A Foodie's Dream: 9-Day Itinerary to Explore Italian Cuisine in Florence, Tuscany and Bologna

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Advisor - Bella Rose
Curated By

Bella Rose

  • Arts & Culture

  • Food & Wine

  • Italy

  • Florence

  • Local Food

  • Sightseeing

  • Outdoors

Aerial views of an Italian town and countryside.
Curator’s statement

This curated guide invites you to embark on a culinary journey through the heart of Italy, where gastronomic delights await at every turn. Immerse yourself in the vibrant food culture of Florence, savor the flavors of Tuscan countryside and indulge in the gastronomic wonders of Bologna, the food capital of Italy. From mouthwatering pasta dishes to exquisite regional wines, this itinerary is crafted to ensure an unforgettable experience for food enthusiasts seeking to discover Italy's gastronomic treasures.

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Day 1: Arrival in Florence

A bridge over a river

Arrive in Florence and settle into your accommodation.

Explore the historic city center, visit the iconic Florence Cathedral (Duomo) and enjoy a leisurely stroll along the charming streets.

Restaurant suggestion: Trattoria Mario - Indulge in authentic Florentine cuisine at this popular spot known for its delicious traditional dishes, including mouthwatering bistecca alla fiorentina (Florentine steak).

Day 2: Florence Food Tour

An array of gelato flavors behind a glass counter

Start the day with a food tour in Florence, where you'll visit local markets, sample Tuscan delicacies and learn about the region's culinary traditions.

Visit the Mercato Centrale, a bustling food market and indulge in a variety of Italian cheeses, cured meats, fresh pasta and gelato.

Restaurant suggestion: La Prosciutteria — Enjoy a casual yet delectable dining experience at this charming eatery, specializing in artisanal cured meats, cheeses and bruschetta.

Day 3: Day Trip to Chianti Region

Views over rolling hills of Chianti.

Take a day trip to the picturesque Chianti region known for its vineyards and olive groves.
Visit a local winery and enjoy wine tastings paired with traditional Tuscan dishes.

Explore the charming towns of Greve or Radda and savor the local cuisine at a traditional trattoria.

Restaurant suggestion: Osteria Le Panzanelle — Delight in rustic Tuscan cuisine prepared with fresh local ingredients while enjoying panoramic views of the rolling hills of Chianti.

Day 4: Florence to Bologna

Bologna city from above.

Travel to Bologna, known as the food capital of Italy, by train.

Upon arrival, check into your accommodation and take a stroll through the historic center, visiting the iconic Two Towers and Piazza Maggiore.

Restaurant suggestion: Trattoria Anna Maria —Experience the flavors of Bologna at this family-run trattoria, renowned for its authentic and hearty dishes, such as tortellini in brodo (tortellini in broth) and tagliatelle al ragù.

Day 5: Bologna Culinary Delights

An outdoor sitting of a restaurants with white umbrellas and brown furniture.

Embark on a guided food tour in Bologna, exploring the city's famous food markets, specialty shops and traditional trattorias.

Indulge in regional delights such as tortellini, tagliatelle al ragù, mortadella, and local wines like Lambrusco.

Restaurant suggestion: Osteria dell'Orsa. Enjoy a laid-back atmosphere and sample Bologna's iconic dishes, including ragù alla bolognese (Bolognese sauce) and lasagna, at this beloved local osteria.

Day 6: Cooking Class in Bologna

A table set for dinner near the Duomo in Florence.

Participate in a hands-on cooking class to learn the secrets of traditional Bolognese cuisine. Prepare dishes like handmade pasta, Bolognese sauce and classic Italian desserts.
Enjoy the fruits of your labor during a delicious lunch.

Restaurant suggestion: Trattoria Serghei — Celebrate your culinary skills with a visit to this cozy trattoria, known for its authentic Bolognese dishes and warm hospitality.

Day 7: Bologna Exploration

The city of Bologna with a street restaurant.

Spend the day exploring more of Bologna's cultural and historical sites. Visit the University of Bologna, the oldest university in the world, and the stunning Basilica di San Petronio.

Take a leisurely walk along the beautiful porticoes that line the streets of Bologna.

Restaurant suggestion: Ristorante Da Nello — Experience the refined flavors of Bologna's cuisine in an elegant setting, with dishes like tortelloni and cotoletta alla bolognese (Bolognese-style breaded cutlet) gracing the menu.

Day 8: Day Trip to Modena and Parma

The city of Parma center square.

Take a day trip to Modena and Parma, renowned for their culinary heritage. Visit a traditional balsamic vinegar producer in Modena and learn about the aging process. In Parma, indulge in Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese tastings and visit a Prosciutto di Parma producer.

Restaurant suggestion: Trattoria da Amerigo — Relish the authentic flavors of Emilia-Romagna at this beloved trattoria, where you can enjoy dishes like tortellini in brodo and culatello di Zibello (a prized cured ham).

Day 9: Departure

A brown  colored historic building in Florence

Depart from either Florence, Bologna, Pisa or Rome depending on your flight arrangements.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel tips? Check out Fora Travel Advisor Wendy Wallace's guide: A Local’s Guide to Florence, Italy.

Advisor - Bella Rose

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Bella Rose

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Florence.