Best food tours in Parma Italy
The Three Kings Tour, run by Parma Food n Wine Tours, is one of a few food tours in Parma Italy. It took me on a journey of intense food pleasure over an entire day. Food is an integral part of travel for me. It’s not about food for food’s sake, or just to appease a growling stomach. It’s about learning how food is eaten in a country, how it’s cooked, and how it differs from region to region.
It’s about trying new flavours and new foods that sometimes leave a lifelong impression on me. Food tours and cooking classes have therefore become a key part of my travels.
Of course, I enjoy the eating part too! If you are looking for things to do in Parma, I can’t recommend some kind of food tour enough.
What’s included in the tour?
The Three Kings Food Tour covers three well known Italian food items. It commences with a visit to the Parmigiano Reggiano factory, followed by the Parma Ham factory. The day is broken up by lunch and there are several options for you to choose from. (at an additional cost) In the afternoon, a visit to a Balsamic Vinegar producer rounds off a fantastic day.
- There are vegetarian options available as a substitute for the Parma ham tour.
- This is a self-drive tour so a vehicle is essential. If you arrived in Parma by air or rail, and do not have a car, it is recommended that you hire one for the day.
- You may take a tour to one destination, or two but I highly recommended the Three Kings Tour that allows you to see all three.
How long does it take?
The tour starts at 8.30am by meeting your tour guide at a specific location. Because the tour is self-drive, the tour guide will provide you with addresses and GPS coordinates for the locations that will be visited during the day. This is just a preventative measure in case you get separated whilst on the road.
The tour guide and driver that we were with were fantastic and always made sure everyone knew where they were going, and drove slowly enough to keep everyone close by.
With three individual tours plus lunch, this is an all-day affair. The tour finished at around 3.30-4.00pm.
What does it cost?
The food tour has a pricing structure that is based on the number of people who are in the group. You can request a private tour but understand that this will be a significantly higher price. Tour groups are kept to a manageable 8 person maximum.
This doesn’t mean you have to source other people to join you. If you are comfortable with joining other people then you simply need to note that when you book. On the day we went on the tour, we were joined by one other couple, and a family of three, so seven in total.
When you book you will pay a deposit, with the remainder due (in cash) on the day of the tour. This means that it is possible (especially in high season) that by the time you take your tour, more people will have joined your group, and your price will be reduced.
Children under 9 years of age are free.
I chose the sit-down lunch at a local restaurant which cost an extra €25 per person. This was a terrific lunch with the table sharing in cured meats, several entrees, several mains, dessert, bread and a glass of local wine.
Where is it located?
The tour operates out of Parma, Italy. You will be given a specific meeting location once your deposit has been received. Whilst not essential, it will make it easier if you are staying overnight in or near Parma overnight.
We camped, but why not try one of these hotels?
How do you book?
Bookings are made through an email system on the Parma Food n Wine Tours website, where you must advise the following:
- Date you are interested in
- Number of people in your own group that you are booking for
- Whether you are ok to share with other people (note this means sharing a guide, not your vehicle)
- Any dietary requirements
Upon receipt of this information, you will be forwarded details to make a deposit of €52. Once this has cleared, you will be sent further information on the meeting place, time and the phone number of tour guide.
Why choose Parma Food n Wine Tours?
If you are looking to go on a food tour that takes the time to provide as much detail as possible on how these products are made, Parma Food n Wine are a great option. Whilst many food tours simply skim over the details, just enough so that you can say you’ve been, this one is a standout.
On this tour, you are able to watch specific parts of the product being made, learn about the history of traditional products in Italy, ask plenty of questions, and of course, taste it all.
The tour guides are professional and knowledgeable and willing to share as much with you as you would like. The day is well organised and not rushed, allowing adequate time at each stop to learn, take photos, eat and have rest breaks.
It is also very reasonably priced, and of course, you have the added bonus of the price coming down if more people join your tour. This is quite unique and shows enormous integrity on behalf of the tour company.
I also chose Parma Food n Wine Tours for the Three Kings Tour because of the ability to have a wonderful lunch at a destination chosen by them. It was a fabulous way to break up the day and explore some more local foods, hand chosen by the chef.
Need more information about this region in Italy? Check out these wonderful travel guides.
- Rick Steves Italy 2020 (Rick Steves Travel Guide)
- Rick Steves Best of Italy
- The Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna: How to taste the history and tradition of Italy