A Quick Tour Of Italy - The Emilia Subregion

Let's see what Emilia offers tourists...

Historic center of Parma Italy

Historic center of Parma, Italy

Home of that special ham and cheese

If you are looking for a European tourist destination, consider the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. It may be the only region of Italy named for a road, one constructed by the Ancient Romans almost 2200 years ago. This article describes the Emilia subregion, a bit of its history, its many tourist attractions, local food, and local wine. A companion article presents Romagna, the eastern “half” of the region.

Our tour of Emilia starts at Piacenza, an Etruscan city proud of its baroque statues, a Thirteenth Century Palace, Palazzo del Comune, and a Cathedral with a very interesting bell tower. Art museums display both Etruscan and Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Italian art.

Opera lovers shouldn’t miss the town Busseto with the villa where Guiseppe Verdi lived and worked and the theatre that performed his works. The historic city of Parma is known for Parmesan cheese and Parma ham. Besides its great food there are churches and museums to see and opera to see and hear.

Modena and its surroundings is the home to the opera singer Luciano Pavarotti, Maserati and Ferrari sports cars, and balsamic vinegar. Be sure to see Modena’s old city, the Twelfth Century Duomo (Cathedral), and the Palazzo dei Musei (Palace of the Museum) and taste some balsamic vinegar. Stop by Modena’s four hundred year old delicatessen, said to be the world’s oldest.

Bologna boasts the oldest university in Europe with the first woman to teach officially at a European University. Because of all the students the city does not shut down early. There is an unfinished cathedral and some towers, one of which leans.

Ferrara, a UNESCO world heritage site, was featured in the famous movie The Garden of the Finzi-Continis. There’s a castle with a hanging garden, and moat, a drawbridge, and dungeons. Make sure to see the nearby Gothic Duomo (Cathedral). You can visit Ferrara’s ghetto and Jewish Museum, once a synagogue. Finish your tour at Europe’s oldest wine bar where the famous scientist Copernicus once lived and drank here.

Emilia-Romagna, in particular Emilia is a world famous gourmet destination. See our companion article I Love Touring Italy – The Emilia Region for a sample menu and more information on Emilia-Romagna wines as well as an in-depth examination of Emilia’s tourist attractions. Try some Lambrusco DOC red wines, which are often fizzy or frothy. Frankly in Emilia-Romagna the wine isn’t as good as the food.

About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.

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