A week in Emilia Romagna

Emilia Romagna is an Italian region north of Tuscany, roughly between Florence and Venice. With its forest-clad mountains, endless beaches along the Adriatic coast, historic towns such as Bologna, Modena, Parma and Ravenna, world-famous automotive industry (think Ferrari, Ducati and Lamborghini), colourful festivals and terrific cuisine, Emilia Romagna has a lot to offer visitors. Despite its numerous attractions, the region remains relatively off-the-beaten-path for many visitors to Italy. Its many UNESCO World Heritage sites are easily accessible and at some sites, you may find yourself admiring the region’s rich cultural and architectural heritage with practically no one around.

I recently had the opportunity to spend one unforgettable week in Emilia Romagna. One week was way too short – that only means I’ll have to return soon – but what a week it was! My trip started in Bologna, easily one of my favourite cities in Italy.

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I loved strolling around Bologna, with its stunning porticoes which provide a welcome shade, especially in the summer!

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Locals enjoying gelato in the shade under the porticoes.

With this fabulous city as my base, I travelled throughout the region by train to the historic towns of Ferrara and Ravenna. Ferrara, itself a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a historic town that’s famous for its 14th/15th century palaces, the Este Castle (with its stunning frescoes) and its Romanesque Cathedral.

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The formidable Este Castle in Ferrara.

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Large mirrors in the Castle showcase the frescoes on the ceiling.

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The cathedral in Ferrara.

Ravenna turned out to be a true gem! I totally fell in love with this gorgeous town, most famous for its impressive mosaics. Read about my stay in Ravenna.

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The Piazza del Popolo (main square) in Ravenna.

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The stunning dome of the Basilica di San Vitale in Ravenna.

One day, a limousine came to pick me (and Claudia) up for a private tour of Modena and the nearby Ferrari museums. We toured in style, visiting the stunning Casa Enzo Ferrari Museum (the home of the founder of Ferrari) and the Ferrari Museum in Maranello. We also strolled around the historic centre of Modena, the home of balsamic vinegar, and had a fabulous lunch at Ristorante L’Erba de Re, a Michelin-star restaurant in the heart of the town.

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Touring in style in our limousine+chaffeur! :-)

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Inside the futuristic Casa Enzo Ferrari Museum.

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One of the many amazing Ferraris at the Ferrari Museum in Maranello.

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A fab lunch at L’Erbe de Re in Modena!

The next day, we headed for the Adriatic Coast where we spent the afternoon enjoying the sun and the surf at Milano Marittima, a favourite haunt for Italy’s jet-set.

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The beach at Milano Marittima.

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And we had a terrific seafood lunch at the beach.

Later that day, we drove down the coast to Rimini to join the fun at La Notte Rosa, the Italian Summer New Year’s Eve Party along 110km of beaches! Everyone wears something pink and food and cocktails are pink! At midnight, we were treated to a spectacular fireworks show that lit up 110km of the sky above the coast!

La Notte Rosa!

La Notte Rosa!

The next day, we took the bus from Rimini to the independent republic of San Marino, one of the smallest and oldest republics in the world. The town is a beautiful maze of cobblestone streets filled with boutiques, restaurants, quirky shops and museums. The views of the surrounding countryside and the Adriatic coast were simply breathtaking.

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Breathtaking views from San Marino.

Needless to say, I had a brilliant time in Emilia Romagna. I’ll say this to anyone visiting Italy: “Don’t miss Emilia Romagna!“. Here’s a video recap of my week in this amazing region:

Note: my visit to Emilia Romagna was part of the Blogville project, a collaboration between the Emilia-Romagna Tourism Board and iambassador.

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8 Responses to “A week in Emilia Romagna”

  1. Keith Jenkins 13/02/2014 7:38 pm
    #

    Hi Trish,
    Bologna is a good base as it’s a major train hub. I can recommend the university neighbourhood (between the main piazza and the train station) – that’s where we had the Blogville apartment last year. Bologna is compact, thus very walkable. You can find more Emilia-Romagna tips on the Blogville website: http://www.blogville-emiliaromagna.com/
    They’re not accepting writers at the moment but no harm in trying via the website. :-)

    Cheers,
    Keith

  2. Trish Sebastian 13/02/2014 8:44 am
    #

    Hi Keith!

    I’m going to Emilia-Romagna for a few days in May after a week in Siena and Florence. I think I want to stay in Bologna, and take day trips to Modena and Parma (and judging from how you raved about it, Ravenna shouldn’t be missed!). Would you have any recommendations which neighborhood is ideal to stay at in Bologna (or anywhere fun and local within Emilia-Romagna, for that matter?). I find that not a lot has been written about Emilia-Romagna and I want to get there before it becomes so mainstream. :). I keep up a blog as well and it would be an experience to write for Blogville EM, except I don’t think they’re accepting writers at the moment. True?

    Cheers,
    Trish

  3. Keith Jenkins 27/08/2013 8:24 am
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    Thanks Rob! :-)

  4. Kevin James 27/08/2013 7:41 am
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    Nice place.. Awesome architecture.. Amazing photos.. Thanks for sharing…

  5. rob hermans 22/08/2013 9:03 pm
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    what lovely colors keith, I especially like the vid!

  6. Keith Jenkins 21/08/2013 11:28 am
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    Hi Noel,

    It sure is a stunning region and relatively off-the-beaten-path. I highly recommend exploring Emilia Romagna. I absolutely loved it!

    Cheers,
    Keith

  7. noel 21/08/2013 4:27 am
    #

    What a beautiful area, I’ll be making sure to visit some of these places in fall while passing through Venice, thanks for sharing these.

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  1. A week in Emilia Romagna - 27/08/2013

    […] …Casa Enzo Ferrari Museum (the home of the founder of Ferrari) and the Ferrari Museum in Maranello. We… One of the many amazing Ferraris at the Ferrari Museum in Maranello. A fab lunch at L’Erbe de Re in…See all stories on this topic […]

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