The prosperous area of Emilia-Romagna is located between the shores of the Adriatic Sea and Liguria. It stretches from the banks of the Po River to the hills of the Apennine Mountains that diverge toward the Adriatic Coast. It is composed of nine provinces in two districts. The regional capital is Bologna.
Emilia is west of Bologna and has a cuisine based upon pork and animal fat with sweeping plains and orchards. Romagna is east of Bologna and extends along the Adriatic Coast. It celebrates a cuisine linked to sheep farming and olive oil.
There are many interesting attractions in this region:
1. The towns of Modena, Ferrara and Ravenna have inscribed UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
2. Romanesque Lombardian style cathedrals can be found in Modena and Piacenza. Baroque architectural jewels can be found Parma. Parma’s Baptistery is extraordinary.
3. The old salt fields of Cervia are inhabited by pink flamingos.
4. Bologna has the oldest university in Europe. Every January “Arte Fiera” the International Contemporary Art Fair is held at the Bologna Exhibition Center www.artefiera.bolognafiere.it.
5. Rimini has a Roman Amphitheater built during the reign of Hadrian and an Augustan Arch built in 23BC. Visit the Castello Sismondo before March 27th to see the art exhibition “The Marvelous Years of Impressionism” wth 100 works from international museums including Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne and Gauguin. You can also see Caravaggio’s first religious painting “The Ecstacy of St. Francis”
6. This region is the birthplace of Ferrari cars and Ducati motorcycles; both offer viable options for touring Italy.
7. Ravenna was the capital of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th and 6th century and was an ancient link between the Roman and Byzantine worlds.
8. The last weekend in May, attend the “Palio di Ferrara” www.paliodiferrara.it
9. The agricultural landscape on the Po Plain is considered the “fruit bowl” of Italy. The area has legendary culinary expertise that incorporates chestnuts, truffles, cheese and pork into mouth-watering regional cuisine. Parma ham, prosciutto and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese make this area a haven for foodies; a gourmet pilgrimage. Tortellini is the regional specialty. Ernest Hemmingway mentioned in “Across the River and into the Trees” that Bologna is the only city where you can eat wonderfully well.
10. There are 11 “Food and Wine Routes” throughout the region. The gentle slope of the mountains, create an ideal environment for Sangiovese and Lambusco wines. Try the local white wines: Albana di Romagna (DOCG) and Trebbiano di Romagna (DOC) pair nicely with fish dishes. Lambrusco di Sorbara (DOC) is a sparkling red or rose wine produced in sweet and dry versions. Sangiovese di Romagna (DOC) is a nice red wine. Castell’Arquato Nocino is an interesting walnut liqueur and Laurino is a liqueur made from bay leaves.
Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides to Italy and Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites.
Learn about Italy @ www.vino-con-vista.com