The Five Star Gastronomy Experience

4-day intensive course (our most popular)

Perched in the Appenines between Bologna and Modena lies a cosy award-winning Trattoria run by Alberto. His is a kitchen of tradition – refined Emilian authenticity, at times with a twist, the local produce of the Samoggia Valley, his exquisite use of white and black truffles and mushrooms and his passion and great knowledge of the local wines are the key to his international success. Not only this, but as one of the founding followers of the Slow Food movement, his credo that time and the seasons are of the essence – to produce the best ingredients for the best food, the seasons, the land and its animals should be respected.

Eggs on hay Digging for potatoes Tagliatelle and Tortelloni Trattoria - Manitortellini Black Pig & Piglets Cockerel Parmesan Trattoria Tortelloni Three little pigs Parmesan Raw Beef with Truffle Parmesan Egg & White Truffle Garlic Parmesan Icecream with balsamic Pasta Ricotta Cheese in Basket Sieves Tortelloni with Balsamic Parmesan
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  • "A heartfelt thank you, Helena, for organising a truly memorable weekend for my husband and myself. We enjoyed every aspect of the 5* Gastronomy Experience from the wonderful meals to the pasta-making with Anna, tasting the difference between the Balsamic Vinegars and the truffle hunt. I could go on and on. Non of this would have been possible without your organisation, but what made it really special was your personal touch."

    Pier T. United Kingdom
    The 5* Gastronomy Experience

  • "Thank you once again VERY much for looking after us on our trip and for organising everything so perfectly. We spent a fantastic two days discovering the incredible food and the incredible cars. The fact that you accompanied us on our trip to Lamborghini made it even more special. The wives were also happy….which is the most important thing, even if they didn’t want to experience the exhilarating experience of a drive in a Lamborghini. Once again, thank you, thank you."

    Roman Z. Czech Republic
    Lamborghini Test Drive, Museum Visit & Food Tour

  • "What can I say but wow! We guys were supposed to be driving the Ferraris and our ‘gals’ were supposed to be cooking. It all got turned upside down – but in the best way possible. I am so glad you persuaded us to join in the cooking classes as they were great fun. We learnt so much, especially about the Balsamic Vinegars. I will never look at a bottle at the supermarket in the same way again. Thanks for making it a perfect couple of days for us. "

    Michel D. USA
    Ferrari Test Drive, Cooking with Barbara and Valeria, Balsamic Visit

  • "On behalf of the group, I would like to thank you so much for organising one of the most fascinating, instructive and creative days ever. The day truffle hunting and cooking with truffles was a total revelation. Now we can really appreciate why truffles are so costly. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us, Helena, we are so much ‘gastronomically’ richer for the experience, especially since we work in the restaurant industry. It was really special. Thank you again. "

    Jutta B. Switzerland
    The Famous Truffle Hunt

  • "You have no idea how wonderful it was to surprise my wife with the 5* Gastronomy Experience and how thrilled she was with this kind of ‘full immersion’ into the food of Emilia. The organisation of all the Ham, Parmesan and Balsamic visits as well as the cookery courses was more than professional, because there was always some small detail and a personal touch that was prevalent throughout. It is an experience we will treasure forever. Thank you, thank you."

    Patrick & Wyn H. United Kingdom
    The 5* Gastronomy Experience

  • "Thank you so much for organising the ‘Mastering Gelato’ course for my family, which was fantastic. The accommodation with Cristina and Umberto was lovely and the views stunning. We are all ‘gelato’d’ out at home – our daughters are so enthusiastic and our kitchen has almost become a gelato-making laboratory! I wish we had stayed longer and done the full day course, but I guess it’s a great excuse to come back!"

    Miranda R. United Kingdom
    Mastering Gelato

  • "An incredible experience! Delicious food! Amazing wine! I had never heard of the Bologna wines, but I have to say they are a revelation. I have ordered 4 cases of Pignoletto from the wine cellar we visited and I really look forward to opening them and sharing them at my birthday party shortly. Brilliant organisation and a wealth of knowledge. Next time I’ll be back for a few more days for an altogether ‘deeper’ experience. Thank you."

    Matthias & Rosa F. Germany
    Wines of the Bolognese Hills

  • "The Emilia experience was a rare treat. Your knowledge of the foods, products and wines of the region as well as your passion and enthusiasm are praiseworthy, Helena. The whole experience felt truly exclusive and getting to see that famous rock-group that my kids like at the Lamborghini factory and take a photo was just the best. We’ll be back to get our hands on those eggs and flour soon!"

