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Emilia-Romagna, Culture, sand and sun


Culture, sand and sun

Emilia-Romagna is a region with charisma, rich with unique cities of art, picturesque mountain scenery in the Apennines, and healing thermal springs. It is also where popular and iconic Italian foods like Parma ham, Parmesan cheese, Mortadella and Balsamic vinegar originate. Here too, the supercars brands Ferrari and Lamborghini are built. The many castles and palaces on the old pilgrim’s road the Via Francigena, in the former Principality of Parma and Piacenza, create a delightful picture of the Middle Ages. The Adriatic coast, on the other hand, is altogether more lively and features busy resorts like Rimini which have developed into large scale summer beach resorts. The Prinicipality of San Marino borders the province to the south.

Places of interest Emilia-Romagna

Pomposa Abbey

Emilia-Romagna, Places of interest: Pomposa Abbey

Pomposa Abbey is located 5 km from Cordigoro in the heart of a nature park. The abbey dates back to the 8th or 9th century. The beauty of the frescoes in the basilica is proof that Pomposa was a powerful cultural and religious centre in the early Middle Ages. 

Giuseppe Verdi The composer from Roncole

Emilia-Romagna, Places of interest: Giuseppe Verdi The composer from Roncole

Verdi (1813-1901) is without a doubt Italy’s most significant opera composer. Nearly half of his 26 operas belong to the standard portfolios of opera repertoires from around the world. His musical talent was discovered in small Busseto: in 1823 the local merchant Antonio Barezzi decided to sponsor the talent of the then 10-year-old boy. After initial failures, Verdi made his breakthrough in 1842 with ‘Nabucco’. Despite his international renown, Verdi retained close ties to his hometown. He settled in Sant’Agata with his second wife Giuseppina Stepponi. Today the house is known as Villa Verdi. The rooms of the villa, where Verdi lived and composed for almost 50 years, have changed little since then with original furniture, works of art and many mementoes.


Whether it be his birthplace and the church in Roncole Verdi, the magical theatre in Busseto, or the Villa Verdi - the life and works of Verdi can be explored in many place

Don Camillo and Peppone

Emilia-Romagna, Places of interest: Don Camillo and Peppone

Today the village of Brescello on the Po seems very peaceful. Sixty years ago, however, it was anything but idyllic. Then there was an extreme­ly hefty, heated conflict between the Communists and the Catholics. At least in the film of Don Camillo and Peppone. Whoever steps onto the village square of Brescello, is today still in the thick of the story about the two main characters. The house of Peppone can still be seen, as well as the balcony, from which he proudly proclaimed as a new father, that a Communist had just been born. Numbered signs lead to the various original filming

locations: to the train station or to Peppone’s ‘bell of the people’, which today hangs in the middle of the village. Peppone himself had it cast, so that it could toll during the funeral procession of one of his young fellow party members. In Brescello there is also the interesting ‘Peppone and Don Camillo Museum’, where special exhibits can be admired.


Emilia-Romagna, Places of interest: Castell´Arquato

Genuine, unadulterated Middle Ages greet the visitor to Castell’Arquato. This pristine medieval town numbers among Emilia-Romagna’s most beautiful places and is well worth a visit. The centre is the Piazza del Municipio, dominated by the formidable Palazzo Pretorio. 

Grazzano Visconti

Emilia-Romagna, Places of interest: Grazzano Visconti

Those who wish to discover what life was like in the Middle Ages away from the aristocratic residences of the nobility should not forgo a visit to Grazzano Visconti. South of Piacenza at the beginning of the 20th century, the eccentric Count Giuseppe Visconti, father of the director Luchino Visconti, erected a complete village around a 14th-century castle faithful to the medieval model. The aim of the project was to breathe new life into all the old handicrafts. Unique in this region: today about 350 people still live there, who in working as locksmiths, carpenters or masons keep the traditional craftman’s trades alive. In addition, Grazzano Visconti offers an impressive setting for the annual May festival (last Sunday in May). The attractions are numerous: parade in historical costumes, music, dancing, horse shows, medieval banquets. All this in remembrance of the wedding between Caterina Anguissola, daughter of a nobleman from Grazzano, and Louis I d’Orleans in the year 1389. The capital of the Trebbia Valley, Bobbio, is also very lovely. This early medieval town with its beautiful abbey and Hunchback Bridge (Ponte Gobbo) radiates a unique charm and is a very popular tourist destination.

