Endless plains and some of the highest mountains in Italy, with gentle slopes that flatten until they reach the shores of the Adriatic, graced with long stretches of beaches, pulsing with music and life. Emilia-Romagna is an infinite, improbable combination of elements that co-exist in perfect harmony, a region famous for its culture, cuisine, and most of all, its hospitality.
Emilia-Romagna is a land of poets and writers, such as Pier Vittorio Tondelli, Tonino Guerra and Carlo Lucarelli; but it is also the land of superlative Italian automobiles, with the Ferrari Museum in Maranella, the Lamborghini Museum in Sant’Agata Bolognese, and the Panini Museum, dedicated to the marvelous Maserati, in Civitanova.
Emilia-Romagna is a corner of the world inhabited warm and hospitable folk, always active and on the move, who only deign to slow down for one reason, that sacred and sublime ritual of this region: mealtime! This land is the hinge between northern and southern Italy, and you cannot pass through it without sitting down at its abundant table to savor the traditional specialties typical to every city. In Emilia-Romagna, the local cuisine is a philosophy of life, in perfect harmony with the beauty of its churches and monuments.
One of its culinary symbols is the “tortello di zucca” (wrapped and tied raviolis filled with pumpkin puree), which has different traditional recipes in every city: in Ferrara, the Renaissance city once ruled by the Ducal family Estense, “tortelli di zucca” are sanctimoniously prepared with butter and sage, but if you shift just a few kilometers to Modena, you will find them in the much more substantial version of “sughetto alla salsiccia”, (sausage and tomato sauce), adored by the grand Maestro of opera, Luciano Pavarotti himself. Smaller versions of “tortelli”, the “tortellini”, are found in the terracotta-red city of Bologna, the “City of Two Towers”, where, hidden somewhere in the covered archways of its ancient streets, you can discover the three secrets that make the city unique.
Parma, a busy, cheerful little town, is the home of the irresistible “prosciutto crudo”, the world’s most premium artisanal cured ham, which once tasted, creates a lifelong addiction. It is also home to one of the symbolic cheeses of Italy: Parmigiano Reggiano. Parma is the city of the famous theater, Teatro Regio, and together with the city of Piacenza is a land of ancient borghi and Medieval military strongholds, among them, the little borgo of Bussetto, birthplace of the great composer Giuseppe Verdi.
The cuisine of this abundant land has no less than four thousand classic recipes, and almost all of them combine perfectly with the crisp, dry, full bodied wine of the region, Lambrusco.
Before concluding your journey, there is one last stop that cannot be missed: the mystical and marvelous Ravenna, chosen by Byzantium as the western capital of the Roman Empire, and now a treasure trove of breathtaking, perfectly preserved Byzantine mosaics and golden splendor. It is also the final resting place of Italy’s most glorious poet, Dante Alighieri.
And so, this hospitable land bids you farewell, sending you off nourished and refreshed in body and soul, because Emilia-Romagna is not a place, but a way of life.