A Quick Tour of Italy - the Emilia Subregion

By: Levi Reiss

If you are planning a European tourist vacation, you should 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 nearly 2200 years ago. This article describes the Emilia subregion. We present 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 begins at Piacenza, an Etruscan city with beautiful 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 should be sure to visit the town Busseto in particular 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 now deceased 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, the oldest university in Europe, is proud to claim 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 its Jewish Museum that was formerly 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 Emilia-Romagna's wine cannot match its excellent food.

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