A Quick Tour of Italy - the Romagna Subregion

By: Levi Reiss
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 Romagna subregion, a bit of its history, its many tourist attractions, local food, and local wine. A companion article presents Emilia, the inland western "half" of the region that borders the Lombardy, Liguria, and Tuscany regions of Italy.

Our Romagna tour follows the highway from east to west, going slightly southward along the way. Start by visiting Rocca Sforzesca (Sforza Castle) in the village of Dozza whose wine shop, Enoteco Regionale, has a great collection of local wines. Formula One auto racing fans will want to visit the town of Imola in mid-April. Other attractions include shopping for fancy ceramics and eating at San Domenico's, a world-class restaurant featuring a three thousand item wine list.

Pottery fanciers will enjoy the city of Faenza, a center for faience pottery since the Twelfth Century. Guess what's on display at the Museo delle Ceramiche. If you like spas be sure to visit the neighboring city of Bagno di Romagna with its hot springs.

Ravenna, north of the highway, was once the capital of the Roman Empire. Check out the Basilica di San Vitale (Church of Saint Vitale) with its famous mosaics. If you are in the mood you can visit a historic mausoleum and the tomb of that great Italian poet Dante. For some reason Ravenna is home to many sites with historic mosaics.

Rimini on the Adriatic coast an important European holiday destination is really crowded during the high season. Its Grand Hotel was featured in Fellini's 1973 movie Amaracord.

Perhaps it is no accident that the founder of Italian cuisine Pellegrino Artusi was born in this region. See our companion article I Love Touring Italy - The Romagna Subregion for a sample menu and more information on Romagna wines as well as an in-depth examination of Romagna's tourist attractions. It is the home of Albana di Romagna DOCG, Italy's first white DOCG wine. The G stands for Garantita. While one can guess what that word is supposed to mean, many feel that this honor was far from deserved. I never tasted this particular wine. From my readings I have no great desire to do so, except perhaps to set the matter straight.
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