    Marty & Mari D. USA
    Lamborghini Factory Tour, Parmesan, and Balsamic Tour

  • "We just wanted to say how much fun we had doing the Classic Emilia cooking course and also wanted to thank you for organising everything, down to the last detail, with such short notice. We really learnt some amazing recipes and my Bolognese sauce or ‘Ragù’ has taken on a whole new lease of life. I would love to come back with a group of friends and organise a longer and more in-depth food experience. Keep us posted on what you’re doing! Thanks again."

    Belinda S. United Kingdom
    Classic Emilia Cookery Course

  • "We know you organise lots of these various courses and experiences, but we wanted to thank you for making us make feel unique and special during our two day stay in the Bologna hills. Your knowledge of all the foods and products is amazing, but most of all, the attention to your guests is so personal it is almost as though you are personalising everything at every moment to how we are feeling and reacting. We are getting older, so don’t know if another European trip is on the cards, but we will certainly spread the ‘Yummy Italy’ word among our friends."

    Deepak & Lydia S. USA
    The 5* Gastronomy Experience

  • "On behalf of my group, thank you a hundred times for the perfect days we spent in Bologna and Modena. Driving the Ferraris into the hills was a totally exhilarating experience, eating the amazing food and (for those not driving) tasting the really delicious wines was wonderful. You are right, next time we’ll bring our wives so that they can learn how to cook the fantastic pasta! We’ll drive the cars again! See you soon!"

    Adriaan L., & company, Netherlands
    Ferrari rental, Wines of the Bolognese Hills

  • "Just to say how enlightening the ‘Taste of Yummy Bologna’ walking tour was. Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable and who knew that delicious pasta could be inspired by Venus’ navel and golden hair? The secret of Neptune in Piazza Maggiore was really funny too. Seriously though, this one day tour is a true full immersion of the best food in Bologna. Worth every penny and definitely a reason to come back and do a proper cookery course. Thank you."

    Betje & Frans K. & family, Netherlands
    A Taste of Yummy Bologna

  • "Organising my 50th birthday party in a Bolognese medieval tower was a risk that paid off. I am so glad that I listened to your advice. Thank you so much for organising a truly perfect event – a wonderful Bologna food tour, some amazing tastings, but most of all, all the tiny details that made it a truly memorable birthday weekend for my guests and myself."

    Arndt B. Germany
    Corporate Events

  • "My colleagues and I are all self-confessed wine snobs, but we were so glad you persuaded us to explore and taste the local wines. They were surprisingly good and should definitely get more publicity. Thank you so much for organising the Parmesan and Balsamic Vinegar visits too and the food tastings with the wine. The Balsamic, above all, was a true revelation and perfect for wine snobs such as myself and the group!"

    Jean-Marie T. & group, France
    Wines of the Bolognese Hills, Parmesan, and Balsamic Tour

  • "That’s it. We are hooked on truffles. What an awesome experience! Gianluca, the truffle hunter was so friendly and his wonderful dogs were incredibly talented. I’m so glad that we managed to find some truffles too. Thank you for explaining everything so thoroughly. We’ll be back to learn to cook with them soon! "

    Gary & Zelda G. USA
    The Famous Truffle Hunt

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The Five Star Gastronomy Experience offers you the possibility to take an in-depth look at how a world-famous Michelin star restaurant is run and will offer you an insight into how restaurant produce is selected, and see how a successful kitchen works. A fascinating insight, not because you will be a spectator, but because you will be able to participate in the kitchen’s activities, visit the restaurant’s suppliers in order to understand the quality of the ingredients and participate in the preparation of a typical menu.

You will be accompanied throughout your experience by an expert gastronomy guide who will be able to provide you with lots of fascinating information about the food of Emilia Romagna. (English/German/French only. Other languages on request).

Alberto has 7 beautifully and eclectically furnished rooms in his Luxury Design Inn located opposite the restaurant where you will stay as part of the experience.

Click Here for More Information

Day 1

Arrival at Bologna train-station or airport and transfer to the restaurant and design inn where you will settle in. If you have time, you can take a walk around this traditional Italian Apennine village famous for its truffles.

In the evening, your table will be ready and waiting for you to enjoy your Michelin-star ‘tasting’ menu with a bottle of one of the award-winning local wines.

