Sunday 06 May 2018

Full Board + Truffle Hunting
+ Excursions




LEARN TO COOK the Italian way by immersing yourself in Italian life and cuisine in Emilia Romagna, the renowned culinary region of Italy. Staying at the family owned and operated Hotel Al Vecchio Convento is authentic Italy at its very best! A little paradise in ‘La Valle del Montone’. Eating and cooking is a necessary component for the complete Italian experience, so please join us to discover some of their secrets ….

For a truly authentic Italian experience, we have found a beautiful  place in the heart of Emilia Romagna where  it is still possible to live like a local, learn about the history, eat traditional Italian food and during this particular tour, cook like an Italian too! You will be able to master some of the country’s most mouth watering dishes with all the flavour expected of Italian cuisine, preparing both local and classic dishes. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are provided every day, even when out and about in the countryside and on excursions.

In the beautiful surroundings of an old nineteenth century palace, the Hotel Al Vecchio Convento, we will have an amazing gastronomic week with five cookery lessons where you will learn the secrets of Italian cooking. Hidden away in the little medieval town of Portico di Romagna in Emilia Romagna , this lovely modern yet charming hotel is also an ideal base to discover and taste the wonderful wines, olive oils, cheeses and hams of this delightful region of traditional fare. You will spend the mornings preparing various dishes under the watchful eyes of the skilled chefs before testing and tasting your creations for lunch. Many of these dishes you will prepare are based on traditional recipes using local produce from the hotel’s own garden.

This eight day cuisine extravaganza also includes five afternoons of activities and excursions, many of them gastronomically related, but others giving you the opportunity to discover more towns, parks and ancient buildings of this magical corner of Italy. Hospitality is warm, friendly and genuinely welcoming and we will spend lots of time sampling wines, cheese, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The whole family have a passion for everything to do with Italian food and of course their local surroundings, which will be conveyed with enthusiastic and entertaining delivery during our stay.

In the cooking classes, we are introduced to typical, Italian recipes such as home-made pasta, risotto, truffle, mushrooms, home baked bread and pizza. Cooking lessons with Massimiliano and Matteao are hands-on and instructive, so you will come away with many new skills and Italian recipes oozing with a depth of flavour we all crave to master.From spring to autumn the hotel’s greenhouses supply the restaurant with fresh picked produce.

During our stay you will enjoy a week of laughter, good food & wine and the inevitable mid-week party. Wonderful excursions, shopping at fresh markets, walks through forests truffle hunting and visits to local wine and food producers. 8 days of heaven! We will visit Ravenna, known for its superb Byzantine Mosaics, Portico and Modigliana. You will have the opportunity to visit traditional producers of Parmigiano Reggiano, extra virgin olive oil, Prosciutto di Parma, aged balsamic vinegar plus other specialties and handcrafted products of the regions. You name it and we will probably be doing it!

The Al Vecchio Convento is a beautiful family run hotel in a renovated 19th century palace with one of the best traditional restaurants in Romagna.  Al Vecchio Convento is an Albergo Diffuso, which best can be translated to “Spread out Hotel”, situated in the historical centre of a medieval village, Portico di Romagna, in the Appennine hills between Florence and Ravenna in Tuscan Romagna.

Staying in a spread out hotel means living the town from within, having as neighbours the houses with the local inhabitants and not just hotel-rooms with tourists. Living with the village also means leaving behind stress and letting yourself being absorbed by the more relaxed rythm of local life.

The hotel has just 16 bedrooms all with en-suite facilities, furnished in traditional period wood furniture with terracotta. All the rooms are spacious and comfortable with ensuite facilities, complete with TV and tea/coffee making facilities. Hotel rooms are located in the centre of Portico di Romagna, with 9 rooms in the main building, where you also find the restaurant, and 6 in the annexe, just 50 metres from the main building. A REAL Italian experience.