The ancient salt city of Cervia

Emilia-Romagna, Places of interest: The ancient salt city of Cervia

Salt production has a long history in the city of Cervia, located on the Adriatic coast. The salt warehouses are located on the saltpan canal, today seat of the Musa salt museum and an exhibition area. On the right shore, near the Darsena warehouse, one can admire the colourful mosaic Fontana del Tappeto sospeso (Fountain of the Flying Carpet), which was created by the artist Marco Bravura after the model of the author Tonino Guerra. At the saltworks guided walks or 2-hour boat outings can be organised.

In the footsteps of Matilda of Canossa

A row of medieval castles in an enchanting hilly landscape bring back memories of the time when the Countess Matilda decided the fate of all Europe: Canossa, symbol of the endless conflict between the papacy of Gregory VII and the reign of Emperor Henry I

Festivals & Events Emilia-Romagna

Festival of the street artists in Ferrara

The ‘Ferrara Buskers Festival’ at the end of August is an important festival for street artists, who come here from around the world. Ferrara transforms itself into a city of music, in which visitors can follow the echo of the strains of music in the streets, courtyards and squares.

Matildic festivals

The ‘Corteo Storico Matildico’ at the end of May in Quattro Castella and the ‘Rievocazione Storica Canossiana’ in Ciano d’Enza in September number among the two most important events that reminisce upon the past glory days of the Countess Matilda of Canossa. Here large costume parades and medieval festivities send visitors back to the time of Matilda of Canossa.

Eel festival in Comacchio

The king of the lagoons is celebrated during the first two weekends in October in Comacchio. Exhibitions, performances, city tours, cooking courses, meet-ups and boat tours take place in the en­tire town amidst the canals and bridges.

Palio of Ferrara

Emilia-Romagna, Festivals & Events: Palio of Ferrara

Everyone should see the world’s oldest Palio (1259) at least once. Today the Palio takes place once a year on the last Sunday in May with the participation of thousands of costumed court ladies, knights and musicians. Eight districts compete for victory during four races.

The Carnival in Cento

Emilia-Romagna, Festivals & Events: The Carnival in Cento

Hundreds of performers in colourful costumes parade through the streets and ar­cades of Cento. Numerous floats take part in the carnival parades, which are decorated by the city’s carnival associations. A jury awards the most beautiful float. Recently Cento has started a sponsorship with the carnival hotspot of Rio de Janeiro and is proud to host samba dancers from Rio during the parades.

Palio del Niballo in Faenza

On the day of the Palio, the fourth Sunday in June, the en­tire city is on its feet. The sporty rivalry between the five city quarters of Faenza is brought to life again during this tradi­tion-filled competition, which dates back to the year 1164. The residents of Faenza already begin decorating the city and pre-

paring for the historical spectacle days in advance. The fans of each particular city quarter can be recognised during the parades by the colour of their costumes and flags. The goal is the same as all those years ago, to drive out the invader Hannibal. After the Palio everyone meets together for a large feast and celebrates in convivial harmony.

Festa Artusiana in Forlimpopoli

Emilia-Romagna, Festivals & Events: Festa Artusiana in Forlimpopoli

This festival for foodies in June in honour of Pellegrino Artusi features cooking, baking and frying to one’s heart’s content. Artusi, born in Forlimpopoli, wrote the first cookbook covering all of Italy and published it in 1891 -‘La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene’ (‘On the science of cooking and the art of eating well’) - the so-called Bible of Italian cuisine. Every evening during the ‘Festa Artusiana’ tastings, culinary events, concerts, theatre performances and speciality markets take place.

Cherry blossom festival in Vignola

The central Italian city of Vignola near Modena is consi­dered the cherry capital. At the beginning of April, the village hosts numerous parades with flower-bedecked floats, music and folklore groups are also on the programme, all to celebrate the symbolic fruit of the hills around Modena.

There are also markets with local products and a large exhibition of flowers and plants, which transform the entire centre of Vignola into a colourful and fragrant garden.

The Castle of Montechiarugolo

Emilia-Romagna, Festivals & Events: The Castle of Montechiarugolo

This castle is located about 16 km from Parma. It was built by Guido Torrelli in the 15th century and presents an impressive example of fortress architecture and a royal residence. According to legend, the famous fairy Fata Bema glides through the old rooms of the castle. 

For groups with an advanced reservation tours outside of the normal opening hours can be arranged.

