilian Land Tours and would recommend them to anyone look for a personal private tour while in Bologna.

Thank Jenna J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2012

My friend and I took the train from Rome for a short stop in Florence and then an overnight stay in Bologna for the Parmigiano-reggiano dairy farm + balsamic vinegar + ham tour. I knew we were going to be in good hands because I kept emailing Eleonar for assistance in appropriate places for overnight Bologna stay and how to take the train. She answered all my questions in a timely manner without hesitation.

The picked us up on time at our hotel at 7:30am. We left the bustling centre of town to the outskirts and enjoyed seeing the green open pastures and vineyards, a much needed respite from the tall buildings, narrow cobblestone alleys and busy bustling streets of Rome. Not there's anything wrong with that! Great to see the country side of this beautiful country.

About 45 minutes later, they wasted no time when we stepped into the dairy farm to see an employee mixing a large vat of hot milk. I didn't think we'd get this up close to the action. Eleonora explained the entire process step by step from the first mix, to seeing the cheese thicken to the transfer to the containers. She and the employee answered our many questions and didn't seem to mind my videotaping every step!

The reward was the tasty samplings of the cheese paired with balsamic vinegar. A first for my friend and I and it was yummy. I've seen this pairing on Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" and now I can claim that culinary experience as I've never seen or been offered that type of pairing in the U.S.

But wait there's more. We got to visit the cows located on the same property. They don't purchase milk like some other producers do. They raise their own cows. Quality control from start to finish.

They wetted our appetite for the next adventure to a prosciutto producer, a family owned business. The pleasing scent of a light vinegar and sweet ham was the first thing we noticed when we entered the building. The brother greeted us with smiles as did his sister who walked us through the building which has several rooms that house the huge cuts of hanging ham.

Eleonora translated for us as the owner explained the various steps of seasoning, drying and testing the ham. Just as with the Parmigiano tour, we got first hand personal attention that we most likely would not have gotten if were in a group of 10 or more which most tours have.

About 30 minutes later, we had a scrumptious tasting (it was more like a lunch) of bread sticks, fresh thin sliced ham and Lambrusco, a local red wine that I'm told is must with this pairing. I'm not a big red wine fan but I do love Lambrusco. The samples were generous as we engorged ourselves with the delicate and tender dried pork that I've never tasted before. It wasn't as salty and vinegary compared to what I've eaten in the U.S. You taste the pork, not masked by heavy spices. Loved it. Mmmm, wish I had some now.

With full bellies, we then drove to a traditional balsamic vinegar producer about 30 minutes away. The place looked more like a mini-chateu with its own mini-vineyard in the back. We were welcomed with smiles and warmth as the owner invited us into her family home which also serves as the production plant, which you couldn't tell from the outside. She treated us a private guests to her home which housed rooms full of barrels on both floors. The owner spoke English very well so there was no need for Eleanora to translate. I learned that there is a science to traditional balsamic vinegar production just as there is in wine making but two totally different processes.

Like the previous tours, we got to sample the various vinegars which differed in taste and age. Again, my taste buds were opened to new flavors. Overall my friend and I more than satisfied, worth the $ and enjoyable all around. It was relaxing as were never felt rushed. This tour is a must to any new or old comer to Bologna-Modena region. Thank you again Eleanora and the rest of her team for making this very enjoyable excursion. I just wished I had more time to see visit the Ferrari and Lamborghini museums. Maybe next time!

1  Thank DynaLopez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2012

This day was a total surprise for my wife and the unexpected nature of the trip made it all the more fun.

Eleonora was the best and this trip was a blast. We really enjoyed the tastings that accompanied the visits. I would recommend this trip for any person who wants to see the beautiful countryside of the Emilian region without the hassle of renting a car.

The wine tasting was informal and fun. We had our wine outside and enjoyed joking and laughing with our wonderful host.

All in all a great day. Request Eleonora - she's awesome!

Thank TomfromPC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2012

At the end of September we stayed in a delightful town called Vignola, with a moated hilltop castle over looking narrow cobbled streets and pavement cafes, and which was about twenty miles from Bologna. We'd been unable to get reasonably-priced accommodation in Bologna itself, due to a ceramics fair that went on all week. However, this worked in our favour, as the food tour began with a visit to a dairy farm which wasn't very far away.
Our guide and interpreter was Morgan, an Anglophile and Tottenham supporter who was to make our tour really enjoyable. He picked us up at 8 a.m and we set off to discover how Parmigiano- reggiano cheese was produced. Cesare was the proud cheese-maker who showed and explained (with enthusiastic translations by Morgan) techniques that he had learned from his Grandfather. We saw huge heated copper vats filled with milk from his cows turned into cheese and man-handled into the traditional large round moulds. These are then soaked in brine using enormous baths, later being tested by the D.O.P inspector, who uses a special hammer to assess the quality, before finally branding it with the official stamp of approval. We tasted some of this cheese which had been matured for 17 or 24 months and was so fantastically different from what we buy here in the supermarket. We were initially surprised when he combined a few drops of 12 year old balsamic vinegar with the cheese, but what a revelation – it was absolutely delicious.
We made more discoveries at the Acetaia Sereni set in a landscape of rolling hills and vineyards. Here we watched the process of producing balsamic vinegar from the collection of the grapes, to the vat fermentation and finally to the ageing process in rows of wooden casks. Morgan was always on hand to explain and translate our many questions and gave us a better understanding of this artisan production. Tastings took place in a special room which that day, was full of international buyers who were tasting the balsamic vinegar with the seriousness of wine buffs. For us, it was impossible to resist buying some aged balsamic to go with the cheese we'd previously bought.
We then drove to the Ghedini Wine Estate where we were introduced to Michele Ghedini, a great character and a Jim Morrison fan! We saw a small part of his extensive vineyards, plus the production centre full of massive stainless steel vats. Then onto a thoroughly enjoyable extended wine-tasting, learning about the different grapes for different wines, where unlike the professionals, we failed to spit out the luscious liquids. Just as well then that the next stop was lunch at the Ghedini family Hotel restaurant, which served up a splendid selection of local Emilian specialities, and also included his 85 year old grandmothers home-made pasta, which helped soak up yet more delicious wine.
Our final visit was to a Prosciutto di Modena 'Parma' ham factory. Here the rows upon rows of hanging hams presented an awesome sight. The curing process takes a minimum of 14 months before being branded with the official D.O.P mark guaranteeing its provenance. After the tastings (hard to believe we had room after such a big lunch) we were again amazed at how good it tasted compared to what is available here. The whole visit was accompanied by the co-owner, whose enthusiasm and pride in her product, was well translated by Morgan. On the way back to our b&b, he assured us that we would not be tested on our new-found knowledge!
Well rested, the following day we went on a sightseeing trip with Morgan, to Bologna which has at its heart, a fabulous medieval city. It's a bustling place filled with magnificent churches and historic buildings, including the oldest university in the world where Morgan learnt his English. Add to this its many colonnades often with highly decorated ceilings, narrow cobbled streets and fine squares heaving with typical Italian cafe life, it would take more than a one day tour to do this city justice. However, with Morgan's proud explanations and clever guiding, he gave us a taster that will remain in our memories for a long time and certainly make us return in the future.
I would recommend this tour to anyone visiting this part of Italy or doing a city break in Bologna. I guarantee you will enjoy it as a wonderful introduction to the city and the countryside of Emilia-Romagna with all its splendid regional products.

2  Thank bluesmanLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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