The region of Emilia-Romagna in Italy, which is home to Bologna and Modena, was hit by several earthquakes over the last few weeks. The region is now more dependent on your tourist dollars in the wake of this tragedy.
Even before the tragedy, Emilia Romagna has always been a great place to visit. These are only 8 of our favorite places!
1) See castles all over Emilia-Romagna
The history of Emilia-Romagna has been, well… a bit confusing. The territory of Parma and Piacenza was divided into several city-states during the Middle Ages, Renaissance and after the Papal States seized most of the region in 16 century. However, Modena, Piacenza and Parma maintained their independence right up to the Reunification in 1861. The ground is dotted with castles from the Renaissance and medieval eras due to all of these battles and switching alliances. Seriously. It is difficult to travel 15 miles without seeing one. They are some of the most well-preserved in Italy.
Bonus: Many castles can be rented for overnight guests like the Rocca d’Olgisio and Castello di Rezzanello.
2) It is home to Europe’s oldest university
Oxford and Cambridge, put aside! The oldest university of Europe is located in Bologna in the Emilia Romagna region. The University of Bologna was founded in 1088 and has produced such distinguished alumni as Copernicus (Pope Alexander VI), Copernicus, Petrarch, Dante, and Copernicus. Bologna, a graceful medieval city, still vibrates with academic enthusiasm and student life.
3) From Parma ham to Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Emilia-Romagnan cuisine might be Italy’s best
Each region of Italy has its own unique cuisine. You know Emilia-Romagna’s food is delicious, even though it isn’t the most popular. Many of the most beloved Italian food products are made in this region. Other regional specialties include lasagna and tortellini.
Are you a car-lover? You should go to Emilia-Romagna.
“Motor Valley” houses some of Italy’s most renowned car manufacturers, such as Lamborghini and Maserati. It’s not surprising that Ferrari’s founder was born in Modena. The Ferrari factory, race track, and museum are all located in Maranello. The Lamborghini factory, located 20 miles from Bologna and very close to Modena, has a Lamborghini Museum. Unfortunately, the museum will be closed until further notice. Maserati has Maserati factory tours as well as a Maserati Museum. It is based in Modena, Italy, since 1940. The Ducati Museum can be found in Bologna.
HTML5_ Emilia-Romagna has many beautiful Renaissance and medieval cities as well as art.
Do you see beautiful Renaissance domes, medieval streets, and elegant palaces when you think of Italy? You can’t miss Emilia-Romagna’s cities. Modena has many buildings that date back to the 10th or 11th centuries. This includes its remarkable Duomo and a 17th-century ducal palace. Ferrara, a powerful and independent duchy, was one of Italy’s most well-known cities in the 15th century. It is still surrounded today by some of Italy’s finest-preserved medieval walls. Both cities are World Heritage Cities.
Bologna was also a thriving political and artistic center during the Renaissance. The Bolognese School included such big-hitters like Annibale Caracci, Domenichino and Guercino. The town still retains its medieval towers, Renaissance palaces, and other Renaissance structures. Parma is worth a visit for its Romanesque duomo and Gothic churches as well as its graceful Renaissance palaces.
6) Mountain, beaches, caves, springs: It’s all here in Emilia-Romagna
The region is known for its Renaissance and medieval cities. However, the area also boasts stunning natural gems. The Adriatic Sea extends Emilia-Romagna, which means that there are beautiful stretches of coastline. The area is also diverse geographically: the Apennine mountain range, forests, caves, and springs are all present. It’s also home to the Bagno di Romagna and Salsomaggiore, which offer a great way to unwind. Many of these natural areas are protected: there are two national parks, fourteen regional parks, and eleven regional reserves. Emilia-Romagna, a wonderful place to visit, is ideal for hiking, camping mountain-biking, and caving as well as any other outdoor activities.
7) The region that inspired Verdi & Toscanini
Verdi was born in Emilia-Romagna in 1813 as Roncole di Busseto. If you love his music, Emilia-Romagna has a few stops to make. The National Museum of Giuseppe Verdi is located in a charming 16th-century Palazzo in Busseto. Or his childhood home. This is where Verdi gave his first public performance. The Verdi Theatre, in Bussetto, was built in the composer’s honor. Toscanini, a hundred years later, was the rising star in Italian opera. He is also a native of Emilia-Romagna. The house where Toscanini was born in Parma is open to the public.
8) Home of some of the most significant mosaics in Italy
Many of the most important and spectacular mosaics in Italy can be found in one city in Emilia Romagna: Ravenna. Ravenna, which was briefly the capital of the Roman Empire after it had become Christian, was decorated with some of the most extravagant mosaics. Many of these structures are still in good condition today and look as stunning as they did in the 6th or 7th centuries.