The rooms are furnished with the original 18th Century furniture, all with bathroom and the following modern facilities:

  • wi-fi
  • lcd tv and telephone
  • electric kettle for tea and coffee
  • we offer laundry service

The culinary region Emilia Romagna
The ‘land of plenty’ is known for its delicious flavoursome produce and authentic Italian dishes. Emilia-Romagna is considered one of the richest regions of Italy with regards to its gastronomic and wine-making tradition. It is famous for its egg and filled pasta made with soft wheat flour. The capital, Bologna, is notable for pasta dishes such as tortellini, lasagne, gramigna and tagliatelle and are now found in many other parts of the region, but in different declinations.
The Romagna  subregion is also known for pasta dishes like gargenelli, strozzapreti, sfoglia lorda and tortelli alla lastra. In the Emilia subregion, except Piancenza which is heavily influenced by the cuisines of Lombardy, rice is eaten to a lesser extent than it used to be. Polenta, a delicious maize-based dish, is common both in Emilia and Romagna and the celebrated balsamic vinegar is made only in the Emilian cities of Modena and Reggio Emilia, following legally binding traditional procedures. Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan Cheese) is produced in Reggio Emilia, Parma, Modena and Bologna and is much used in Italian cooking, while  Grana Padano variety is produced in the rest of the region.

Personal Travel Insurance
Drinks with dinner each evening (payable locally)
Discretionary gratuities
Italian City Tourist Tax – if required (typically €1-€6 pppn)

NB. For mutual comfort, a max of 15 passengers apply to this exclusive Solent Events Tour. To avoid disappointment, please book your place as soon as possible.

See the itinerary below for your 8 days of Italian heaven!

£1595 pp


Luxury Return Coach Travel to
a London airport

Only FOUR local pick-ups

Personal Travel Treats

UK Airport Lounge if available

Return scheduled flights
and transfers

Hotel Al Vecchio Convento,
Portico Romagna

7 nights full board with
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
each day

Excursions and cooking classes
as per itinerary

Solent Events Escort

MAXIMUM 15 passengers

DEPOSIT: £150pp

Single Supplement: £110pp



For your peace of mind and financial protection, our holiday has been arranged 
with Success Tours, who are fully bonded.

View the Itinerary

An Exclusive Solent Events Tour!

Proposed Itinerary (Flights & Final itinerary TBC)

Sunday – Day 1 – We have a very early morning start from our chosen pick-ups and luxury mini-coach transfer to Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport. Relax and take breakfast in an airport lounge, before our 08:00 BA scheduled flight to Bologna.

11:10 (local time) On arrival in Bologna we will be met for our  mini-coach transfer to the pretty village of Portico Romagna and our lovely hotel – the Al Vecchio Convento. A welcoming drink and lunch will be served before relaxing and settling in. (Transfer approx 1.5 hours)

Monday – Day 2 – We start our exciting gourmet week with the basics – an authentic pasta and sauce cooking session in the morning with our home-cooked lunch to enjoy before we venture out to a vineyard for wine and olive oil tasting.

Tuesday – Day  3 – This morning we go into the surrounding forests for a spot of truffle hunting with our hunter guide and chef extraordinaire  Matteo and his dogs. After lunch we experience our second cooking lesson with the master chef, who will no doubt be using the truffles the dogs found for us!

Wednesday – Day 4 – Today we have a full day excursion to the beautiful city of Ravenna, known for its superb Byzantine Mosaics.

Thursday – Day 5 – Our third cooking session takes place this morning followed by a walking tour of Portico after lunch. A traditional Italian Buffet with music will be served in the evening.

Friday – Day 6 – Our fourth and fifth cooking lessons will take place today, including cake and pastry making after lunch.

Saturday – Day 7 – A visit to Agriturismo to see the cheese production in the morning, followed by a visit to Modigliana for the ultimate chocolate tour.

Sunday – Day 8 – A farewell breakfast will be served this morning before leaving for the beautiful city of Bologna to explore and enjoy FREE time for a relaxing Sunday lunch, the Italian way!

16:30   Short 30 minute transfer to Bologna Airport for our 18:50 flight home.

20:10   Arrive London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5
20:45   Meet our Luxury Mini-Coach for transfer home
22:30   Arrive home area

ARE YOUR TASTE BUDS TWITCHING? If so, please do join us!

See booking form below.



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