Emilia Romagna is classic Italy. It’s the romantic Italy you’ve seen on screen. The one filled with unspoilt countryside, where pasta is still made by hand and locals welcome you with open arms. The crowds found in other tourist hotspots are a mere memory, but Emilia Romagna got no chance of being called sleepy. From the engine-roaring Motor Valley to the party town of Rimini there’s action and adventure on offer by the bucket-load. But away from the high-octane engines and all night parties, Emilia Romagna serves up quiet sophistication with ease. Beach-lovers will adore the coastal nature reserves, where temperatures soar.
The region truly comes alive in peak festival season. From July to September the gastronomic capital of Italy celebrates its food in style. Banquets, feasts, and the occasional medieval reenactment, spill out on to the streets in a flurry of aromas, flavours and colours.
Sun-kissed summers are the icing on Emilia Romagna’s cake. Whether you’re holding hands on a beach stroll or falling for the regions fast cars and foodie feasts, we think Emilia Romagna will capture your hearts.
Forget the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Bologna’s two leaning towers are the tallest, and most impressive, in Italy. Dominating the skyline, it’s hard to miss these impressive stone towers looming over Bologna. Explore the city and you’ll also find some fantastic street art. You’ll want to head to Ex Mercato 24 to see an expansive and intricate battle mural. Stay until the early evening and listen out for Lucio Dalla’s music. Streamed into the streets, Bologna is immensely proud of the songwriter’s work.
A former capital of the Roman Empire, Ravenna’s streets are overflowing with culture and history. One of the world’s most comprehensive collections of colourful Christian mosaics can be found in churches across the town. Home to not one, but eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Ravenna’s offerings don’t stop there. World-class restaurants and a charming marina make this a must-see destination.
Known as Little Venice, this charming town is built on thirteen islets connected by canals and waterways. The town’s history is most recently linked by two seemingly random things, eels and Sophia Loren. Loren put Comacchio on the map in the 50s. On location in Comacchio she was filmed in the local fish factory. Now a museum to the fishing industry, the walls are peppered with posters of Loren - celebrating the unlikely pairing. Try an eel dish while you’re in town and wander the quaint filming location. Much less crowded than its namesake, Little Venice is a treasure worth finding.
Exploring Emilia Romagna…
Petrol heads should head straight to Motor Valley. Home to the famous roaring engines of Lamborghini, Maserati, Ferrari and Ducati, the area is a car-lover’s dream destination. Factories offer museums and tours, while Ferrari fans will want to head to the race track. Buckle up!
Adventure Park Ca 'di Gianni
If you prefer to get your adrenaline fix from the great outdoors, we recommend a trip to Adventure Park Ca 'di Gianni. An adventure park for families has been built among the wooded slopes of the Comero mountain. Rope ladders, nets and walkways through the treetops all immerse you into the woodland and the beautiful leafy canopy.
Hit the beach in Rimini
One of Italy’s ‘party capitals’ Rimini also offers a glamorous seaside escape. Large hotels line the beach with rows of sunbeds and colourful umbrellas. The hotels’imarble interiors offer welcome shade in summer along with grand terraces to stop and enjoy a drink. If all the extravagance and glamour borders on bling, head to the old town. Large shaded town squares offer a quiet place to grab a coffee and enjoy Rimini at a slower, simpler pace.
Path of the Gnomes
The banks of the River Savio is home to a very special miniature world. From the smallest children to the most cynical adults, the gnomes dotted amongst the paths here will charm them all. As well as gnomes, there are sculptures of animals, mills and houses along a 2km walk. Small visitors who leave a letter for a gnome will even get a reply. A charming walk full of fun, legends and nature.
Each region of Italy has its own star recipes, flavours and ingredients. But there are staples you’ll find on just about every table. Olive oil, fresh pasta, local crops and delicious cheeses. Seafood lovers will want to head to local restaurants along the coast to enjoy the delights of the daily catch. Whether you feast on the familiar with pizza and pasta or dine on local delicacies, Italy’s cuisine will not disappoint.
Emilia Romagna restaurants
A region best known for three stellar ingredients - Parma ham, parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar - Emilia Romagna is home to some of Italy’s best restaurants. One dish you may miss on a menu here is spaghetti bolognese - because it’s not really an Italian dish. The original dish is called tagliatelle ragu - thick strands of pasta mingled with a rich meat ragu sauce. Bologna’s the place to tuck in to this popular dish done right.
Emilia Romagna holidays are made for inquisitive and adventurous holidaymakers from all walks of life. From hilltop explorers to families and couples. With day trips to beautiful beaches and inland quirky treasures as well as world-class cuisine, unique attractions, eccentric festivals, and of course unspoilt countryside beaches, this is an eclectic and beautiful region to visit at any time of year.
What are you waiting for? Book your holiday to Emilia Romagna with easyJet holidays. You’ll even get a discount if you book your hotel and flights together.
Emilia Romagna not quite ticking your holiday boxes? Have a read of our other Italy destination guides for further holiday inspiration!