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Italygate Unique Experiences

#18 of 29 Tours in Modena
Modena, Italy
About Italygate Unique Experiences
Discover the process behind the delicious flavor of Parmigiano Reggiano on a guided tour. Meet the makers and see the cheesemaking process on an exclusive tour, then sample this classic Italian treat.
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BestOfTheBest wrote a review Mar 2018
Petersfield, United Kingdom24 contributions8 helpful votes
From my first contact with Riccardo (who promptly responded to an enquiry I posted on the Bologna forum page), everything about the service provided by Italygate was professional, courteous and faultless. I wanted a private tour from Bologna for 2x couples, to include a dairy visit & tasting of the parmigiano reggiano cheese, a visit to the Museo Ferrari in Maranello with lunch at the famous Ristorante Cavallino (where Enzo Ferrari had his lunch most days), some time for shopping in Maranello's enormous Ferrari Store, plus a visit to an acetaia (a traditional balsamic vinegar producer). Riccardo quickly put together an itinerary for me and created a secure weblink on Italygate's wesbite where I could make payment. Being so impressed with the service, I also asked Riccardo to arrange an airport transfer for us, which was done equally efficiently. On arrival in Bologna, our driver was waiting for us in the arrivals area and our transfer into the centre of Bologna was smooth. The following day, the same driver returned with Riccardo - who was to be our guide for the day - and drove us first to the dairy, the Caseificio Sant'Angelo, where Riccardo led a tour of the production facility and shared his immense knowledge of the manufacturing process. The storage facility is quite something to behold, with shelf after shelf contaning wheels of cheese quietly ageing whilst stacked 21 high! After the dairy visit we were driven to a nearby farm shop, which sold only local produce, where we tasted 12m, 24m, 36m, 72m and 84m matured parmigiano along with fresh ricotta and many other cheeses we'd never heard of before. All simply amazing. Having purchased cheeses to take home, we were back onto our minivan for the drive to Maranello - the home of Ferrari. On arrival in Maranello, we had a tour of the Museo Ferrari (which I had last visited in 2001 so it was interesting to see what had changed in that time), where again Riccardo gave us much information about the history of the cars and the man. Next was lunch ... 4 courses with local wine. Again I last visited here last in 2001 but again, the food was excellent - probably the best meal we had over our 3 night stay. After lunch we crossed the road into the giant Ferrari Store, where it would have been easy to spend a few hours and a LOT of money, but we restrained ourselves and got back on the minivan for the drive to the acetaia Leonardi. On arrival at the acetaia Leonardi, we were welcomed and taken on a tour of the building's loft areas, where the balsamic vineagar sits mauturing in small barrels. Our guide explained the manufacturing and ageing process, where we learnt that the vinegar spends time in each of seven different kinds of wood barrel, each adding something unique to the flavour, before ending up in oak. And then came the tasting of 3, 5, 10, 20 and 100 (yes one hundred!) year old balsamico. At this point we learnt that Leonardi's balsamic was served at Prince William & Kate's wedding and is also being prepared for Prince Harry & Meghan's wedding. Enough said! Leonardi vinegar is currently only sold in the UK in Harrods, although they are talking to Waitrose apparently. Back downstairs in the shop, we were given further samples of other balsamic vinegars (who knew there were so many varieties? Ages yes but varieties no). So now we know what to look for on labels in supermarkets at home to avoid buying the nasty stuff we get here. #AbsoluteBalsamicHeaven We also sampled the sparkling red lambrusco wine ofthe region (lambrusco having undergone a renaissance and being almost exclusively ruby-red and a lot drier than the awful sweet stuff you might remembered it for!). Leonardi also produce chocolate infused with balsamico but having sampled so many rich flavours already that day, we declined. Having made our respective purchases it was back onto the minvan for our return journey to our hotel in Bologna. We all thoroughly enjoyed the day and could find no fault with the service given by Riccardo or our driver, so it is without compunction that I recommend Italygate to anyone seeking tour services in / around Bologna and Modena. Italygate will organise anything you wish, be it just a dairy or acetaia visit, or bolt many things together as we wanted. They can also arrange dream car drives (Ferrari & Lamborghini) in Maranello - something we didn't do, as we are Ferrari owners ourselves. :)
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Date of experience: March 2018
2 Helpful votes
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