A Rapid Tour of Italy - the Romagna Subregion

By: Levi Reiss
If you are hankering for a Europe destination, you should really consider the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. Emilia-Romagna may be the only region of Italy that is named for a road, one constructed by the Ancient Romans almost 2200 years ago. This article describes the Romagna subregion, some of 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, boasts an excellent 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 fancy spas make 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. You should check out the Basilica di San Vitale (Church of Saint Vitale) with its famous mosaics. If you are up to it 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 is a major European holiday destination, and is quite 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 additional information on Romagna wines plus 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 quite undeserved. 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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