Emilia Romagna, a region full of surprises between Lombardy and Tuscany
This is the perfect tour for whomever does not have much time to get a good glimpse of this lovely Italian region still quite off the international tourist map.
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), 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.
We will also spend a whole balmy day on gorgeous LAKE GARDA, not in Emilia Romagna, but, since it is so close, why miss the opportunity ?
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 to also 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:
Milan; Soragna; Parma; Modena; Fossoli; Bologna; Marzabotto; San Marino; Gradara; Sirmione (Lake Garda)
ELEMENTS OF INTEREST INCLUDED IN THE TOUR:
1) Jewish Heritage;
2) Art cities;
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;
6) Glamour/ shopping.
Arrival at Milano Malpensa. We will have a guided tour of Milan, one of the world capital cities of fashion and design. This metropolis is the capital city of Lombardy, seat of the Italian Stock Exchange and is famous for its exclusive restaurants and shops.
We will visit the central Synagogue of Milan, built in 1892 and the Binario 11 (Track 11) at the Central Station which in itself is quite an architectural feat. During WWII the Jews of the city and the surrounding areas were deported to concentration camps by trains leaving from this specific track. Strolling through the city’s downtown area we will visit its main attractions, such as the majestic gothic Duomo, whose roof top can be reached by elevator or on foot to enjoy, on a clear day, a fantastic view of the city spanning all the way to the Alps. We will also visit the elegant Galleria, the world famous La Scala Theatre (and eventually its Museum) and, time permitting, the “fashion quadrilateral”. Then we will take the bus to the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie which hosts the world famous fresco “The Last Supper” by Leonardo Da Vinci. Packed lunch; dinner at a kosher restaurant and accommodation at the hotel in the evening.
Breakfast at the hotel and departure for Soragna. Upon meeting with the guide we'll stroll through Soragna’s old downtown area 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 Modena for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast we will start our tour of 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.
We will then start our 2 hour 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 Modena for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast we will drive to Bologna where 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.
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.
Return to Modena for dinner and overnight.
Check out and after breakfast we will drive from Modena to nearby Fossoli. Here in 1942 was built a camp for the Allied PoW and, after the fall of Mussolini and the Fascist regime in 1943, it was turned into a concentration camp for partisans, politicals and Jewish prisoners to be sent across the Alps to the extermination camps.
Visit to the concentration camp area and its Museum.
From here we will then drive to Sirmione, one of the most beautiful and picturesque sites on Lake Garda. A guided tour of this beautiful town is planned. At the end of the visit we will take a boat trip on the Lake where we will admire a spectacular mix of architecture and nature: we will be skirting the peninsula of Sirmione and moving towards the Rocca di Manerba, a massive cliff on the southern part of Lake Garda. We will pass by the San Biagio and Garda islands and proceed towards the magnificent Costa Romantica between Salò and the Gardone Riviera. Time permitting, we will reach Gargnano, a lovely village that became the unlikely headquarter of Mussolini and his overturned Fascist government after the coup that, in 1943, brought the Badoglio government to sign an armistice with the Allied governments. Stop for packed lunch either on the boat or in one of the villages we will be skirting. After this break we will sail towards the Gulf of Garda to see the magnificent Villa Canossa. The tour will end back in Sirmione.
Drive to Milano for dinner either at one of the city’s kosher restaurants or at the hotel and overnight.
Breakfast, check out and departure for Malpensa airport.
Tariff per person, starting from:
|Departure||2 participants||4 participants||6 participants|
|From 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2023||€ 3,300||€ 2,100||€ 1,650|
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 THE CITY OF RAVENNA, former capital of the Byzantine Roman Western Empire and its beautiful mosaics and art features;
4) VISIT TO VERONA, city of Romeo and Juliet
5) GARDALAND or MIRABILANDIA (one day each), amusement parks the first on Lake Garda, the latter near Ravenna, with attractions for both children and adults;
6) Boat trip on GARDA LAKE;
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
KOSHER MEALS: starting from 470€ per person. Full-board with kosher certified pre-packaged meals, throughout the whole trip.
The tariff includes
The tariff does not include
Duration: 10 days / 9 nights
from € 3400
Duration: 17 days / 16 nights
from € 5590
Duration: 10 days / 9 nights
from € 3500
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