Escape Travel

Why Emilia Romagna Should Be On Every Italian Travel Itinerary

Anyone following Italy’s well-trodden tourist trails from Florence to Venice or Milan will have passed through the country’s northern region of Emilia Romagna, and most likely, also through the region’s historic capital city of Bologna. But, if like so many others you’re simply passing through, you could be missing out on a highlight of your Italian adventure. With its unrivalled authenticity characterised by natural beauty, warm hospitality, incredible food, and local arts and culture, here are some of the top reasons to make time for Emilia Romagna on your next Italian adventure.

Historic Towns and Cities

While the streets and piazzas of Rome, Florence and Venice can be busy during peak seasons, Emilia Romagna’s many lesser-known historic centers offer a much calmer and relaxed environment for travelers year-round with equal charm. With their narrow medieval streets, skylines dotted with Renaissance domes, and gorgeous palaces, some of the region’s must-see towns and cities include the UNESCO World Heritage City of Ferrara, the artistic and culinary capital of Bologna, and Parma – known for its Gothic churches, Romanesque duomo and Renaissance theatres.

Unsurprisingly, without the crowds, local restaurants serving quality local cuisine are typically more accessible and reasonably priced in the towns and cities of Emilia Romagna compared to Italy’s busier tourist hotspots, especially in summer. And with the more relaxed vibe, enjoying an afternoon aperitivo on an architecturally wondrous piazza can be an easy daily reality here. 

Sprawling Countryside and Regional Parks

Emilia Romagna is the place to go for outdoor adventure or simply to get some rest and relaxation among nature. Whether you’re looking for skiing, horse-riding, cycling, hiking or just an opportunity to escape from it all in a cosy rural hideaway, there are so many options to explore. Emilia Romagna is home to the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines National Park and the national parks of Foreste Casentinesi and Campigna where you’ll find an abundance of outdoor pursuits for all interests and ages. From the hills of Piacenza to the Adriatic coast, the countryside of Emilia Romagna is also scattered with castles, fortresses and tiny Medieval villages. Castell’Arquato, Montegridolfo, Brisighella, Bertinoro, Dozza, and Montefiore Conca are well worth visiting for their local food, drink, and hidden cultural treasures.  

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Three cities in the region have earned UNESCO World Heritage site status including Ferrara, Modena, and Ravenna with each recognized for their many sites of historical, cultural, and artistic significance. The mosaics of Ravenna, the sixteenth-century residences of Delizie Estensi in Ferrara, and Modena’s Piazza Grande, Cathedral, and Ghirlandina Tower are highlights, but there is so much more to see and explore. 

White Sandy Beaches Along the Adriatic Coastline

Aside from the picturesque inland regions which are so well known for their rolling green hills, hamlets, and fertile farmlands, Emilia Romagna also offers a stretch of Adriatic coastline featuring long wide sandy beaches and spectacular views over the ocean. Depending on what you’re looking for in your beachside getaway, the seaside towns of Rimini and Riccione are great for family fun at the beaches and waterparks while you’ll find a vibrant nightlife after dark.

Meanwhile, there are many other smaller but equally beautiful seaside towns dotted along the coast towards the north including Cesenatico, Cervia, Bellaria, Lido Degli Estensi, and Marina Di Ravenna.    

Love Italy and want more? Click here.

%d bloggers like this: