I'll be traveling to Italy for a work, spending the last week of April in Ancona.
I've decided to to take advantage of this opportunity, by adding a couple of days to both ends of the work week. Rather than fly directly to Ancona, I will fly into Milan, spend two days driving through Emila-Romagna to Ancona. Then after my work week, drive from Ancona thru Umbia to Rome, where I fly out two days later.
I'm looking for recommendations for places to eat, and foodie experiences along the way.
Part 1: Milan to Ancona via Emilia-Romagna
From a food perspective, this is the part of the trip I most look forward to. My plane arrives at Milan-Linate on Friday around 6:00 PM. I plan to drive directly to Parma, with the hope of arriving before 8:00. Eat dinner and sleep in Parma.
Would this get me into Parma too late for dinner Friday night? Are there recommendations for dining between Milan and Parma? Am I missing out by avoiding Milan completely?
Saturday: explore Parma, Emilio-Reggia, Modena in route to Bolgna. Sleep in Bologna. Sunday: Explore Bologna in the morning, eat late lunch at Trattoria della Gigina (http://www.trattoriagigina.it), then drive to Ancona.
I'm looking for recommendation for: late dinner in Parma Friday, food tourism on Saturday (Parmesan cheese dairies, balsamic vinegar producers, etc), meals between Parma and Bologna, breakfast in Bologna.
Part 2: Five days in Ancona
Most of my time in Ancona is already filled with work. Even many of the evenings are already planned. However, if I do find myself with an evening free, I would appreciate any restaurant recommendations in the Ancona/Jesi area. If I am lucky, I may be able to steal away one afternoon for short trip up to Urbino. Any Reqs in Urbino?
Part 3: Ancona to Rome via Umbria & two days in Rome
I will leave Ancona around noon on Friday and drive thru Umbria to Rome, stopping in Assisi. I must return my rental car by 7:00 PM in Rome. Google maps calculates the trip at about 4.5 hours, so that leaves only a couple of hours for sight-seeing and dining. I was tempted to take a diversion to Norcia, having read great things about food there. Unfortunately, I don't think I have the time.
Any recommendations on restaurants in and around Assisi, or along the route (Spello, Foligno, Spoleto). Or am I better off planning a route through Marsciano and/or Orvieto?
There are numerous threads on Rome, so I will save the forum of yet another request for Rome recommendations.
I hope this post wasn't too long. Thanks in advance for any feedback.