Parma and Venice Italy Walking Vacation

Explore off-the-beaten path Venice and discover the Italian culinary heartland in Parma, Italy
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Solo woman assisted by gondolier Venice Italy walking vacation

Quiet canals, local insight, and culinary tradition

Dates: May 8-14, 2023 Cost: $2,995 (based on double occupancy) Optional Single Supplement: $695
Duration: 7 days / 6 nights
Start: Venice, Italy
End: Parma, Italy
Max Group Size: 12
All prices in US dollars. Program subject to change.

Have you dreamed of Venice? It’s sleepy canals, sleek gondolas, and winding alleyways? Do you have visions of sharing a meal in the garden of an Italian villa? Passing platters of amazing food made from recipes handed down through generations? If so, our Parma and Venice Italy walking vacation is the experience for you.

Come along on this guided, small group tour. Find an authentic Italy of today steeped in rich beauty and a colorful past.  You will enjoy a blend of bucket-list destinations and off-the-beaten-path discoveries. We have created a custom 6-night itinerary to give you an immersive taste of both. Amazing food, deep traditions, and great company are part of every day.

What to Expect

Parma and Venice Italy Walking Vacation

Our Parma and Venice Italy walking vacation features exclusive itineraries and personal experiences. We will spend 3 nights in each city. Every half-day outing will introduce local artisans, their traditions and craft. Every evening, our select 4-star hotels will welcome you home after a day of discovery. Leave the cruise ships and tour buses behind.  Walk the most scenic and uncrowded areas of classic Venice. Explore with a local guide to discover the unique history and current issues that have shaped this city of islands. 

Parma is UNESCO’s Creative City for Gastronomy. The first Italian city to be given such a recognition. The region of Emilia-Romagna, where Parma is located, is home to globally renowned and protected food products. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, prosciutto de Parma, and traditional balsamic vinegar are but a few. Virtually unknown by mass tourism, Parma is still an undiscovered gem.

Venice with The Blue Walk was an absolute dream. The whole trip was fun and easy. We saw so many wonderful places we never would have found on our own.

 

 

Ann and Raul M.

What You'll Love

Parma and Venice, Italy Walking Vacation
Discover Venice’s traditional, uncrowded neighborhoods
Tour small, family operated Parmigiano Reggiano and balsamic vinegar producers
Share glorious meals at a family villa in the Italian countryside
4-star hotels welcome you home at the end of each day
We take care of the details. You enjoy your vacation!

What to Expect

Parma and Venice Italy Walking Vacation

Our Parma and Venice Italy walking vacation features exclusive itineraries and personal experiences. We will spend 3 nights in each city. Every half-day outing will introduce local artisans, their traditions and craft. Every evening, our select 4-star hotels will welcome you home after a day of discovery.

Leave the cruise ships and tour buses behind.  Walk the most scenic and uncrowded areas of classic Venice. Explore with a local guide to discover the unique history and current issues that have shaped this city of islands.

Parma is UNESCO’s Creative City for Gastronomy. The first Italian city to be given such a recognition. The region of Emilia-Romagna, where Parma is located, is home to globally renowned and protected food products. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, prosciutto de Parma, and traditional balsamic vinegar are but a few. Virtually unknown by mass tourism, Parma is still an undiscovered gem.

Venice with The Blue Walk was an absolute dream. The whole trip was fun and easy. We saw so many wonderful places we never would have found on our own.

 

 

Ann and Raul M.

What You'll Love

Parma and Venice, Italy walking vacation
Discover Venice’s traditional, uncrowded neighborhoods
Tour small, family operated Parmigiano Reggiano and balsamic vinegar producers
Share glorious meals at a family villa in the Italian countryside
4-star hotels welcome you home at the end of each day.
We take care of the details. You enjoy your vacation!

Itinerary

Parma and Venice Italy Walking Vacation

Program subject to change. Daily schedule may differ.

man with canal view itinerary Venice walking vacation

Day 1 : Arrivals

To begin, we will gather in the afternoon at our hotel in the heart of Venice.  First we will get to know one another. Then there will be an overview of the week ahead. Next we will head out for an orientation walk to see the neighborhood.

