Parma Golosa tours and driving
Hello all I'm new to this board but definitely use Chowhound for restaurant recommendations. My wife and I are traveling to Italy and we'll be spending some time in Parma. I've read good things about the gourmet tours through Parma Golosa. My problem is transportation. We were originally going to travel by train with our final destination being Florence. Now I'm thinking about renting a car. Are there any travelers that feel one way or the other (car vs train). Thanks!
i took the parma golosa tour a couple of years ago and it was quite nice. it's not necessarily a superior visit to any one place so much as everything's nicely organized for you. instead of calling each collective or producer to arrange a visit, you just hop into your car and follow your guide and have a good time. plus, our guide was a very friendly young italian woman who spoke excellent english.
also yes, you must have your own car to drive. driving around central and northern italy is not bad at all. i drove all over central and nw italy for almost two weeks (tuscany, unmbria, piedmonte, bologna, etc). i imagined italian driving would be like some kind of deathmach 3000 game, but really it was no big deal. occasionally, you'll run into folks who drive like maniacs in tight and windy roads but that's the exception.
seriously, it's no worse than driving in LA and absolutely pales in comparison to typical traffic in manhattan. of course, the signs are pretty useless unless you buy a michelin atlas beforehand and even then you'll still get lost semi-regularly. but, hey, that's part of the charm, right?
My friend and I are looking to tour for the morning of Saturday May 9th. Did you secure a tour? Our plans to visit Parma are unexpected so I am trying to put this together at the last moment. We have a car rental and I have sent an email to inquire with the tour company.
Please let me know if you think we could arrange to tour together.
I am a trained chef and my friend is a foodie!
Unfortunately I have already found another couple to do the tour with us. We have confirmed with ParmaGolosa and our tour begins at 9:30 on Sat am. I found the couple through a forum on trip advisor and it looks like there are some other people that might be interested in the tour - you could try getting in touch with them.
Hopefully we'll all end up on the tour together!
I'm going to answer your question by first answering a question you didn't ask!
You cannot take the Parmagolossa tours without a car. You can provide your own or hire a sedan including driver for the day. However, the bottom line is that you won't be able to get from place to place on the PG tour without a car.
Once, my husband and I rented a car after some time in Florence for a trip through Umbria, but most of the time we travel in Italy by a combination of train/bus/taxi. Each approach his its advantages and disadvantages. You simply have to pick the hassle you're willing to live with. (Going by car means you assume responsibility for navigating unfamiliar territory & dealing with the challenges of parking -- a significant issue in many of the small hill towns. Going by train means you lack flexibility both in timing your travel and, to some extent, destination. Not all the train stations have escalators or elevators, so plan on traveling with a roll-aboard.)
For a trip that included stays in Venice, Ravenna, Urbino, Parma, and Bologna, we traveled by train and bus. We hired a sedan which made the PG day expensive. The review I posted of our PG day made it very clear that we thought the experience was worth every Euro!