About the tour: The Gastronomic Heart of Italy

With its roots tracing back to Ancient Rome, Italian cuisine is an essential part of the fabric of Italian culture. Join us as we explore and discover both the culture and cuisine of the northern gastronomic heart of Italy. From the delights of Tuscany to the Emilia-Romagna region, there’s an incredible array of both exciting and tantalisingly tasty experiences to enjoy. Sample the delicious Parma and Prosciutto ham before embarking on a discovery of the breathtaking city of Florence, enjoy a pasta-making experience and even a spot of wine tasting on this incredible culinary exploration.

Tour Includes

  • 11 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • 9 evening meals and 1 light lunch
  • Convenient local joining points

12 days from $2998 pp

Departure Dates

Once you have booked your tour either online, or by telephone ( 1300 811 500 ), you have the flexibility of how you pay off the remainder of your balance. You can:

  • Use our balance payment facility online to make and track your card payments. You can pay as much as you want up until your final due date or pay it all, the choice is yours.
  • Send payments via online banking.
  • Send payments via cheque.
  • Call us and make a card payment, either a small amount or as lump sum until your final due date.

Our contact and online banking payment details will be on your confirmation invoice to remind you of your choices.

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Tour Itinerary

Certain excursions are included in the price of your holiday. If you choose not to go on an included excursion, for whatever reason, no refunds will be made.
Yes, you will receive one with your Travel Documents, which are sent 7-10 days before departure.
We believe that our holidays may not be suitable for children under 8 years old however, we will consider individual requests on application. Customers aged 18 and under at the time of travel must be accompanied by an adult, parent or guardian aged over 18 years old.
You can check weather averages here.

    For your convenience, you may choose to start this tour in the UK or at the first city in Europe.

    Continue to our hotel in the Milan area for an overnight stay.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Today, we spend time in the picturesque city of Cremona. Famous for its finely crafted violins, Cremona has a charming historic centre, where beautiful medieval and Renaissance buildings are clustered around the Piazza del Commune.

    The Torrazzo is one of Europe’s tallest surviving, medieval brick towers that houses one of the world’s largest astronomical clocks.

    Following time at leisure we continue to our hotel in Montecchio Emilia for a seven-night stay.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Included Highlights

    • Cremona

    Spend the morning in the former royal city of Parma where, following an included sightseeing tour, you will have time at leisure to discover everything the city has to offer, including the French-inspired Palazzo Ducale, the wooden Teatro Farnese and the cathedral’s baptistery.

    We continue with a drive to Langhirano, located at the heart of Parma Ham country, where we will learn all about the production of one of Italy’s most recognisable food products.

    We will enjoy an included prosciutto tasting for those wishing to sample the local delicacy.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Included Highlights

    • Parma with Guided Sightseeing
    • Langhirano with Prosciutto Tasting

    Today we will travel to the Renaissance city of Florence, where there will be time at leisure to explore the endless historic sights.

    See the shops in and around the centuries-old Ponte Vecchio, or even have your portrait painted by one of the street artists who usually gather in the square next to the medieval Duomo (cathedral).

    During our visit, we will include a walking tour of the central market, where your guide will take you through the delightful streets of Florence, pointing out the major sights.

    We will also experience a pizza-making class at a local restaurant

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Included Highlights

    • Pizza Making Class
    • Florence Guided Walking Tour
    • Florence

    We begin the day in Bologna, home to one of the most exquisite and best-preserved historic districts in Europe, where we will enjoy a guided tour to introduce you to this beautiful city.

    The grand squares and elegant landmarks such as the ‘degli Asinelli’ and ‘della Garisenda’ towers, plus the San Petronio Basilica and the Neptune Fountain, make it a delightful place to explore on foot, and our local guide's informative commentary will reveal many of the stories behind the buildings and personalities which have shaped the history of this magnificent city.

    You will have time at leisure to explore before continuing to the medieval village of Dozza, known for its castle and archetypal decorated houses. This area is known for the production of Lambrusco, and we will end our day with a visit a winery to sample the wine.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Included Highlights

    • Bologna Guided Tour
    • Bologna
    • Dozza with Lambrusco Wine Tasting

    Spend the day at leisure, or join us on a visit to a family-run pasta-making business, where the owner and his wife will welcome you and show you around their surroundings, before we watch how the well-known pasta fresca is made by hand.