Colorful buildings with canal boats detail itinerary Venice walking vacation

Day 2 : Venice

In the morning, our local guide will take us on a walking tour of Venice. Avoiding the touristy streets, we will find hidden corners and neighborhood markets. Along the way she will reveal the rich culture and history of Venice.

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We will hear about everyday life in this extraordinary city, its complexities, and what it is like to live in such a city. 

Then, the afternoon is free to explore on your own. You may cruise the Grand Canal, visit the Rialto Bridge and Piazza San Marco, and shop for handmade gifts. Alternatively, simply enjoy a lazy afternoon wandering the many alleyways and canals.

Lastly, in the evening we will gather to enjoy a very Venetian welcome dinner. Together we’ll watch the sunset over the canal as we celebrate our first full day in Venice.

Glass blowing itinerary Venice walking vacation

Day 3 : Murano and Burano

Today you will have an included vaporetto (or ferry) pass that is valid throughout Venice and its nearby islands. The day begins with our local guide taking us to Murano. During our tour we will discover its centuries-old glass tradition.

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First, we’ll visit the glass museum to gain perspective and appreciation for the craft. Then in an open workshop we’ll meet a master artisan and see how the glass is fired, pulled and shaped. Next, our guide will reveal ancient furnaces still active today. Lastly, we’ll visit a prestigious showroom offering an authentic array of Murano glass.

After the tour your included vaporetto pass is good for the remainder of the day. At your leisure you may wander through Murano, visit nearby Burano with its colorful houses by the sea, and return to Venice when the mood strikes.

street scene itinerary Parma Italy walking vacation

Day 4 : Parma

After breakfast, our Parma and Venice Italy walking vacation will transfer to the city of Parma. Parma was named Italy’s Capital of Culture in 2020 and 2021. Besides having amazing cuisine, it is also a cultural center with a wonderfully preserved historic center, many theaters, galleries, and a university.

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Upon arrival, we will check into our centrally located hotel and get settled in. Next, we will set off for an orientation walk to get to know the neighborhood. Parma’s historic center is car-free and a world away from a tourist town. Its cobbled streets are filled with handsome architecture, boutique shops, galleries, and, of course, wonderful restaurants.

 Lastly, your evening is free to enjoy this very Italian city. There are lots of places for an amazing meal. Naturally, we have great recommendations to share.

Parma, Italy walking vacation, travel journal, art workshop, vacation, small group, Parmesan, culinary tour

Day 5 : Parma Countryside

In Parma, our Parma and Venice Italy walking vacation will take a culinary focus. (Although we will be eating well everywhere we go.) There, we will venture into the countryside to visit artisan producers and learn about their rich culinary traditions.

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First, we will visit a family-owned and run Parmigiano-Reggiano cheesemaker. Afterwards, we will meet one of the few makers of true Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena. Of course, you will have to taste a little of everything along the way.

Then, we will pause for lunch in the countryside. Our festive table will be set on the terrace with a beautiful view over the vinyards. Traditional dishes of the region will be served, and our local guide will reveal what makes each one so special.

 

Garden dinner table itinerary Parma Italy walking vacation

Day 6 : Cooking Class & Dinner

The first part of the day is yours to relax and enjoy Parma in your own time. In the afternoon we will take a scenic walk through the neighborhoods and parks of Parma to our friend Antonia’s home. This too is a family villa set on beautiful property.

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First, we start with a welcome aperitivo. Then Antonia will lead a fun, hands on cooking class of local specialties. (The class is optional if cooking is not your thing.)

