Photo Credit: Helena Kriyakides

Tour of Emilia Romagna, October 12th to 22nd, 2018

In her many years of being a chef and caterer, Akasha's focus has always been on farm-to-table food and wine. Akasha has traveled the world, always seeking to experience the food and culture of wherever she visits. Last fall she took a small group to Sicily, and this October will be her seventh trip to Italy and third visit to Emilia Romagna, a region she fell in love with the first time she went. Akasha will host this tour along with her friends Marco Scapagnini of  NicheItaly and Helena Kriyakides of Yummy Italy.  

Forbes Magazine described Emilia Romagna as: “the gastronomic capital of the world”. The region is the birthplace of Parmigiano-Reggiano, Balsamico di Modena, Prosciutto di Parma, Culatello di Zibello, Mortadella and iconic dishes known the world over such as Lasagna, Tortellini, Tortelli, and Ragù alla Bolognese. Emilia is also known for incredible cheese and breads, extra-virgin olive oil, and is the second largest wine producing region in Italy after the Veneto. The area also has the highest concentration of DOP and PGI products of any other region in the world. We will taste all these famous dishes, and learn how to prepare many of them. We will hunt for truffles, take cooking classes, visit food producers, farmers' markets, small family farms, wineries , food artisans and chefs.  We will visit and tour the charming towns of Cremona, Bologna, Modena, Parma, and Ravenna, and explore the beautiful green countryside surrounding these cities. 

For a full itinerary and more details, email 

Our tour leader will be Marco Scapagnini, founder of NicheItaly. Marco is an expert tour operator, as well as a food and wine journalist who focuses on authentic Italian regional specialties. He began his career in Italy with the Mondadori Editorial Group, writing 23 guidebooks on travel and the food and wine of Italy. He was the Italian specialist for DK Guides, published in London under the name Eyewitness Guides, where he discovered and reviewed hidden spots in Italy, including charming inns, secluded restaurants and small and authentic food and wine stores. Marco then began consulting with Italian food and wine purveyors, advising on how to sell their products on the world market. He also consults with foreign travel agents about how to create unique, customized tours of Italy, utilizing his contacts with restaurant owners, their chefs and the owners of charming hotels.

Our guide in the Bologna area will be our friend Helena Kriyakides who during her time in Bologna has carried out a myriad of Balsamic Vinegar, Parmesan, chocolate and wine tasting courses and works as a freelance food and gastronomy interpreter and guide. During her 18 years in Bologna, she has become as food obsessed as the locals. She freely admits to being a gastro snob and is happy to talk for hours about anything food and wine related. Helena is on a personal mission to promote the little known (but excellent) wines of the region, in a quest to enable local, passionate wine-producers to gain a platform internationally and to enable food lovers from all over the world to pair the typical food of the region with the wines of the region. Read more about Helena at 


Photo Credit: Akasha Richmond