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Emilia Romagna - Capturing Hearts

From the November 2015 issue.
Emilia Romagna - Capturing Hearts

Hailed as a gastronomic paradise, filled with so many treasures, Emilia Romagna is a haven for travellers. Exuding more than its fair share of food, history and Christmas cheer, it is a region that truly delights and excites the senses.

By Danielle Gullaci

Before I had even stepped foot in Emilia Romagna, I had heard so much about its culinary offering – the world famous Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma and Balsamic Vinegar of Modena – but less about its striking scenery, interesting architecture, beautiful sites and countless events, particularly those that light up the city during the festive season.

Throughout the year, many festivals are dedicated to the region’s celebrated food and wine – the Festival of Prosciutto in Parma, the Salt Festival in the town of Cervia, an international Mortadella Festival in Bologna, wine and grape festivals throughout the region during the September harvest, and festivals dedicated to food products like tagliatelle pasta, truffles, porcini mushrooms, pumpkins, onions, chestnuts and more. Add to these some world-class international exhibitions like the biennial Cibus International Food Exhibition in Parma and the annual Sigep international gelati, pastry, bakery and confectionary exhibition; and it’s not too hard to understand why Emilia Romagna has earned the nickname of Italy’s food bowl.

This fascinating region has captured the hearts of many – the locals that call it home, tourists like myself that have visited and vowed to one day return, and some of Italy’s famous writers and poets. A small village in the Parma province called Le Roncole was the birthplace of Giuseppe Verdi and it inspired many of his operas. And, one of Italy’s most celebrated film directors, Federico Fellini, was born in Rimini and made this the setting for some of his films. Among the most notable is the Academy Award-winning Amarcord (1973).

In the lead up to Christmas each year, Emilia Romagna’s busy events calendar is filled to the brim. The region comes to life with Christmas markets, fairs and nativity displays of all sorts – sand-sculpted displays, underwater displays, mechanical displays and live displays among other unique offerings.

Emilia Romagna is comprised of nine provinces – Bologna (the capital), Ferrara, Forli-Cesena, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Ravenna, Reggio Emilia and Rimini.

To the north, Emilia Romagna is bordered by Italy’s longest river, the Po. To the east, it hugs the Adriatic Sea. While the south is framed by mountains that form part of Italy’s Apennines. 

To read the full article, see the November/December 2015 issue of Italianicious magazine.

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