A new storyteller for an unknown region
In Canada there are lots of Italians. Busy intersections are filled with Italian restaurants and stores and there are many Italian festivals. But surprisingly, no one ever spoke about Emilia Romagna!
So imagine my surprise, 6 years ago when I moved to Bologna, followed by Modena, only to discover this incredible territory that spans mountains, the seaside and of course the valley.
Now I’ve become one of those expats that talks anyone’s ear off about Emilia Romagna as the perfect vacation destiny. Whether you are looking for delicious food, culture or the outdoors, Emilia Romanga has everything… and everything done exceptionally well!
You quickly learn the meaning of the saying ‘Bologna la Grassa‘ (i.e. Fat Bologna), when you live in Emilia Romagna. I’m hardly able to maintain my weight with the amount of delicious temptations that surround me. Parmigiano Reggiano, tortellini, traditional balsamic vinegar and even gnocco fritto, a Modena street food staple. Bologna, specifically, is home to mortadella in fact if you come at the right time you can even attend the Mortadella Festival in the city!
Personally, aside from indulging in all of the traditional products and dishes of the region I have enjoyed Chef Massimo Bottura’s reinterpretations. Perhaps you didn’t realize that the World’s Best Chef has a restaurant in Modena, Emilia Romagna, where I live! My opinion? Stay in a cheaper hotel and go to his Osteria Francescana, it was the experience of a lifetime.
Excellence abounds in this region, and you’ll find that whatever they do in ER (as it is loving called by locals!) they do well.
A car lover’s haven
Speaking of excellence, if you are a luxury car or motorcycle lover you can’t miss Emilia Romagna’s Motor valley! I knew nothing about cars before living here, and yet when I visited the newly built museum dedicated to Enzo Ferrari, I was moved to tears! Maserati, Lamborghini, Ducati, Ferrari and Pagani all call this area of Italy home and on any given day you can hear the powerful engines in the distance as they are being test driven.
Emilia Romagna may not have the crystalline waters you are used to seeing in photos from Sardegna, however, if you are looking for a relaxing family vacation with enough thrill to keep everyone happy, the Riviera Romagnola is the place to be.
This coastline is sacred for Italian families who flock here to have a hassle free vacation. On my blog I’ve talked about why the Riviera Romagnola is the perfect family vacation and a few of my favorite spots in a series called.
The foothills and Apennine mountains now hold a special place in my heart, and finding time to explore the secrets of this area has always been rewarding. In Ligonchio, you’ll find a converted power station that is running cutting edge workshops for kids.
If you manage to make it into the many beautiful and quaint mountain towns at Christmas you will not be disappointed, I suggest you a visit to the beautiful and quaint town of Fanano to visit Santa.
A magical ambiance abounds in this area of Emilia Romagna year round, and there is no shortage of things to do and see for the culture or adventure lover.
Speaking of Culture, I was shocked to learn that Emilia Romagna is filled with important museums, galleries and exhibits. Home to modern art fairs and festivals, every single weekend there is a different cultural event.
Not to mention the stunning medieval castles and Ducal palaces with their expansive gardens that are open year round. Soon on Italian Storytellers I’ll bring you into Sassuolo’s Palazzo Ducale, one of the most incredible places I’ve had the pleasure to visit!
Perhaps one of the things that has shocked me the most about Emilia Romagna is how well you live. With many different viable sectors, this is the powerhouse of the Italian economy.
People are friendly and services are excellent, this coupled with an exceptionally high quality of life make this area a favourite for Italians and non. I hope you’ve enjoyed my introduction to Emilia Romagna and I’m so happy to continue to share with you what I discover as I explore this rich territory.