Emilia-Romagna, Italy: travel guide and places to visit
The Emilia-Romagna region includes famous cities such as Parma and Bologna, popular seaside resorts such as Rimini, heritage sites such as Ravenna and lots of picturesque hill villages...
Emilia-Romagna - a guide and places to visit
For a summary of the most popular sights in the region see also Emilia Romagna places to visit.
The Emilia-Romagna region runs east to west across the northern part of central Italy.
Less well known than Lombardy and the lakes to the north and Tuscany to the south, Emila-Romagna is home to several important and impressive cities such as Parma and Ravenna as well as a good number of impressive historic towns and villages and popular seaside resorts on the Adriatic.
Below we travel broadly west to east through Emilia-Romagna, introducing the most popular places with visitors along the way...
Piacenza to Bologna: western Emilia-Romagna
At the western end of the region you should visit Piacenza with its fine historical centre, and the beautiful medieval town at Castell Arquato, with its basilica and splendid castle, the Rocca Viscontea, and also visit the fine cathedral at Fidenza.
The central part of the region includes the impressive cities of Parma, Modena and Bologna. Each has its own individual characteristics and all three are recommended to visitors to Emilia-Romagna:
- Bologna has the largest medieval centre of any town in Europe: see Bologna guide
- Parma has a remarkable cathedral and historic centre: see Parma guide
- Modena has a remarkable medieval central piazza and cathedral: see Modena guide
Parma and Bologna are, of course, also highly prized for their gastronomic achievements such as Parma ham, Parmesan cheese, spaghetti bolognese...so allow time for lunch!
Other highlights in this central-western part of Emilia-Romagna include the interesting towns of Carpi and Corregio (best known for works by the Renaissance artist of the same name) and also the historical town of Mirandola, all three to the north of Modena.
Bologna to Ravenna: eastern Emilia-Romagna
Travelling east from Bologna you can see fascinating wall murals in the town of Dozza, a short distance to the south-east of Bologna. Faenza, the town famous as the home of pottery (hence 'faience') is a little further in the same direction and close to the popular village of Brisighella, famed especially for its restaurants and food markets.
The cities of Rimini and Ravenna are near the Adriatic at the east of the region and form an interesting contrast to each other: Rimini is a very popular seaside resort, while Ravenna has an astonishing number of very ancient churches and religious monuments dating from the dawn of Christianity and featuring amazing 6th century mosaics - eight buildings here are listed as UNESCO world heritage sites!
Heading next towards the north-east of the Emilia-Romagna region you can discover the town of Ferrara with its stunning collection of historical buildings.
On the Adriatic coast to the east of Ferrara lies the Po Delta, with its many nature reserves and the National Park 'Parco Delta del Po', a popular place for nature watching - in particular see Comacchio.
The independent principality of San Marino is on the southern border of the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and very popular with visitors to the coast here.
Emilia-Romagna highlights - a photo gallery
Most Beautiful Villages - Emilia-Romagna
The following Italian towns and villages in Emilia-Romagna are listed among the 'most beautiful villages in Italy': Bobbio, Brisighella, Castell'Arquato, Compiano, Dozza, Montefiore Conca, Montegridolfo, San Giovanni in Marignano, San Leo, Vigoleno
Orange Flag Tourism towns in Emilia-Romagna
The following Italian towns and villages in Emilia-Romagna are listed among the 'Orange flag towns in Italy'(a national tourist award): Bagno di Romagna, Bobbio, Brisighella, Busseto, Castell'Arquato, Castelvetro Modena, Castrocaro Terme e Terra del Sole, Fanano, Fiumalbo, Fontanellato, Longiano, Montefiore Conca, Monteleone, Portico e San Benedetto, Premilcuore, San Leo, Sestola, Verucchio, Vigoleno