    We will also enjoy a classical lunch where we can taste both the pasta and wine from our visit.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Pasta Making Experience

    Optional Excursions

    Our optional excursions are a great addition to enhance your holiday experience and are highly recommended.
    2019 2020 2021
    • Pasta Making Experience
    The optional excursions will be available to book during your tour.
    Prices are per person and are subject to change. Payment will be in Euros (cash payments) or sterling (via card payments). Card payments are available on Luxuria and Silver Service only.

    Ferrara is a city that must be experienced. In every corner you will discover the character of a magnificent Renaissance capital.

    The historic district, surrounded by a 9 kilometre-long city wall, can only be visited on foot or by bicycle. The historic city centre has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995.

    In Ferrara, accompanied by a certified guide, we will visit the cathedral, the basilica and the medieval historic district.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Ferrara Guided Tour

    Included Highlights

    • Ferrara Guided Tour
    • Ferrara

    Today we travel to the beautiful town of Modena, known for its wide arcaded streets, large squares, attractive cathedral and Ghirlandia Tower.

    We include a sightseeing tour of the city before having time at leisure to explore.

    This afternoon we continue to the town of Maranello, where we visit the world-famous Ferrari Museum.

    We end the day with a visit to a local balsamic vinegar cellar to learn all about the traditional production techniques involved in the process to guarantee the quality of the vinegar, which like grappa, is based on grape must.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Included Highlights

    • Ferrari Museum - Maranello
    • Modena Sightseeing Tour
    • Modena
    • Balsamic Vinegar Cellar

    Today we visit the medieval city of Mantua. Considered one of the main artistic and cultural hubs of Northern Italy, it is renowned for both its delicious cuisine and its beautiful architectural splendour.

    With a local guide, explore the beauty of the cathedral, Palazzo Ducale and other impressive buildings of the UNESCO listed historical centre.

    This afternoon we continue to the idyllic hamlet of Valeggio sul Mincio, whose impressive 13th century castle is visible from miles away.

    Famous for its tortellini, we will get the chance to taste this meat-filled pasta dish before continuing to the Vipiteno area where we have an overnight stay.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Light lunch, Dinner
    Famous Valeggio sul Mincio Tortellini
    Tortellini Tasting

    Included Highlights

    • Mantua with Guided Tour
    • Valeggio sul Mincio with Tortellini Tasting

    To Belgium for an overnight stay.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    If you are leaving the tour in Europe, you will say farewell to the group after breakfast this morning. If you joined the tour in the UK, today you will return and continue to your original joining point.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    The Gastronomic Heart of Italy 12 days from $2,998pp

    Book online OR call our friendly travel advisers on:
    1300 811 500


    If you prefer, then you can join the tour at the hotel. To do this, we will require a copy of your passport for identification purposes and you must advise us at the time of booking.

    No reduction will be given if you should choose to do this.

    All hotel rooms benefit from private bathroom facilities.
    Some hotels have tea and coffee making facilities. Please check the tour pages for more information or call our Customer Service Department on 1300 811 500.
    Most hotels have a lift, please call our Customer Service Department on 1300 811 500 for more information.
    Some hotels have ground floor rooms. Please email for information on individual hotels or call our Customer Service Department on 1300 811 500.
    Your hotels will supply towels in your room.

    We are unable to guarantee that the hotel will be able to meet your dietary requirements. We find that the majority of European countries do not generally cater for vegetarians and that the meal supplied may well be what everyone else is having minus the meat.

    We will of course endeavour to arrange for a vegetarian meal at the hotel. We do however suggest that you advise us of your dietary requests at the time of booking and recommend that you speak to the receptionist on arrival with regard to your request.

    You will stay for seven nights at the 4-star Hotel Conte Verde, located in Montecchio Emilia.

    Overnight stays in northern France, northern Italy and Belgium will be in city-style hotels.

    Travel Options

    Departure times given for each region are approximate. Please check your travel documents to confirm the actual timings.

