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Emilia-Romagna Travel Guide

Colourful streets of Modena, Emilia-Romagna (© Eupedia.com)
Colourful streets of Modena, Emilia-Romagna.

Introduction

Emilia-Romagna is composed of the two historic regions of Emilia and Romagna. With an area of 22,446 km² (8,666 sq mi) and 4.4 million inhabitants, it is the 6th largest and 7th most populous of the 20 Italian regions. It is the second richest region after Lombardy in terms of GDP per capita.

The University of Bologna, founded in 1088, is the world's oldest university in continuous operation, while Modena's is the fourth oldest. Italy's most prestigious automobiles and motorcycles (Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, De Tomaso and Ducati) are all manufactured in Emilia-Romagna.

Most of Emilia-Romagna lies in the flat Po Valley and the local architecture is dominated by red bricks rather the stone. Some cities like Modena and Correggio opted for painted façades, conferring them a brighter and more cheerful atmosphere than their neighbours. The Renaissance city planning of Ferrara and its grand ducal castle have contributed to its listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also listed are the Early Christian monuments of Ravenna.

Famous people from Emilia-Romagna include (chronologically): the composer Giuseppe Verdi, the poet Giosuè Carducci (Nobel Prize, and regarded as Italy's national poet), the inventor Guglielmo Marconi, the dictator Benito Mussolini, the motor racing driver Enzo Ferrari (founder of the Scuderia Ferrari), the fashion designer Giorgio Armani, the politician Romano Prodi (former Prime Minister of Italy and President of the European Commission), and the alpine ski champion Alberto Tomba.

Cuisine

The cuisine of Emilia-Romagna is highly reputed and includes classic dishes such as tortellini, lasagne, and tagliatelle. Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano), Italy's most famous cheese, is produced in the Emilian cities of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and Bologna, while the Grana Padano variety is produced in Piacenza.

Other culinary specialities include the Parma's prosciutto, Piacenza's pancetta, Modena's cotechino and Bologna's mortadella. Barilla, Italy's most famous pasta maker, and its subsidiary Mulino Bianco, a well-known biscuit manufacturer, are both based in Parma.

The region's gastronomic capital might well be Modena, which ranks in sixth position nationwide for the total number of Michelin stars.

Attractions

Attractions are listed geographically, from west to east (left to right) and north to south (top to bottom).

West

Piacenza
Piacenza, Emilia-Romagna (© Comugnero Silvana - Fotolia.com)
very good Piacenza.
Castell'Arquato
Castell'Arquato, Emilia-Romagna (© morilioalber - Fotolia.com)
outstanding Castell'Arquato.
Fontanellato
Rocca Sanvitale, Fontanellato, Emilia-Romagna (© giupax - Fotolia.com)
outstanding Rocca Sanvitale in Fontanellato.
Vigoleno
Castle of Vigoleno, Emilia-Romagna (© Mi.Ti. - Fotolia.com)
outstanding Vigoleno.
Parma
Cathedral of Parma, Emilia-Romagna (© luigipinna - Fotolia.com)
outstanding Parma.
Torrechiara Castle
Torrechiara Castle, Emilia-Romagna (© Claudio Giovanni Colombo - iStockphoto.com)
outstanding Castle of Torrechiara.

Other attractions

very good Salsomaggiore Terme

Central

Correggio
Correggio, Emilia-Romagna (© Marc Xavier - Fotolia.com)
very good Correggio.
Reggio Emilia
Reggio Emilia, Emilia-Romagna (© simonekesh - Fotolia.com)
very good Reggio Emilia.



Modena
Modena, Emilia-Romagna (© Eupedia.com)
outstanding Modena.
Bologna
Bologna, Emilia-Romagna (© claudiozacc - Fotolia.com)
outstanding Bologna.

Other attractions

very good Carpi
very good Castel San Pietro Terme
good Maranello
very good San Giovanni in Persiceto
very good Sant'Agata Bolognese
very good Vignola Castle

East

Ferrara ※
Castle Estense, Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna (© Valeria73 - Fotolia.com)
outstanding Ferrara.
Imola
Fortress of Imola, Emilia-Romagna (© ermess - Fotolia.com)
very good Imola.
Ravenna ※
Cupola San Vitale, Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna (© Luca Bazzi - Fotolia.com)
outstanding Ravenna.
Rimini
Tiberius' Bridge, Rimini, Emilia-Romagna (© Alexey Kuznetsov - iStockphoto.com)
outstanding Rimini.
San Leo
San Leo, Emilia-Romagna (© frag - Fotolia.com)
outstanding San Leo.

Other attractions

good Bellaria – Igea Marina
good Cervia
very good Cesenatico
very good Comacchio
very good Faenza
very good Forlì
good Milano Marittima
good Misano Adriatico
very good Pomposa Abbey in Codigoro
good Riccione
very good Rocca Malatestiana in Cesena
very good Sant'Agata Feltria
very good Sant'Arcangelo di Romagna

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Eupedia's Rating System

Cities, towns, villages & historic buildings

  • : Moderately interesting - nice for a quick stop
  • : Recommended - to visit if you have time
  • : Outstanding place - really deserves to be seen
  • : Best of the country - shouldn't be missed
  • : Best of Europe

Natural attractions

  • : Moderately interesting
  • : Recommended
  • : Highly recommended
  • : World-class natural attraction
  • ※ : UNESCO World Heritage site

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