Emilia Romagna and Marche, two regions, many different worlds
With this tour you will discover two regions still relatively unknown outside of Italy and their many attractions which will surprise you for their beauty, rich history, art treasures and impressive Jewish heritage locations.
After a day visiting the beautiful and glamorous MILAN, we will venture into EMILIA ROMAGNA, the homeland of world famous Italian delicacies such as the Parmesan cheese and Balsamic Vinegar and home to supercar legends like Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini. It is a region full of art cities, lovely hamlets and landscapes. The city BOLOGNA, is home to one of the world oldest universities still active since 1088. Bologna houses the world’s oldest Torah scroll and impressive Jewish heritage locations. EMILIA ROMAGNA has the oldest sovereign Republic in the world–– the tiny SAN MARINO (abt 23 sq. miles), RAVENNA, ancient capital richly decorated by byzantine mosaics, PARMA with its stunning Duomo Square as well as art and music attractions, and places like FOSSOLI and MARZABOTTO worth visiting for their significance in relation to tragic events in WW2.
From Emilia Romagna we will then move to the MARCHE, a small and beautiful region which was at the heart of the pontifical owned territories which explains fully well the vicissitudes of the local Jewish communities. Here we will be visiting many of its sites included in the Unesco’s Heritage List: medieval and Renaissance villages and towns surrounded by lovely landscapes such as JESI, FERMO and URBINO, secluded Jewish heritage sites like MONTEGIORGIO and natural wonders like the FRASASSI caves and the CONERO Riviera.
Like any of our Tours it can be shortened or extended. For the latter option we invite you to have a look at all our Tours which, either partially or totally could be added to this tour.
We invite you also to check our list of 1 EXTRA DAY OPTIONS and ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES that are offered with each tour (extra cost to be advised upon request).
After visiting Italy’s beauties, if you might be interested in continuing your trip to Israel please bear in mind that we have a strong partnership with GO ASIA tour operator (https://www.goasia.it/destinazioni/israele/).
LOCATIONS INCLUDED IN THE TOUR:
Bologna; Soragna; Parma; Modena; Fossoli; Marzabotto; Castel Del Rio; Ravenna; San Marino; Gradara; Ancona; Urbino; Pesaro; Grotte di Frasassi: Jesi; Sirolo; Moresco; Fermo; Montegiorgio.
ELEMENTS OF INTEREST INCLUDED IN THE TOUR:
3)”Minor Italy”: places off the beaten path, but that are worth visiting for their beauty and their typical Italian characteristics and atmosphere;
4)Nature and landscapes;
5)World War II;
Arrival at Bologna airport.
After checking in to the hotel we will meet our guide and start our tour of the city.
Amongst the many nicknames given to Bologna one is “the towered city”. This name vividly illustrates the time in the middle ages when more than one hundred towers embellished its skyline. Nowadays only a few of these towers are still proudly standing for us to admire, which we will do when visiting its beautiful old downtown area! This area is full of outdoor arcades–– the medieval equivalent of nowadays malls, buildings, squares and much more. Our visit will take us to some Jewish sites such as the Jewish ghetto, the old synagogue (destroyed in 1944 by Allied bombings and rebuilt in 1954), the Jewish Museum and Palazzo Bocchi. Palazzo Bocchi is a Renaissance palace still showing on its façade 2 plaques over 400 years old added by the owner Achille Bocchi, one in Latin and one in Hebrew with Psalms 120:2. The latter was defaced during the Inquisition time. Then we will proceed either to the Medieval Museum where few Jewish gravestones of exquisite craftsmanship are on display or, in alternative, to the Jewish medieval cemetery. Last we will visit the ancient library of the oldest Western University established in 1088 where the oldest known Sefer Torah is preserved.
Dinner and overnight.
Breakfast at the hotel and departure for Soragna. Upon meeting with the guide we'll stroll through Soragna’s lovely old downtown on our way to the Meli Lupi Citadel. The Meli Lupi Citadel was built in 1385 over a pre existing fortress by the Meli Lupi family who still owns it today. It is not just an imposing fortress with 5 towers, but it is also a lavishly decorated and frescoed grand mansion. We will then visit the beautiful synagogue built originally in 1584 right next to the Meli Lupi citadel, a sign of the protection enjoyed by the local Jewish community; the visit will continue to the adjacent museum “Franco Levi”.
