To dine even once at the world-renowned Osteria Francescana in Modena—twice voted number one on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list—is like winning the lottery. But on this one of a kind long weekend in December, guided by the revered chef and owner Massimo Bottura himself, you’ll not only experience the tasting menu at his restaurant, but spend multiple meals and moments with Bottura and his team, tasting and learning about the hallmark foods that have made Emilia-Romagna so famed as an Italian gastronomic region.
The countryside just outside Modena is also the home of Italy’s salty, crumbly, and perfectly executed Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, masterfully raised and cured prosciutto, as well as rich and fragrant aceto balsamico, the central Italian ingredient holy trinity. You’ll rove through the region in its greenest, most fertile period by foot, car, and bike, visiting traditional farms and producers along the way. PRIOR guests will stay in what Bottura refers to as his own 12-acre country house—Casa Maria Luigia—an artfully refurbished Italian country estate and model of understated luxury situated just outside the city.
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Experience the tasting menu dinner at Osteria Francescana in Modena, named the best restaurant in the world two years, with special guidance from chef Massimo Bottura. PRIOR members will also enjoy multiple meals with Bottura and his culinary team throughout the weekend, including homemade pizza in the wood-fired oven on Bottura’s estate.
Walk and shop the historic Mercato Albinelli, the culinary center of Modena, with Bottura himself, stopping at the chef’s favorite producers to taste and discuss what they grow in the region.
Navigate the treasures of the Emilian countryside by stopping, eating, and tasting products such as local Lambrusco at a range of idyllic agriturismo properties and local farms. Spend an afternoon at a dairy farm to see the production of the region’s famed Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and experience a ritual opening of a Parmigiano wheel.
Learn to cook the prized dish of Emilia-Romagna—tiny homemade tortellini from scratch—at a hands-on cooking class led by Massimo’s wife Lara Gilmore at Il Tortellante, the fresh pasta workshop she and Bottura developed to support young Italians with autism and their families.
Visit traditional producers of balsamic vinegar, such as Acetaia Giusti, built in the 1600s and operated by 17 generations of the Giusti family. The property now uses modern and sustainable practices to create some of Italy’s classic balsamico. Taste the distinct varieties, aged for a minimum of 12 years on the property.
Stay in one of the 12 elegant, art-filled rooms at Casa Maria Luigia, a 250-year-old Italian country estate beautifully restored by Bottura. The property is populated by 200-year-old oak trees and houses a vegetable garden. Dine in a turn of the century Carriage House surrounded by views of the countryside, and wake up to traditional Emilian breakfasts.