Emilia-Romagna – A Diverse Cultural Landscape
The varied region of Emilia-Romagna has everything travellers could wish for: beach, sun, mountains, vast untouched nature and numerous World Cultural Heritage sites. Together with the many adventure parks as well as the great range of leisure activities, holidays in this wealthy Italian region are anything but boring.
Geography - A wealthy region in the north of Central Italy
Emilia-Romagna lies in the north of Central Italy and is surrounded by the river Po, the Adriatic coast, the Apennines, the Italian regions of Lombardy, Tuscany, Marken, Piedmont, Veneto and Liguria as well as the Republic of San Marino. The region has an area of about 22,123 km², is one of the wealthiest Italian areas and is divided into nine provinces: Bologna (also the capital), Rimini, Parma, Piacenza, Modena, Ferrara, Reggio nell'Emilia, Ravenna and Forli Cesena. Geographically speaking, the region is characterised by the Adriatic coast (110 km long) and its flat sandy beaches on the one hand and by the hilly hinterland as well as the rock formations of the Apennines on the other. The region's highest mountain is the Monte Cimone with 2,165 metres of height. Emilia-Romagna is dominated by Mediterranean climate, which brings the almost 4 million inhabitants hot summers, pleasantly warm autumn months and mild winters.
Nature - Sandy beaches, thick forests and a diverse plain
Emilia-Romagna can be divided into coastal and mountainous landscapes. The Adriatic coast in the east is dominated by long sandy beaches and internationally known seaside resorts like Rimini, Riccione or Cesentico enjoy a good reputation. In the hinterland the region mostly consists of mountains and thick, vast forests. Most of them are under state protection as part of the national parks Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona, Campigna and Appennino Tosco-Emiliano. There are 14 regional parks, 14 nature reserves and one interregional park, the Parco del Delta del Po, in Emilia-Romagna. The latter also extends over Venetia, is the greatest regional park in Italy and is characterised by an extraordinary biological diversity. Its diversity of birds (300 different species) make the park one of the most significant destinations for ornithologists in Europe. The native landscape and the balanced ratio of agriculture and conservation areas in the region are the reason why the Po delta was declared an extraordinary cultural landscape by the UNESCO.
Culture - Romagna and Emilia
The present-day territory of Emilia-Romagna consists of the former regions of Romagna and Emilia. Romagna was under papal rule for a long time following the Donation of Pepin. Emilia owes its name to the Via Emilia, a historical Roman road. Due to the late union of the two regions, the areas comprising the territory of Emilia-Romagna differ in their history. The influences of the Etruscans, Celts, Langobards, Byzantines and Romans on the region can still be felt and are expressed in many of the many cultural sites and treasures. A particularly notable example is the capital of Bologna. With its historical town centre, the many squares, fountains and the Basilica of San Petronio - the fifth biggest Gothic church worldwide - as well as numerous museums and galleries, the city offers a memorable cultural experience. Other worthwhile cities are Ferrara, Ravenna and Modena. The former Renaissance city of Ferrara accommodates the impressive Castello Estense, Ravenna fascinates with its buildings which are decorated with mosaic (Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Basilica of San Vitale, Mausoleum of Theoderic) and Modena impresses with its Romanesque cathedral, the bell tower Ghirlandina and the Piazza Grande.
Experience - Ferrari, Parmesan cheese, Parma ham and balsamic vinegar
Emilia-Romagna is one of the wealthiest Italian regions. It is the native country of the car makes Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, De Tomaso and Pagani as well as a world-famous mountain bike manufacturer (Ducati, Moto Morini, Bimota) and is therefore called Terra di Motori ("Engine Country") by the locals. Motorsport enthusiasts can visit the Ferrari Museum in Modena and marvel at the award-winning vehicles. Furthermore, several culinary products come from this central-Italian region. The well-known Parmesan cheese as well as the Parma ham come from the city of Parma and the aceto balsamico (balsamic vinegar) is produced in Modena. Since the headquarters of one of the world's greatest pasta makers (Barilla) are located in Parka, it is not surprising that the people in Emilia-Romagna serve many pasta dishes such as tortelloni, agnolotti and gnocchi.
Activities - A variety of leisure activities
Emilia-Romagna offers a variety of sporting and leisure activities. Whether you want to do water sports, go cycling and hiking or enjoy yourself in an amusement park, the region caters for all tastes. At the long beaches of the Adriatic coast, travellers can do sports like swimming, fishing, diving, surfing, parasailing, kite-flying and sailing. You can also go on motorboat tours. The mountainous landscape, unspoiled plains and numerous developed road networks and rivers in the heartland invite visitors to go cycling, canoeing, kayaking, hiking or horseback riding. The region's many spas, for example in Salsomaggiore, Tabiano, Bagno di Romagna, Castrocaro and Porretta, are the perfect destinations for forgetting about everyday life and relaxing. In addition, the numerous leisure and amusement parks in Emilia-Romagna offer entertainment for the whole family. Two outstanding examples are the theme park Italia in Miniatura, in which you see over 270 miniatures of the country's most beautiful locations, as well as Mirabilandia, one of Italy's greatest amusement parks.
Travellers can arrive in Emilia-Romagna by bus, train or plane. Many airlines, some of which are low-coast, arrive at and depart from the airport of the capital of Bologna every day. Since it is very hot in summer and often foggy in winter, spring and autumn are the best time for travelling the region.
A trip to Emilia-Romagna is the right decision for travellers who enjoy bathing in the sea but also want to get to know historical cities like Bologna or Ravenna and explore Italy's untouched nature.