Lastly, the evening concludes with a final dinner feast. This is a meal like no other – set on her beautiful terrace surrounded by friends, laughter, and a blooming garden. As abundant platters are passed and wine is poured, you will feel a part of the family. Antonia is a consummate host, and this dinner is always a highlight of the trip.

small group in front of Italian villa in Parma, Italy, Blue Walk sketchbook travel journal classes

Day 7 : Departures

After breakfast, we bid farewell to our traveling companions until the next time. No group events are scheduled for this day. You may depart at your leisure. Our hotel will hold your luggage if you plan to leave after checkout time.

Quiet canals, local insight, and culinary tradition

I loved Parma ❤️❤️❤️ with Blue Walk 🥰🥰🥰

Sue C.

Myrtle Beach, SC

passageway Venice walking vacation

What’s Included

Parma and Venice Italy Walking Vacation

  • Assistance of your host / guide throughout the Parma and Venice Italy Walking Vacation
  • Four-star hotel in Venice, Italy (3 nights)
  • Four-star hotel in Parma, Italy (3 nights)
  • Daily full buffet breakfast
  • Welcome gelato
  • Welcome dinner
  • Venice walking tour with local guide
  • Vaporetto day pass for free travel throughout Venice and surrounds
  • Local guided tour of Murano and demonstration at an authentic Murano glass factory
  • Transfer from Venice to Parma
  • Private culinary tour into the countryside to meet artisan producers of Parmigiano-Reggiano and Aceto Balsamico di Modena
  • Beautiful 3-course lunch at a family trattoria in the countryside
  • Fun hands-on cooking class of regional specialties
  • Farewell dinner
  • All hotel taxes and service charges

Important Notes

Solo travelers and single supplements

For our guests who are traveling solo... We offer a single supplement for an additional fee if you wish to guarantee a private room.

If you do not request a private room, you may share a twin room with another trip participant of the same sex (Roomshare). When you sign up, if no Roomshare is available, a 50% single supplement will be due at final payment. However, if a roommate is found before your trip departs, you will be matched and the single supplement will be refunded.

Please note that a single supplement guarantees a private room. Whenever possible singles will be placed in the same room type as our double or twin rooms.

Twin / Double Rooms

Please be aware twin beds in Europe may have very little or no space between beds. Also, instead of a king or queen mattress, double beds are often adjoining twin mattresses secured together and made with double bedding.

Fitness

We provide a general description of our walks. It is your responsibility to know your own physical and medical condition with respect to the advisability of participating in a chosen trip. We suggest you prepare by doing some longer walks and (working up to) doing 1 hour of walking comfortably. Ideally, include walks with elevation change and stairs. (There are always stairs.)

As with any exercise program, we recommend you consult with your physician prior to your arrival regarding the suitability of a walking tour.

Many find walking sticks helpful on steep or uneven terrain. Before using them on a vacation, we strongly advise you be comfortable using walking sticks on familiar paths.

 

For additional information on these topics and more, please see our FAQ page.

Cooking class group Parma Italy

Blue Walk group at our cooking class in Parma, Italy

Where in the World?

Parma and Venice Italy Walking Vacation

Venice, the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no car roads, just canals – including the Grand Canal thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces.

Parma is a university city in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, famed for Parmesan cheese and Parma ham. Romanesque buildings, including the frescoed Parma Cathedral and the pink marble Baptistery, grace the city center. 

Travel Planning

Our program begins mid-afternoon on the first day at our hotel in Venice. On the last day breakfast is included, but no formal group events are planned. The program ends at our hotel in Parma and you may depart at any time.

Venice Parma Italy Map Where in the world

For arrivals, Venice Marco Polo Airport is located nearly 5 miles (8 km) to the north of Venice. It is the city’s main international airport and the fourth busiest airport in the whole of Italy. Marco Polo Airport is closer to Venice than Treviso Airport and is better connected. It is used by 90% of the airlines that fly to Venice.

For departures, Parma has an airport, but it serves a limited number of aircraft. You can get from Parma to any major airport in Italy by train. Two cities with major airports that can be reached directly from Parma are Milan and Bologna. Venice, Florence, and even Rome are possible to reach with rail transfers. Of course private transfers with door to door service may also be booked.

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