Castles & palaces Emilia-Romagna

Rocca di Fontanellato

Emilia-Romagna, Castles & palaces: Rocca di Fontanellato

The castle of the Sanvitale family, a beautiful moated castle, which was built in the 15th century, reflects the wealth and power of this aristocratic family. The highlight is the boudoir of Paola Gonzaga, which was painted by Parmigianino. The artist tells the story of Actaeon, who spied on the goddess Diana while she was bathing. As a punishment he was turned into a stag and ripped apart by his own dogs. Medieval houses with picturesque arcades are located next to the castle.

The Palace of Colorno

Emilia-Romagna, Castles & palaces: The Palace of Colorno

The summer residence of the Farnese became the ducal residence of the Bourbons in 1749. In 1815 the duchy came into the possession of the former Empress Marie Louise of Austria, who made the garden her hobbyhorse and therefore commissioned Carlo Barvitius with the redesigning of the park after the model of the English Romantic.

The palace is only accessible with a guided tour.

The Castle of Torrechiara

Emilia-Romagna, Castles & palaces: The Castle of Torrechiara

Torrechiara is like a fairytale castle and is one of the most often visited castles in the province of Parma. Built upon a small rise, the castle, which was built between 1448 and 1460, visibly thrones over the surrounding countryside. The entire castle structure has remained intact to the present day and stands as an impressive testament to its proud past.

Powerful walls and immense towers surround the courtyard; the building itself awakens the image of an almost fantasy-like knight’s castle. And yet it is not the spirit of the Mid dle Ages that has immortalised itself here in stone. The spirit of a new time period can be felt at the Castle of Torrechiara, an epoch that brought architecture, art and philosophy to perhaps their greatest height: the Renaissance.

Lamborghini Museum in Sant’Agata Bolognese

Emilia-Romagna, Castles & palaces: Lamborghini Museum in Sant’Agata Bolognese

The Castle of Gropparello

Emilia-Romagna, Castles & palaces: The Castle of Gropparello

This castle dates back to the 13th century and passed through the possession of several families over the course of time. The Fairytale Park is located within the castle grounds. And the castle does indeed offer visitors a perfect setting for fairytales a The Fairytale Park is located within the castle grounds. And the castle does indeed offer visitors a perfect setting for fairytales and stories, which specifically appeal to children.

Suggested Excursion Combinations Emilia-Romagna

Ducati Museum in Borgo Panigale

Emilia-Romagna, Suggested Excursion Combinations: Ducati Museum in Borgo Panigale

Advance reservation required
Visitors under 14 years of age may only visit the museum, not the factory. Picture taking and video recording are strictly prohibited in the factory. For safety reasons, all visitors must be able to understand the language of the tour. 

Bologna and Dozza

Emilia-Romagna, Suggested Excursion Combinations: Bologna and Dozza

Bologna has one of the most beautiful and best preserved historic districts in Europe with many towers from the Middle Ages and ca. 40 km of arcades, which connect the pedestrian zones, squares, churches and palaces of the extensive city centre. Guided tour through the old univer-

sity city, known for the ‘de gli Asinelli’ and ‘della Garisenda’ towers, the San Petronio Basilica and the Neptune Fountain. In the afternoon you will visit the medieval vil lage of Dozza, to discover the castle and the typical decorated houses of the centre.

Wine tasting in a winery of the region.

Piacenza and Grazzano Visconti

Emilia-Romagna, Suggested Excursion Combinations: Piacenza and Grazzano Visconti

Piacenza is one of the most beautiful cultural cities of the Po Valley, but is relatively unknown outside of Italy. Therefore, there are hardly any foreign tourists in this charming city. During the city tour, in addition to the cathedral, history-charged palaces and the most beautiful churches will be pointed

out, including the San Sisto Church with the Sistine Madonna. The next stop is Grazzano Visconti, a show village that has been dressed in medieval style in order to put a spotlight on the fresco-painted houses and porticoes.

Modena and a balsamic vinegar cellar

Emilia-Romagna, Suggested Excursion Combinations: Modena and a balsamic vinegar cellar

Modena is the city of Ferrari and Maserati, and it is not only rich, but also beautiful. In the city, the Piazza Grande with the cathedral, the Ghirlandina bell tower and the city hall number among the cultural monuments that were named UNESCO World Heritage Sites. City tour and then visit to a balsamic vinegar cellar. During the tour you will learn more about the tradition and production techniques which guarantee the good quality of the vinegar.