Day 2


You will embark on your first visit to a local Parmigiano Reggiano DOP producer stopping off for breakfast on the way. The production of Parmesan cheese, an icon of Italian gastronomy, dates back to over 800 years ago when monks discovered a way to preserve the cheese made from the local milk for lengthy periods. You will see the entire production process from its humble beginnings as creamy milk through to the glorious golden wheels of the final product which bears the seal of the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium. You will taste the cheese at the various stages of maturation.

After the early morning Parmigiano Reggiano tour, you will be taken to see Alberto’s hand-reared, free-range prize-winning black pigs (which have been saved from extinction) which are eventually transformed into one of the most fragrant and delicious Prosciutti you will ever eat. The rearing and curing process will be explained as will the process by which various other traditional cured meats and products of the area are produced. Here you will have the opportunity to taste the various traditional cured meats of the area including salami, coppa, pancetta, etc.

Rest for lunch.


In the early afternoon it’s back to the Trattoria where you will don your apron and work together with Alberto to work on your menu of the day and study the recipes for your hands-on Michelin-star cooking experience. You will be helping out in the kitchen then learn to cook a traditional four-course traditional menu including antipasto, primo (pasta or rice course), secondo (meat/main course) and dolce (dessert) based on the ingredients selected throughout the morning.

After the intense efforts of the afternoon and early evening, sit down to dine on your menu and toast your achievements with a glass of a good local wine.

Day 3


After a leisurely breakfast, put on your walking shoes and head out with one of the area’s illustrious ‘Tartufai’ or truffle-hunters and his rigorously trained dogs to hunt for truffles at a secret location in the undergrowth of the forest. Depending on the season, the amount of rain and humidity and the generosity of the earth on that particular day, see how the dogs smell out the truffles. There is no guarantee you will find truffles and return empty handed, but if you are lucky, you may well return laden. The fun is in learning about how incredible nature is and in the hunt itself.

After your truffle hunt, keep on those walking shoes and visit one of the area’s award-winning vineyards and wineries. Here the owners will explain the wine-making process, the choice of grapes used and the characteristics of the various wines produced. You will also be able to taste the wines together with some typical local products.

Rest for lunch.


Take a break, put your feet up for an hour or sleep off the alcohol and be ready for an early-afternoon return to the Michelin-star kitchen where you will once again prepare the day’s menu and study the chef’s ingredients of the day. If you have been lucky enough to find some truffles, you will learn how to select them, clean them and include them in the day’s menu. If not, you will spend time making preparations in the kitchen and helping the chef put together and cook the menu with the day’s seasonal ingredients.

After the intense efforts of the afternoon and early evening, sit down to dine on your menu and toast your achievements with a glass (or several) of one of the wines produced by the winery you visited earlier in the day.

Day 4


A leisurely breakfast at the village café and it’s straight back to the Trattoria where you will once again don your apron, but this time accompanied by a rolling pin. You will be applying your creative and manual skills and, together with an expert ‘sfoglina’ or egg-pasta maker, you will learn how to hand-make traditional egg pasta such as tagliatelle, tortelloni, gnocchi, and the chef’s pasta choice of the day. Learn how to prepare the ingredients, whisk the flour into the egg on your wooden board, knead the dough and then finally roll it with a wooden rolling pin. You will also learn the ingredients for the traditional Tortelloni filling and how to fold the pasta into the traditional Tortelloni shape and learn to make exceptional gnocchi.

After the morning’s intense efforts you will most certainly deserve your pasta lunch which will be served with some of the sauces from the chef’s pantry followed by cured meats some vegetables and local wine selected by the chef.


Your final stop is an ‘Acetaia’ or the producer a Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. You will learn about why this product is unique to the Modena province of Italy and learn about the extremely complex production process. You will be able to visit the Vinegar attic and understand why it is so revered. Your visit will be followed by a tasting of the various maturations of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar. Finally, you will be able to compare the genuine product to what is traditionally found on supermarket shelves.

A complete immersion in the finest of the gastronomy that Emilia Romagna has to offer and, without doubt, the experience of a lifetime.

From June to December, courses are held from Tuesday to Thursday. From January to May, courses are held from Wednesday to Friday.

N.B. This schedule may vary (even at the last minute) due to weather conditions availability of suppliers or religious or local festivals. Should any variations take place, we will ensure that all activities are nevertheless carried out.