I would highly recommend Reggio Emilia and staying at the Hotel Posta. The service was 5 stars. Umberto, the owner of the Hotel Posta, could not have been more helpful. He personally took my wife and me to his family’s restaurant and showed and explained the production of balsamic. The farm and restaurant is approximately 30 minutes from the hotel.
The rental cars were a perfect way to get around, since we drove approximately 3,000 miles during the 2 months. There wasn't much we didn't see, in Tuscany and Northern Italy. It also allowed us to make several trips to Florence after our initial stay. Florence was 1 of our favorites cities.
I cannot recommend In Italy enough. It was just the most wonderful two-month experience.
At Hotel Posta in Reggio Emilia, we were very happy with the room. They arranged the cheese factory tour and a balsamic tour with dinner. Both tours were memorable. The difference between the US, with all its regulations, and what you can do outside the US is remarkable. We were two people and a representative from the co op for Parmigiano Reggiano took several hours out of her day to give us a private tour of the facility. And we were up close and personal. The balsamic tour topped even that, not for extent of the tour, but for the guide. The hotel owner's mother gave us the tour; her enthusiasm and energy were marvelous. We arrived just at dusk, so we hurried down the path, across the road and up stairs to a gazebo that looked out on their fields and back to Reggio Emilia. She very much wanted us to see this. After that, a thorough tour of the parts of the building related to vinegar making, storing, using, etc. She was off and we sat down to a delicious dinner. I have been using InItaly to help plan our trips to Italy since my first one in 1998, and plan to do so on the future. Thank you again, Kristin.