Then we will head to Parma, the region’s capital city which is only a few miles away. We will start off from the beautiful Duomo square which has over 1000 years of history. We will then proceed to the nearby Palazzo della Pilotta called this, because of the “pelota” game the Spanish soldiers used to play in its courtyard. Here we will be able to visit 2 incredible sights: 1) the Teatro Farnese–– a beautiful theatre built in 1618 by the local ruler, Duke Ranuccio I Farnese, which for the time featured incredibly advanced scenic stunts and 2) the Galleria Nazionale which displays masterpieces of world renowned painters such as Beato Angelico, Leonardo da Vinci, Guercino, El Greco, Tintoretto, Tiepolo, Van Dick and many more. Packed lunches provided as we walk through the beautiful historic downtown area to visit another theatre. This theater is one of the lesser know music “temples” in the world, but it is comparable to more famous theatres like La Scala in Milan, La Fenice in Venice or the Opera in Paris: Parma’s Teatro Regio.
Then we will head to back to Bologna for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast we will start our one and half drive to San Marino, the oldest Republic in the world. San Marino was established in unmemorable times (most probably in the late 3rd century a.d.). Nowadays it is still an independent sovereign State though on Italian soil. It is the 3rd smallest state in Europe with its area being 23.55 sq. miles. Perched on top of a cliff, we will walk through its streets and arcades that offer incredible panoramic views all around, including the Adriatic sea coast. Packed lunch. From here we will be able to see our next destination: Gradara and its suggestive small hamlet and famous fortress perched right at its top. At the end of the visit we will return to Bologna for dinner and overnight.
At the end of our tour of Bologna we will drive to Marzabotto, a secluded location on the Appennini mountains (which are also called also “the backbone of Italy” since they span North to South throughout Italy). One of the worst massacres of civilians occurred here. It was carried out by nazi troops in 1944 in retaliation to the local partisans activities. Packed lunch.
From here we will drive through the Appennini to reach an even more secluded location, Castel del Rio. It stands right on the “Gothic Line”, the powerful fortified defensive line built by the German Army across central-northern Italy. It was built during the final stages of the Second World War with the intention of stopping the advance from the south of the American troops after their landing in Sicily. We will visit the local “war museum” where on display are a lot of artifacts and memorabilia from the battles fought along this defensive line.
Return to Bologna for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast we will drive to Modena, a beautiful town with a very pleasant and elegant historic center. We will leisurely walk around and look at its beautiful buildings, old arcades and monuments, arriving at the impressive synagogue beautifully located in one of the city’s squares. This square was built around one of the areas of the old ghetto demolished after the unification of Italy in 1859. Modena is also home to some of the most iconic supercars brands like Ferrari and Maserati and the world famous culinary delicacies: Balsamic vinegar.
Then we will drive to nearby Fossoli. Here in 1942 the German and Italian armies built a camp for the Allied PoW. In 1943, after the fall of Mussolini and the Fascist regime it was turned by the into a concentration camp for partisans, politicals and Jewish prisoners all to be sent to the exterminatuion camps in Germany and Poland. We will visit the concentration camp area and its museum.
Return to Bologna for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast and check out we will drive to Ancona, the capital city of the Marche. It’s where there is the first documented presence of Jews, tracing back to the 900 a.d. (although their presence must date back even earlier).
Upon arrival and checking into the hotel we will visit the main attractions of the city, including the Jewish ghetto area and the “Levantine Synagogue” and the “Italian Synagogue” both located in the same building. We will then return to the hotel for Shabat preparation, Shabat dinner and overnight.
Breakfast at the hotel. Shabbat prayers at one of the Synagogues if it is open or if a minyan is available. We will then have Shabbat lunch at the hotel. The rest of the day will be free. In the evening, dinner will be served at the hotel. After dinner we will take a pleasant stroll in lovely Sirolo, located only a 20 minute drive from Ancona. Sirolo is a medieval town perched on top of the white cliffs overlooking the seacoast and considered the pearl of the Conero Riviera.
After breakfast we will leave for Urbino, a Renaissance gem.
