academia barilla  August 2007

Gourmet Travels and Culinary Vacations in the Italian Food Valley

For many vacationers, food is an essential part of the travel experience, [...]

For many vacationers, food is an essential part of the travel experience, but for true “foodies,” it is the raison d’etre for the entire trip.

Chicago TribuneThis is how an article published online today by the Chicago Tribune starts; of course here at Italian Food Lovers we completely agree on it.’s Travel Editor Margaret Backenheimer wrote about the trend of traveling in search of a culinary experience, listing a few top choices, among which Academia Barilla’s Cooking Vacations.

Thanks Margaret for mentioning our Italian culinary tours. As a matter of fact, at Academia Barilla we understand all the needs of the gourmand travelers, so we set up a whole set of culinary courses, cooking classes, and gourmet and gastronomy tours, allowing our guests to choose among packages that allow to approach Italian food not only from the kitchen, but also from historic, cultural, and traditions standpoints.

Our culinary courses and gourmet tours generally integrate cultural excursions with the hands-on cooking experience, as well as visits to local farms and artisan producers of Italian regional gourmet specialties such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Prosciutto di Parma and Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, while visiting the historic highlights of of Parma and the Italian Food Valley, such as with the travel package mentioned by

Opera Festival Verdi 2007 in Parma, Italy

As our readership knows, we are blogging a lot these days about the special gourmet travel package we just put together to offer the perfect Italian travel experience for those who love not only Italy and the Italian food, but also opera and lirica concerts – the best way to enjoy the Opera Festival dedicated to Italian Maestro Giuseppe Verdi next October 2007.

For the Italian food lovers who are only inspired by the pure culinary experience, the Academia Barilla Culinary School put together a number of cooking courses and culinary classes that can also be specially tailored to the needs of traveling groups, in terms of culinary topics, length and depth of the cooking classes. Here below are shorlisted, as an example, some of the hands-on cooking experiences available at our Culinary School in Parma, Italy.

Academia Barilla Culinary Center in Parma

Restaurant Teams
4 intense days of culinary instruction for chefs including Warm and Cold Italian Antipasti, Fresh Pasta, Filled Pasta, and Authentic Italian Pasta Sauces. This is a very concentrated culinary experience for the serious and the passionate.

Traveling Groups
3 days of culinary instruction (3 lessons, 3 hours each) dedicated to Extra Virgin Olive Oil professional tasting techniques, Italian Risottos and Pizza making. A dinner in a traditional Italian Trattoria enhances this package.

Gourmet Friends
3 days of culinary instruction (3 lessons, 4 hours each) of which includes Black and White Truffles in the Italian Kitchen, Saffron, Traditions of Herbs and Spices, and Cooking Venison Piemontese Style. In addition, you will visit a local vineyard in which you will take a tour and discover how these wines acquire their distinctive flavors.

Culinary Team Building
1-2 days of pure Team Building through the culinary and kitchen experience. Learn how the kitchen, as most organizations, needs a hierarchy, but also relies intensively on teamworking to achieve the best culinary performances.

Still haven’t found the right culinary fix for you? Have a look at our Culinary Classes Menu:

- Tuscany: history, traditions, ingredients and recipes
- Parma and the Italian Food Valley
- The Italian First Courses
- Italian Holiday and Special Festivities Menus
- Italian Jewish Cooking
- The Futuristic Cuisine: the Italian Futuristic Movement (art, gastronomy and life)
- The style of Italian Table
- The healthy Italian Table
- Menu planning
- The Basic Italian ingredients
- The classic italian techniques
- Aroma and texture of italian food
- Italian Rice
- Italian Parties
- Cooking with wild mushrooms
- Truffles: the white and black diamonds in Italian cooking
- Italian dining styles
- The world of chocolate
- The art of sugar: sugar sculpture
- Gelati, ice creams, sorbetti, semifreddi
- Italian regional desserts
- The art of wine tasting
- Italian cheeses tasting
- Prosciutti, salami and other cold cuts
- Regional Italian wine tasting
- Regional Italian bread: preparation
- Italian Bakery: bread, focaccia and pizza
- Olive Oil Professional tasting

Still thinking about it? Get in touch with Academia Barilla today!

For travel and booking information, contact us at, or call the Academia Barilla Culinary School at +39 0521 264.060 – the School also has a US free-toll number at 866-772-2233.

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