Looking to have yourselves a day of luxury in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy? Some might say shopping would do the trick, but how about checking out some beautiful Italian crafted cars and finishing off the day with one of the top restaurants in the world? All you need to do is make two reservations – one for a tour of the Lamborghini Factory and one for dinner at Osteria Francescana.
Start your day off early, and head to the central bus station in Bologna. Forgive me, but this part isn’t luxurious. It’s about an hour-long bus ride. Tip: Do not get off the bus until you see you’re in a town! You may be seeing other folks dressed in Lamborghini apparel (shirts etc) and if so, that’s the stop! If you get off to early and attempt to walk you may be dodging optimus prime looking semis on a two-lane highway. This is not recommended. We made a terrible mistake of getting off too early… and having to wait another hour for the next bus, and consequently missing our Lamborghini tour.
Once you’re at the factory, if you were able to reserve a tour, great! If not, the museum itself will fascinate and keep your attention for the next few hours. They have cars models from all decades including one quite literally on the wall! The cars are beautiful and they showcase Lamborghini’s history. If you’re itching to sit in the driver’s seat, you can even take a few laps across the street at a non-affiliated location (for a price of course). If you decide to purchase one of these beauties and want to share the wealth just let me know and dinner is on me and J.
After the factory visit, on your way back to the bus stop, there’s an excellent pizza and kebab shop –Pizzeria Tomato di Farhat Salah. Highly recommend grabbing the kebab before hopping on the bus.
Take the bus back to Bologna and then head out to Modena (an hour train ride from Bologna). This also allows you to change into clothes for dinner, if you’re not dressed appropriately. Modena is home to MANY Balsamic Vinegar tours and the Ferrari Museum (Museo Enzo Ferrari) in case you want to continue the luxury car theme. If you don’t have the time, walk the streets of Modena including viewing the Duomo and Palazzo Ducale. Just don’t be late for dinner!!
End the day on a high note! A 3 Michelin star restaurant that also ranked #1 in the world in 2016. Established in 1995 by Massimo Bottura, this restaurant had the humblest façade and outside entry. We actually passed it on our first walk down the block! However, once we were welcomed inside to a sublime ambiance, we knew we had arrived. On a table near the entrance was a book – Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef, which was reassuring and a bit comedic given Massimo’s fairly trim build. The dining room was the perfect size, 6 tables, each with white table clothes and ample lighting from the floor lamps in the corner. There were two options of the tasting menu, the traditional tasting menu or the experimental. We went with the experimental which still offered some of the most traditional and sought-after plates.
While the ingredients and dishes may change with the seasons, the presentation is sure to be top notch! Plates I will never forget, including the plating, which was art in and of itself.
Reservations: Make them in advance, as they can be tough to come by! We made our reservations as soon as the reservation window opened up. Also note the train schedule when you make your reservations– as you’ll want to make sure you can make the last train back to Bologna. Alternatively, you could spend the night in Modena, but that will be a new adventure for our next visit.