Here we will visit its world famous and iconic Palazzo Ducale which inspired “Star Wars”’s Naboo Palace. wE We will also visit the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, an impressive art gallery inside the Palace where are on display many art works collected in the Marche region after the reunification of Italy in the XIX century. Then we will proceed to visit the House of Raffaello one of the most iconic artist of the Renaissance period. After our packed lunch we our visit will take us to the Jewish sites: the ancient synagogue which existed prior to the establishment of the Ghetto. This Ghetto was where Jews from Urbino and 8 other minor centers were forced to dwell in 1633. The synagogue was then built inside this Ghetto, and the gorgeously decorated Aron HaKodesh in Renaissance style of the ancient Synagogue is now on display in the Jewish Museum in New York.
We will then proceed to Pesaro, a lovely city by the sea and the birthplace of the famous composer Gioacchino Rossini. We will first visit Villa Imperiale, an impressive Renaissance holiday Villa with incredible frescoed rooms, corridors and beautiful gardens. It was built by the Sforza family and through the centuries owned by other famous Renaissance families such as the Della Rovere and the Medici, each one of which made sure to add its touch to both the Villa and its gardens. The Villa is located on the hills above Pesaro, now a protected natural area. From here we will be able to enjoy a birds eye view of the surrounding countryside, the Sibillini mountains to the west and Pesaro and the Adriatic sea and coast to the east. After our packed lunch, we will descend to Pesaro where we will walk through the alleys and the squares of its old town. Here we will visit the area of the Jewish ghetto created in 1214 in the town's most insalubrious area, the Sepharadic Synagogue and what is left of the once lavish Italian Synagogue. The decor of this synagogue nowadays embellishes several synagogues throughout the world. Time allows, for the opera and the bella musica buffs, there will be the possibility of visiting Gioacchino Rossini’s house and the beautiful Theater dedicated to him. At the end of the day, and before returning to Ancona, we will enjoy an Italian style aperitif either in one of the bars around the Renaissance square Piazza del Popolo or along Pesaro’s seaside.
Return to Ancona for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast we will drive to Genga, a small picturesque medieval village perched on top of a hill. We will enjoy a relaxed walk through its typical alleys with little shops while enjoying the typical atmosphere. Very close to Genga are also the Caves of Frasassi, a natural and magical wonder filled with stalactites and stalagmites with incredible shapes. After the visit to the caves we will be reaching Jesi, a city founded almost 3,000 years ago. It is the birthplace of 2 important characters: Emperor Federico II of Svevia and Giovanni Battista Pergolesi. Emperor Federico II of Svevia was a wise and farsighted giant of his time who was able to bring together the Greek, Latin, Christian and Arab cultures. At the head of a Crusade expedition, he was able to obtain control of Jerusalem without a fight, but only through negotiations and cultural exchanges with the then Sultan of Egypt. Giovanni Battista Pergolesi was a music composer born in Jesi whose influence in the music history spans from Johann Brahms to Igor Stravinskj – his is the iconic and moving “Stabat Mater”.
Today Jesi is an Unesco site with a perfectly preserved historic center and XV century city wall all around the old town, where middle age and Renaissance blend beautifully together. As usual, we will be first walking along the old walls and through its streets and piazzas to savour its atmosphere. Then we will start the actual visit to specific sites. These will include Piazza Federico II where the future Emperor was born, Piazza Coloci and its impressive Palazzo della Signoria, the Theatre Pergolesi lavishly frescoed and decorated, Palazzo Pianetti with its art gallery and vaulted plastered corridor where masterpieces of Lorenzo Lotto are on display and the area of the old Jewish ghetto.
After lunch we will drive to Sirolo, the pearl of the Conero riviera, for a stroll in the daylight and to enjoy the sea views and a drink or an ice cream in the village piazza.
Short drive back to Ancona for dinner and overnight.
The whole day will be dedicated to a cruise along the Conero riviera, bathing in the open sea or cosy coves and relaxing on the boat or on some of the Riviera’s beaches.
Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast we will be leaving for Moresco, a small village of about 600 inhabitants built on top of a steep hill and the origin of which dates back around the year 1000 a.d.
It is an extremely picturesque village that seems frozen in time, intact not only in its architectural layout, but also in the atmosphere that you breathe when you visit it. Perched on top of a hill and surrounded by a gorgeous countryside it offers beautiful photo opportunities with its peerless views of the surrounding. On a clear day you can see the Albanian coast to the east across the Adriatic sea and the Gran Sasso mountain, the highest of the Appennini range with its 8,100 ft over 100 miles down south.
