Italian Culinary Quests: Bologna, Florence, Naples & Sicily
Embark on an unforgettable 11-day Italian Culinary Quest, exploring the gastronomic delights of Bologna, Florence, Naples, and Sicily.
There are countless reasons why Italy is considered one of the world’s top foodie destinations. On this 11-day (and 10-night) trip through the country, you will see and taste for yourself why this is the case.
Not only will you visit Florence and Naples, two of Italy’s most famous cities, for fantastic food, but we will also take you off the beaten path and show you some of the country’s most delectable hidden gems in Bologna in Northern Italy, as well as Taormina on the southern island of Sicily. We hope you will bring your appetite because this trip is full of culinary quests for you to conquer and savor!
Upon arrival at Florence Airport, we will pick you up and transport you to the beautiful city of Bologna, where you will check into your hotel and where you will explore for the next couple of days.
Bologna may not be Italy’s most famous city, but it’s actually one of Europe’s most influential culinary hotspots. After all, it’s where Bolognese sauce and Bologna sausage originated, and it’s the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region that’s highly regarded for its many culinary masterpieces.
For your second day, we will pair you with an experienced local guide and send you on a food and market tour to discover the tastes and traditions of Bologna.
On this tour, you will visit places that most tourists tend to miss, including the Mercato delle Erbe, Mercato di Mezzo, and Piazza Maggiore.
You will also stop at the oldest pastry shop in town that’s beloved by locals, try some local cheese while meeting the family who make it, see fresh pasta being made right on the spot, and even check out one of Bologna’s oldest bars!
On day 3, you will head back to Florence. We will provide a private car transfer from your hotel in Bologna to Florence, where you will check into your new hotel in town.
Once you get settled at the hotel, you will head back out for an afternoon walking tour highlighting the best of Florence. With a local expert guide by your side, you will learn the backstory behind the famed Ponte Vecchio bridge, enjoy expedited entry to the Duomo Cathedral, stop at the Baptistery to check out the Gates of Paradise, and skip the line at the Accademia Gallery to find Michelangelo’s iconic David sculpture.
The next day, you will head out to the Tuscan countryside. Your driver and guide will pick you up in an air-conditioned vehicle, and you will drive to Siena to do a special walking tour of the old city, including the historic cathedral and the site of the famous Palio horse race.
From there, you will head to the town of Chianti to tour a local wine cellar, taste some authentic Chianti wines, and enjoy lunch on the terrace with fantastic views of the countryside.
Your tour will conclude with a journey to San Gimignano, where you will explore one of the region’s best-preserved medieval villages, and you will likely have some free time to shop for souvenirs, grab some snacks, and/or see more of the town.
On the fifth day, you will experience more of Florence—specifically, you will do a local food tour! With a local guide, you will tour the Mercato di Sant'Ambrogio, one of Florence’s finest food markets, to discover the freshest local produce, learn how to cut meat the Florentine way and sample some phenomenal local cheeses.
You will also try some almond biscotti at a local bakery, and you will try some gelato at a shop that a local family has been running for over 90 years.
On day 6, you will have to depart Florence, but many more delicious discoveries await you. We will pick you up at your hotel and transport you to the train station, where you will catch the train and enjoy a scenic ride down to Naples.
At Naples, we will transport you to your new hotel, where you can check in, get settled, and enjoy the evening as you please.
The following day, you will learn the many savory secrets of Naples’ most famous creation: pizza!
Throughout this tour, you will have the unique opportunity to speak with local pizzeria owners and chefs about the pizzas they make, and you will taste for yourself the magic of true Neapolitan pizza at two pizzerias.
You will also visit a fresh produce shop and a neighborhood grocery store to sample the ingredients that locals use to make simple pizzas that taste so great.
For the ninth day, you will head farther south and make your way to the sunny island of Sicily. Upon checkout from your hotel in Naples, we will transport you to the airport, and you will catch a flight to Catania.
At Catania Airport, we will provide a private car transfer to your new hotel in the village of Taormina on Sicily’s east coast.
The next day, you will be cooking up a storm, as we will pair you with a local guide and send you to the ultimate Sicilian cooking class.
No matter your personal cooking skills, this special experience will help you better understand the traditions, the ingredients, and the people behind some of the tastiest dishes celebrated the world over.
This tour will include a visit to Taormina’s food market to sample the goods and select the ingredients you will use later that day.
You will then head to a local kitchen to learn from an expert how to make your own pasta, plus you will prepare some local fish and vegetable dishes, and you will get to eat your own creations and pair them with local wines!
For your final full day in Italy, you will do a private day tour of Sicily. You will start with a walking tour around Taormina, visit the famous Greek Theatre, and do a local wine tasting.
You will then embark on an excursion to Mount Etna, do an off-road experience at the Alcantara gorges, and enjoy some local wine and food.
You will also head to the city of Siracusa, tour the island city of Ortigia, check out the Cyclopes Riviera, and even visit Savoca and Forza d’Agrò to see where much of Godfather II was filmed!
After 10 days of amazing adventures across Italy, it’s time to wrap up this trip. To finish this trip on the right note, we will provide one more private car transfer to Catania Airport, where you should have plenty of time to catch your flight.
Thanks so much for touring Italy with us, and we’d love to show you around Italy and Greece again soon!
These are our top accommodation options for this trip. We only feature particular hand-picked hotels, which our team has carefully inspected. These hotels have received great feedback from our previous guests.
Discover the epitome of luxurious comfort and historical charm at Brunelleschi Hotel, where every moment becomes a timeless and unforgettable experience.
Elevate your stay in Florence to unparalleled heights at Glance Hotel, where captivating design, modern luxury, and a prime location converge for an unforgettable experience.
Indulge in the essence of timeless elegance and exceptional hospitality at Hotel Calimala, where every moment is a refined blend of luxury and comfort, creating an enchanting stay in the heart of Florence.
Indulge in the timeless charm of Florence while experiencing impeccable luxury at its finest by staying at Hotel Cerretani Firenze!
Elevate your Florence experience to new heights of elegance and sophistication by choosing to stay at Hotel Lungarno, where art, culture, and unparalleled views of the Arno River come together in perfect harmony.
Indulge in the epitome of luxury and hospitality at Hotel Spadai, where every moment is a captivating blend of comfort and elegance.
Discover true luxury and timeless elegance at Palazzo Castri 1874 - an exquisite haven where every moment is a masterpiece.
Indulge in an unforgettable retreat of luxury and relaxation at The Moon Boutique Hotel and Spa, where every moment is a celestial escape waiting to be experienced.
- Boutique 4-5* accommodation
- All private tours with excellent licensed guides, as described in the itinerary
- All private transfers with professional drivers and luxury vehicles
- All domestic and international flights/trains/ferries
- Skip the line entrance fees at all sites
- All taxes and VAT
- Meals, unless mentioned in the itinerary
- Personal travel insurance
- Personal expenses