You’ll really be spoilt for choice! There are 10 different cities of art waiting to be discovered, each with its own unique character and enchanting atmosphere – veritable treasure troves of history and culture.
Then there’s the chance to fully immerse yourself in the natural surroundings of the Apennines, whose picturesque towns offer well-equipped ski resorts during the winter months, and act as the perfect base for hiking and outdoor activities in the summer.
Not to mention the timeless appeal of Motor Valley and its historic brands, including Ducati, Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Dallara and Pagani.
And let’s not forget Emilia Romagna’s beautiful Adriatic coastline with 110 km of beaches, Europe’s largest amusement park district, Wellness Valley, dance clubs galore and delicious seafood cuisine.
When it comes to wellness, the region truly has you covered, with 24 thermal spas to choose from in 19 different enchanting locations, whether you prefer sea views or the rustic charm of our historic Apennine villages.
Food and wine reign supreme in the region, with as many as 44 DPO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) certifications for our traditional regional specialities, from Parma ham to Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Emilia Romagna has increasingly become the arena for important sporting events of international acclaim.
After a break of 25 years, the Giro d’Italia will once again start in Bologna this year, and from 16 to 30 June, the capital of Emilia Romagna will play host – along with Cesena and Reggio Emilia (as well as the Republic of San Marino) – to the semi-finals of the UEFA European Under-21 Championships.
Also in June (27 and 29), the Upper Taro Valley, in the Parma Apennines, will become the stunning backdrop for two competition events in the Italian National Road Race Championships, while, from 25 to 28 July, the Beach Volleyball World League will return to Pinarella di Cervia, for the men’s tournament.
From 13 to 15 September don’t miss the Misano World Circuit in Misano Adriatico, and help cheer on Valentino Rossi and the other drivers as they compete in the San Marino and Rimini Coast Motorcycle Grand Prix, while on Saturday, 21 September stop off at Cervia, along with the 2,500 athletes from all over of the world who will take part in the IRONMAN event.
Lastly, from 18 to 22 September, Bologna and Parma will host the qualifying tournament for baseball for the 2020 Olympics.
Emilia Romagna is famous for being the “Land of Motors”, a unique “theme park” for two and four-wheel vehicle enthusiasts that runs along the ancient Via Emilia, boasting a history of passion, ingenuity and entrepreneurial skill that is typified in world-renowned brands such as Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Ducati, Pagani and Dallara, to name but a few.
From 16 to 19 May, Modena will host Motor Valley Fest, the first “open-air festival” devoted entirely to Emilia-Romagna’s “Land of Motors”, with numerous events, all of which are free and hosted in the city’s most beautiful and prestigious venues, including new and collectible car exhibitions, rallies and celebrations (from the Ferrari Tribute, the historic Prancing Horse rally, to the 20th anniversary of the Pagani Zonda). Watch as the historic 1000 Miglia race passes through the city, witness track tests at the Marzaglia racetrack or visit the workshop dedicated to the vehicles of the future.
To complete this full calendar, there are events dedicated to other aspects of Modenese excellence, from local food and wine specialities to opera music and fashion.
Among its many records, Emilia Romagna boasts a unique prize-list when it comes to good food, making this region one of the most popular Italian destinations for “foodie” tourists from around the world.
Suffice it to mention the European record for PDO and PGI products (44 in total, from Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Modena and Reggio Emilia, from Culatello di Zibello to Comacchio Eel); 24 PDO wines (22 of which are Doc and 2 Docg); 25 Food Museums; Parma, which has been awarded the title of UNESCO Creative City Gastronomy; FICO, the agri-food park in Bologna; the ALMA International Cooking School in Colorno (Pr) and Casa Artusi in Forlimpopoli (Fc).
Moreover, there are 22 Michelin-star restaurants: one 3-stars, two 2-stars and nineteen 1-star restaurants, from Piacenza to Cattolica, as well as pubs and street food – from gnocco fritto to Romagna’s famous piadina – not to mention the fresh seafood cuisine at the Romagna Riviera and a yearly calendar of captivating food-themed events, from exhibitions and markets to festivals and fairs
Cosy, enchanting surroundings, leisurely strolls through alleyways and porticos, al fresco dining in Renaissance squares, excellent cuisine, UNESCO sites, internationally famous architecture, frescoed ceilings and white statues and, heard over everything, the chatter of “locals” in bars, markets and squares.
This is the magic of Emilia Romagna’s 10 cities of art. Explore Piacenza, “a worthy city and a place of transit”, as Leonardo da Vinci described it; Parma, which will be the Italian Capital of Culture in 2020; Reggio Emilia, “birthplace” of the Tricolour flag; Modena’s UNESCO monuments, motor cars and world-famous cuisine; Bologna with its never-ending porticos; Ferrara, capital of the Italian Renaissance; Ravenna’s splendid mosaics; Faenza, the international queen of ceramics; Forlì, with its internationally acclaimed exhibitions on display every year at the San Domenico Museums; Cesena, with the best-preserved humanist library in the world and Rimini, for the magic of Federico Fellini.
And throughout the year, there are many exhibitions and cultural events, from trade fairs to festivals, to discover alongside these treasures of art and knowledge.
Emilia Romagna is home to the highest concentration of pilgrim walks in Italy. Located between Piacenza and Rimini, there are 18 routes in total, including the Via Francigena (in the middle ages, this road linked Canterbury to Rome and all the way south to the ports of Puglia, now a candidate for UNESCO status) and the Via di San Francesco running from Rimini to La Verna, passing through the Via degli Dei between Bologna and Florence.
Thanks to the information on the website camminiemiliaromagna.it/en (available in Italian, English and French, which can be viewed on your computer, handheld device or mobile phone) you can plan your own personal route, and choose to stay in wide range of bed and breakfasts, agritourism establishments, hotels or religious accommodation (there are more than 4,700 accommodation facilities listed). Along the way, you can visit churches and ancient monasteries, discover natural springs and monumental trees. The pilgrim walks will take you through picturesque regional parks (with 2,732 mapped points of interest), but also provide the opportunity to stop off at the places where PDO and PGI products are made from the land you are walking through (about 300 properties), or to visit the Museums of Taste, which will allow you to learn all about the history and origin of Emilia Romagna’s culinary excellence.