Home   Holidays   Article

Emilia Romagna, Italy

This quiet corner of Italy is a million miles from the huge crowds and tourist-trap cafes and restaurants of the country’s better-known cities, but the history is just as rich.

Between the fertile Po plains and Apennine mountains, the Roman Via Emilia runs from Rimini to distant Piacenza. A wealth of interesting places line its path.

Ravenna is home to eight Unesco World Heritage sites, including the basilica of San Vitale – an octagonal building with alabaster windows and a wealth of Byzantine mosaics – and the elegant Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo.

The city is famous for its mosaics, and the surfaces of most of its historic places are covered in intricate and beautiful designs.

I try my hand at mosaic-making at a special workshop the morning after a tour of the city, and realise that it’s painstaking, complicated work, giving me new-found respect for the artists who completed the huge historic designs.

A meal at fish restaurant Osteria L’Acciuga offers delights such as grilled octopus, lobster, exquisite sea bass and passatelli — a local pasta made from breadcrumbs, eggs and Parmesan cheese.

The town of Faenza is famous for its ceramics, and its two joined-up main squares are a tranquil place to enjoy a coffee.

After delicious food and wine at La Baita Osteria, we walk off the excesses in regional capital, Forli.

Benito Mussolini was born nearby, and his influence on the architecture is everywhere — especially in the grand avenue leading from the train station to the main square.

The town also hosts the Verzocchi collection – paintings created across two years by 70 artists to give an important snapshot of Italian modern art in the early 1950s.

A short drive brings us to Forlimpopoli, home of Pellegrino Artusi, the godfather of Italian cookery writing.

We sample incredible dishes created from his books at the Casa Artusi cookery school and restaurant.

Rimini’s reputation as a party town belies its rich cultural history. Among a range of Roman sites, the Surgeon’s House reveals perfectly preserved mosaics, artefacts and surgical instruments.

The Tiberius bridge is still in use after 2,000 years and leads to a quarter with tiny homes decorated with murals, many in tribute to local hero film director Federico Fellini.

A visit to the Apennines and the fortress town of San Leo offers incredible views across to the independent state of San Marino and beyond.

Close by is Pennabili, a tiny hilltop town playing host to the Artisti in Piazza festival every year, where more than 200 performers, buskers and craft stallholders gather to showcase their skills amid stunning scenery.

Julia’s stay was courtesy of the Emilia Romagna Tourist Board.

Looking for a holiday home in the Emila region - www.ownersdirect.co.uk/italy-emilia-romagna.htm

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More