From here we will move to nearby Montegiorgio where Jews used to live and work mostly as tanners. Here we will walk through the old town center and visit the old tannery, ghetto areas and the Farfense Chappel. In this chappel there are frescoes illustrating episodes of the old and new Testaments depicting the Jews, as by Christian tradition of the time, in a negative light. As a curiosity: in the nearby town of Urbisaglia was born Lucio Flavio Sinna, the Roman general who at the head of the X th legion conquered Masada. Packed lunch.
Then we will reach Fermo, founded by the Romans with its unique medieval layout made of narrow alleys that all of sudden open up in the open space of a square, tall buidings (for medieval standards) and its shopping “boulevards”. We will visit Piazza del Popolo, Palazzo Priori and its stunning “Globes” hall and art gallery, the underground Roman water tanks built in the 1st century b.c. to ensure water supply to the city and to finish our visit with the retrò/liberty Teatro dell’Aquila.
Return to Ancona for dinner and overnight.
After checking out from the hotel and before reaching Bologna we will stop in Fabriano, a lovely town where we will take a walk to enjoy the atmosphere, views and architectural layout of its Piazza del Comune and the surrounding maze of streets and alleys. In addition Fabriano features 2 quite unique museums worth visiting: the Paper Museum celebrating Fabriano’s 700 plus years in this craft and the Pianoforte Museum. Here on display are 18 unique antique instruments showing the evolution that ends with the final creation of the piano as we know it today invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori in 1700. On some of these instruments a musician will play music that was specifically composed for them by famous composers such as Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. Packed lunch in one of the lovely corners of this town after which we will back on the bus for the drive to Bologna, our final destination and last night before departure.
Breakfast, check out and departure for Bologna airport.
Tariff per person, starting from:
|Departure||2 participants||4 participants||6 participants|
|From 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2023||€ 5,900||€ 4,000||€ 3,300|
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCES (we are open to satisfy any additional request you might have):
1) For Opera and Giuseppe Verdi lovers a trip to his lovely home town Busseto;
2) VISIT TO MANTUA or FERRARA (1 day each): two Renaissance pearls who had once flourishing Jewish communities. Ferrara also hosts the MEIS, one of the largest Jewish museums in Europe;
3) VISIT TO VERONA, city of Romeo and Juliet
4) GARDALAND or MIRABILANDIA (one day each), amusement parks the first on Lake Garda, the latter near Ravenna, with attractions for both children and adults;
5) Visit to beautiful Osimo and its incredible underground city dating 2,500 years;
6) Do you fancy anything else ? We can probably satisfy your request.
7) Concert or opera at the Verona Roman arena OR at the world renown La Scala Theater in Milan OR at the Giuseppe Verdi’s Busseto hometown theatre OR at the magnificent Teatro Regio in Parma (all in season);
8) Visit to the Ferrari factory and museum with the possibility of a drive test; 9) Visit to the Lamborgini factory and museum with the possibility also of visiting its assembly line; 10) Shopping spree in a brand outlet;
11) GO KARTS/QUADS/BICYCLING/SURFING OR SAILING ON THE LAKE/PAINT BALL
12) A day hiking on the magic Sibillini Mountains where nature, history and mistery meet;
13) Concert or opera at the one of the theaters visited during our tour in the Marche: Theater Gioacchino Rossini in Pesaro, Theater Pergolesi in Jesi and Theater dell’Aquila in Fermo (all in season);
KOSHER MEALS: starting from 1.100€ per person. Full-board with kosher certified pre-packaged meals, throughout the whole trip.
The tariff includes
The tariff does not include
Duration: 11 days / 10 nights
from € 2390 - Excluding flights
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
from € 1680 - Excluding flights
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
from € 1400 - Excluding flights
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
from € 2000 - Excluding flights
Vercelli is one of Piedmont’s nine provinces, the region of origin of the Italian Royal house of the Savoia. The earliest written traces of a Jewish presence in Vercelli date back to 1466. They were engaged in jobs usually allowed to Jews at that time, including money lending following a license provided by the Savoia […]
The small hamlet of Pitigliano is also known as “the small Jerusalem”, a clear indication of the fact that for many centuries the Jewish population was an integrated and welcomed part of the village and welcomed by the local population. The walls surrounding Pitigliano are of Etruscan origin and have been expanded and strengthened in […]