One of the flattest and most fertile regions in Italy, Emilia Romagna is bordered by the Po river to the north with the Adriatic Sea on the east. The Apennines in the south divide it from Liguria, Toscana, and Le Marche.
Emilia Romagna produces the highest-quality wine when it produces wines in the most traditional way. The winemakers of Emilia Romagna, year by year, continue to fine tune the identity of their native grapes and these native grapes make wonderful wines. Region wide, the winemakers are concentrating on growing for quality and a careful pricing policy. Lambrusco is again becoming a good wine after years of abuse!
Albana was the first white wine in the region to earn the DOCG denomination. This is also the region of fresh cheese, a cheese which should be eaten as soon as it is made.
We start out on the Via Emilia, from Cervia with its salt works, the most southern of the Mediterranean.. There is Milano Marittima, fashionable and elegant, Cesenatico with its canals thanks to Leonard da Vinci. Everywhere in Romagana are the kiosks selling piadina and sfogline to add pleasure to the Sunday table when homemade pasta is obligatory: tortellini, tagliatelle and lasagne
Romagna means Fellini, the great maestro, too. Flying over the Romagna hills we see Verucchio, the home of Malatesta, then Longiano with its gem of a theatre, Cesena with its imposing Malatestian remains, Forlimpopoli, Faenza and its ceramics, Imola, its hills and wines and then, from on high we see Bologna. How pleasant to wander its porticos in the shade of its tow towers: Garisenda and Asinelli. And the miracle that is Piazza Grande and the San Pietroni basilica.Bologna and its tortellini. Bologna and its mortadella.
Via Emilia has captivated us but we must move on, to visit places where the medieval blends harmoniously with the modern. WE are talking about two cities which are both world heritage sites. Ferrara is magical; here daily life is not frnetic: the Estensi family whos still watch over it would be very upset. How much art it has given to Italy and to the world! Gastronomy and Ferrara are one and the same — “salame da sugo” was already a delicacy at the court of the Estensi.
From Ferrari lets travel towards its lido and Comacchio in the southern part of Polesine, where earth and water have an undefined border. Here eel is the queen of the table. Now with the Adriadic Sea on our left, along the Via Romea we reach Byzantine Ravenna with its mosaic treasures and its very important port.
After our dose of gorgeous mosaics, we return to the Felsina junction of the Via Emilia and head north. Since leaving Bologna we have had the hills on our left. The plain is east of Via Emilia and of Piacenza, too. Land of great wines and salamis this. Piacenza is the only Italian province to have three DOP salamis to its name: Coppe Piacentina, Pancetta Piacentina, Salame Piacentina.
Eventually Emilia ends at the river Po. On one side of the longest river in Italy is Emilia and the other side is Lombardia.