academia barilla  August 2007

The Ultimate Italian Travel Experience: Verdi Opera and Gourmet Cooking – Part 4: The Food, the Castle and the Opera

This is the last installment in the saga of The Ultimate Italian [...]

This is the last installment in the saga of The Ultimate Italian Travel Experience, the Italian opera and gourmet cooking virtual tour designed by our Italian Food Lovers blogging team to anticipate the real gourmet travel package, launched by Academia Barilla.

Roncole Verdi, ItalyThe tour is designed to better experience the lifestyle, the culture and the food of Parma and the Italian Food Valley, while attending the world-famous opera Festival dedicated to Giuseppe Verdi next October 2007.

After discovering the treasures of Parma and attending the first opera concert on the first two days, and exploring the land and history of Maestro Giuseppe Verdi on day three, on day four our guests will head out of town again to re-discover the Italian Food Valley region, this time with a gastronomic tour, hunting for the most hidden production secrets of some of the top gourmet Italian food products.

Day four will start with a visit to a traditional Parmigiano-Reggiano producer that will include of course a Parmigiano tasting session.

Parmigiano-Reggiano producers in the Italian Food Valley

Next gourmet production secrets will be unveiled during the visit to an artisan Salumificio that produces, among many different kind of hams and salami, the precious Culatello di Zibello. A tasting session under the guidance of an Italian Culinary Specialist from the Academia Barilla Culinary School will be part of the guided tour in the Salumificio.

Fontanellato Castle

More traditional Italian gourmet food is on the agenda, with a lunch in a local restaurant of the Medieval burg of Fontanellato, organized by Academia Barilla after the visit to Rocca Sanvitale, one of the most beautiful castles of Northern Italy, that treasures paintings and frescoes of Parmigianino.

Fontanellato Castle

We really love Fontanellato, and we invite you to explore it more in details by checking the customized Google Map we designed and enriched with photos to give you a preview of this magic place, that surely deserves a real visit, not just a virtual one. Click this link or the Google Map image below to interact with places and pictures of Fontanellato.

Fontanellato Google Map

You can also explore Fontanellato browsing our photo albumclick on the image below to see all the pictures we took for you from outside, inside and around the beautiful medieval opera castle.

Fontanellato on

After the lunch organized by Academia Barilla, the group will return to Parma for a free afternoon. Guests can choose to either relax with some shopping in one of the most exclusive fashion outlets in Italy, or keep discovering on their own the beauties of the City of Parma.

Piazza Garibaldi, Parma Italy

Don’t forget we have plenty of content for you from Parma, such as interactive Google Maps with photo and videos, photo albums, and online picture slideshows. Click the Google Maps, Flickr and Slide images in this post to get to the interactive content.

Parma Google Map
Academia Barilla on

We invite you to include, link or embed our online content in your blogs and website – just mention Academia Barilla and, if possible, let us know you are linking to us, we’ll be so happy we’ll definitely link you back!
If you don’t know how to include, link or embed videos and other interactive content, feel free to ask as for help, we are learning fast here at Italian Food Lovers, so we can share with you some of our blog tech knowledge!

Festival Verdi in Parma

The evening of day four is dedicated to an opera concert from the Verdi Festival calendar. The Verdi’s opera, either La Traviata or Louise Miller, will be based on the festival calendar and ticket availability.

After the show and before the guests will return to their hotel, Academia Barilla will host a farewell dinner for the group’s guests, with exclusive gourmet menus designed by the Academia Barilla Executive Chefs.

Parma, ItalyThe next day, day 5 of the tour, tour guests will be free to check out from their hotels or choose to stay few more days in Parma (highly recommended strategic location to explore more than 20 castles in the Italian Food Valley region).

Academia Barilla will be running these exclusive Italian opera and gourmet cooking tours for 5 weeks only, some might even want to participate again to the next tour and get more traveling, visiting, cooking and operas!

We hope you enjoyed the blog virtual tour of The Ultimate Italian Travel Experience – you can find all the info for the real October 2007 only tours, plus booking information, at this link on

Stay tuned with Italian Food Lovers!.

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