Emilia-Romagna, Suggested Excursion Combinations: Ravenna

The former capital of the Western Roman Empire is one of the cities most worth visiting in Italy and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ravenna is famous for its huge mosaic decorations, the lovely fa­cades in the historic district and the significant architecture from the early Middle Ages. You will see the most important architectural monuments from the Gothic and Byzan tine eras, including the S. Vitale Basilica, the Galla Placidia Mausoleum with its splendid mosaics and the mausoleum of the Ostrogoth king Theodoric. 

Faenza and Ravenna

Emilia-Romagna, Suggested Excursion Combinations: Faenza and Ravenna

The sightseeing in Faenza begins with a walk through the historic centre, where significant architectural buildings can be seen: the Neoclassical Palazzo Milzetti, the Renaissance cathedral, the elegant Teatro Masini and the two central squares. The next stop is Ravenna, the last capital of the Western Roman Empire. The spectacular buildings and the huge, valuable mosaic decorations number among the richest and bestpreserved testimonies to the Byzantine era in Italy.

Modena and hinterland: Vignola and Spilamberto

Emilia-Romagna, Suggested Excursion Combinations: Modena and hinterland: Vignola and Spilamberto

After the city tour in Modena the outing will continue into the hilly landscape. A string of villages with castles, over which feudal families and clergy fought in the Middle Ages, characterise these Apennine hills. First and foremost Vignola, which in spring during the cherry blossom season is drenched in an enchanting sea of pink and white polka dots. Vignola’s well-preserved castle complex is situated in the centre.

In Spilamberto you will visit the impressive Balsamic Vinegar Museum.

Parma, Roncole Verdi and Busseto

Emilia-Romagna, Suggested Excursion Combinations: Parma, Roncole Verdi and Busseto

In addition to the world-famous ham, the former royal city of Parma offers magnificent buildings: the Palazzo Ducale, built following French standards, the wooden Tea­tro Farnese and the baptistery of the cathedral. During a guided tour you will see all of these sights. The next stop is the birthplace of Giuseppe Verdi, Roncole. There you will visit the church where Verdi was baptised and his birthplace. The famous Verdi Theatre, which can be toured, is located in Busseto just a few kilometres away.


Emilia-Romagna, Suggested Excursion Combinations: Ferrara

Ferrara is a city that must be experienced. In every corner you will discover the character of a magnificent Renaissance capital. The historic district, surrounded by a 9-kilometre-long city wall, can only be visited on foot or by bicycle. The historic city centre has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. In Ferrara you will visit the cathedral, the basilica and the medieval  historic  district with a certified tour.

San Marino and S. Leo

Emilia-Romagna, Suggested Excursion Combinations: San Marino and S. Leo

This outing first stops in San Marino, which with its size of only 61 km2 is the world’s smallest surviving republic. The sights most worth seeing in this pretty medieval city are above all the government palace, the cathedral and the Statue of Liberty on the Piazza della Libertá. In the afternoon you will visit the castle town of San Leo, which is located atop a high, steep crag. The splendid view alone, which one has due to its special location, merits a visit.

Ferrari Museum in Modena

Emilia-Romagna, Suggested Excursion Combinations: Ferrari Museum in Modena

This museum, opened in March 2012, is dedicated to the fascinating life of Enzo Ferrari. The ‘Museo Enzo Ferrari,’ built right next to his birthplace in Modena, was designed by the Czech star architect Jan Kaplicky. Every six months, 20 Ferrari cars selected according to

various themes and from different eras will

be put on display here in this building with

a yellow roof shaped like an engine bonnet.

Person al memorabilia owned by the successful

entrepreneur Enzo Ferrari, such as the sunglas-

ses that he once wore, are also on display. In

addition, there is an exhibit featuring one of

his first workshops.

Galleria Ferrari in Maranello

Emilia-Romagna, Suggested Excursion Combinations: Galleria Ferrari in Maranello

Whoever says Maranello, means Ferrari, the most respected racing team of the Formula 1, which has its seat here. Ever since Enzo Ferrari decided in 1942 to start producing his motor car brand in Maranello, the entire area has literally ‘breathed’ the red

the red of this ‘stallion’. In the Ferrari Gallery a photo exhibition, historical rarities, antique cars, and Formula 1 racing cars tell the legendary history of this horse that stands on its rear legs. In 1997 the Galleria del Vento, designed by architect Renzo Piano, was dedicated. In it the new technical innovations of the Ferrari motor car are tested.

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