Emilia-Romagna, Italy: travel guide and places to visit

Photo of Emilia-Romagna (Emilia-Romagna region)

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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

Fidenza

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

Piacenza

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
Bologna

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

Ravena

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!

CesenaYou can visit the interesting town of Cesena a short distance inland between Rimini and Ravenna, or continue south to visit the village of San Leo and its impressive castle.

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

  • beach
  • bobbio
  • bologna
  • comacchio
  • ferrara
  • modena
  • parma
  • rimini
  • scenery

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

See also:

Map of Emilia-Romagna and places to visit

Places to visit near Emilia-Romagna

Bologna

Bologna

The fascinating medieval centre of Bologna is one of the largest to be found in Italy

Bologna

Carpi

Carpi

The large town of Carpi has retained a good number of historic buildings and churches of interest

Carpi

Castell'Arquato

Castell'Arquato

The picturesque village of Castell'Arquato has an interesting medieval village centre and extensive views

Castell'Arquato

Cesena

Cesena

The historic centre of Cesena has kept a good number of its interesting buildings and also the famous 15th century Malatesta Library

Cesena

Comacchio

Comacchio

The 17th and 18th century palazzos in Comacchio are separated by numerous canals and bridges

Comacchio

Correggio

Correggio

In Correggio there are lots of historic buildings and an important museum containing artworks by the Renaissance artist of the same name

Correggio

Dozza

Dozza

The highlight in Dozza is the fortress, restored in Renaissance style in the 16th century

Dozza

Faenza

Faenza

Well known for the International Museum of Ceramics, Faenza town is also interesting to visit

Faenza

Ferrara

Ferrara

The historic centre of Ferrara is important enough that it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Ferrara

Fidenza

Fidenza

Fidenza is visited for both its substantial historic centre and for the very popular Fidenza shopping village

Fidenza

Mirandola

Mirandola

Although the historic centre of Mirandola has lost many of its original treasures a visit is still rewarding

Mirandola

Modena

Modena

Modena has a remarkable centre around Piazza Grande and the cathedral, now protected as a world heritage site

Modena

Parma

Parma

Famous for Parmesan cheese and Parma ham, Parma has a fascinating medieval centre and outstanding frescoes in the cathedral

Parma

Piacenza

Piacenza

Both the Renaissance and medieval periods are well represented in the architecture of Piacenza

Piacenza

Po Delta

Po Delta

The Po Valley is a large natural area that attracts a wide range of birdlife to its waterways and marshes

Po Delta

Ravenna

Ravenna

Ravenna is world famous because of the exceptional mosaics and several 6th century churches in the city

Ravenna

Rimini

Rimini

Rimini is a lively and popular seaside resort on the Adriatic Sea in western Italy

Rimini

San Leo

San Leo

The beautiful village of San Leo is overlooked by an ancient castle high on a rocky outpost

San Leo