Pulling off a self-guided Parmigiano and Balsamic tour (without the help of a pricy tour company) was a bit tricky and it definitely helped knowing a little Italian. Knowing a little Italian allowed me to look up each cheese and balsamic factory, find their contact info and email each one individually. After a few days of research I was able to find locations that would work for the date I planned on visiting.
Self-Guided Parmigiano Tour
Instead of putting you through all the work that goes into self-booking a Parmaigiano tour (I had to email multiple cheese factories to see who could take my group of three), I will save you the effort and give you the info for the lovely tour I found. This factory, Casearia Corradi, was able to offer us the tour in English and it was a rad experience seeing the full production. The factory is small family operated business (three generations!) which made it even better.
My contact at Casearia Corradi suggested booking the tour at 8am to see the early steps of the production process made by the cheese maker himself. But if you can’t make it early, their hours are 8-12 in the morning and 3-6 in the afternoon. On the tour they explain the story of the cheese and show you the main rooms where the Parmigiano is made, such as the brine room and the aging room (where hundreds of cheese-wheels are stored!). At the end of the tour you'll also have the chance to taste Parmigiano-Reggiano of different ages and buy it in their store.
The visit costs 10€ per person and is free for children under 15.
Here is the website for the factory: www.caseariacorradi.com
This parmigan factory is located in Noceto (Pr), Via Trieste 1, 2km away from the highway A15 Parma Ovest's exit and about 10 minutes from Parma's city center. It is in the actual Parma district so they are one of only a handful of parmigian factories in the world making true Parmagiano-Reggiano.
And here is the email for my contact (Martina): firstname.lastname@example.org
Self-Guided Balsamic Tour
The balsamic tour was a bit easier to tackle. The main tourist office in Modena is happy to help you set up a tour and even offers a few different types of balsamic experiences in town. Check out their website here. I had it in my mind that I wanted to go to an actual factory so with some help from the tourist office I was able to set one up. It was definietely more touristy than my Parmagiano tour but definitely still a fun experience!
To set up the balsamic tour email the tourist office in Modena here: email@example.com (they do speak English so that is helpful if your Italian is limited)
The tourist office helped set up a date and time that worked for our group and sent us to Acetaia Giusti, located on Strada Quattro Ville 155 in Modena. The phone number for Acetaia Giusti is: 0039 059 840135 and their email is firstname.lastname@example.org
The tour was free (including a tasting!). You only pay for the balsamic you decide to take home (which you should do!)
Hope this self-guided cheese and balsamic tour info saves you money while visiting Parma and Modena! If you like Italian cheese tours, I wrote about another self-guided one in Aviano that you can find here.
Did you use this post to do a self-guided cheese and balsamic tour in Parma and Modena? Or do you have other suggestions for great places in that same area? Let me know in the comments section!