    Front row seats can be reserved for $35pp (up to 6 days' duration), $55pp (7 & 8 days' duration) and $60pp (9 days' duration and over) on all European tours. This offer is only available for bookings of two or four persons on the front row and is subject to availability. In addition to this, seats on the second row can be reserved for $18pp (up to 6 days duration), $35pp (7 & 8 days duration) and $42pp (9, 10 and days duration) $50pp (12 days and over). Guaranteed front/second row seats cannot be reserved on transfer journeys to/from the interchange. Children under 15 years cannot occupy a front row seat due to French Law. Central view seats are free.

    Please note: On some coaches the legroom on front seats may be slightly less than that available on other seats due to the presence of a modesty board in front.

    If your tour is cancelled for any reason and front/second row seats are not available on your new tour, you will be refunded the supplement. No other compensation will be payable.

    Alternatively, we can take seating requests on your booking. However, requests are not guaranteed. All seat numbers are confirmed on travel documents approximately 7-10 days prior to departure.

    We guarantee that all passengers on the same booking will be seated together on the main tour coach. Seats on the transfer coaches to and from the interchange are not allocated.
    Hot and cold drinks are served on your main tour coach. Prices are approximately $1.80 or €1.25 Euro per drink. Prices will be confirmed by your driver.

    Transfer coaches are routed approximately 2-3 weeks before departure. The route taken depends on where passengers are booked to travel from on any particular date as to which route is taken. If you require further detailed information regarding the route to the port you can contact our Customer Service Department on 1300 811 500 two weeks before you are due to travel. With regard to the route taken by the main tour coach, this is determined by the driver.

    With regard to the route taken by the main tour coach, this is determined by the driver.

    All main tour coaches have on-board toilets. Transfer vehicles to and from the interchange may not have on-board toilets. When non-British coaches are used on transfers and tours, an on-board toilet may not be available. However, comfort stops will be made during long journeys.
    All coaches feature air-conditioning.
    All our coaches and transfer vehicles operate a 'no smoking on board policy'. The use of electronic cigarettes is strictly forbidden.
    In the interest of fellow guests, do not take hot food or ice cream on board.
    Alcohol can only be taken on board our vehicles at the discretion of your driver.
    Depending on the location of your pickup point, you may be picked up by coach (not necessarily the on you are touring on), minibus, taxi, National Express or Megabus service. If joining in the UK, you may then be taken to another centralised pickup location or service station. We operate a passenger interchange at Stop 24 Services, where you will meet the tour coach you are holidaying on and then continue on with your outbound journey. Similarly, on the way home, you may also change transfer vehicles at another location, to take you to your final drop off point.
    Your allowance is one medium sized suitcase per person, which should weigh no more than 20kg when full. We may refuse to carry larger or heavier cases. Hand luggage should be stored in the overhead racks aboard the coach. Nothing should be stored under your seat.

    When it comes to getting you to your destination, McLachlan European Holidays make it easy, with a selection of travel options for you to choose from.

    Silver Service, refreshments

    Silver Service Features

    • Sit back and relax in specially-designed, deluxe reclining seats, with leather headrests, footrests and more legroom than standard coaches.
    • Enjoy the perfect temperature onboard with climate control.
    • Relax and have a chat in the spacious rear lounge.
    • Servery on board offering a range of refreshments.
    • Porterage* at most hotels, so you really don’t have to lift a finger.
    • Time flies with our onboard entertainment system.
    • With free personal headphones you can tune into the music channel, listen to the radio or watch DVDs.
    • Onboard toilet

    Silver Service Seating Plan

    Luxuria - Charging sockets

    Luxuria Features

    • Deluxe armchair-style seats with leather exterior, central arm rests with cup holders and retractable calf rests give you a more comfortable journey.
    • Every seat has its own, fully interactive, touch screen T.V. offering a wide choice of entertainment so you can control what you want to watch and when.
    • There’s also a selection of double and single seats, including four seats face-to-face with tables. And with a total of 5 single seats available, these are ideal for passengers travelling independently.
    • Plug sockets and USB points at each seat mean you can keep your devices fully charged throughout your journey.
    • Onboard toilet.

    Luxuria Seating Plan

    Luxuria Seating Plan