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Emilia-Romagna & San Marino

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© Lonely Planet Publications
411

Emilia-Romagna &
San Marino
Much of its medieval architecture dates to the Renaissance, when a handful of powerful families set up court here: the Farnese in Parma and Piacenza, the Este in Ferrara and
Modena, and the Bentivoglio in Bologna.
The regional capital, Bologna, is one of Italy’s unsung joys. A foodie city with a hedonistic
approach to life, it’s home to Europe’s oldest university and a stunning medieval centre. A
short hop to the northwest, Modena boasts a superb Romanesque cathedral and a hint of the
gourmet delights that await in Parma, the city that gifted the world prosciutto crudo (cured
ham, popularly known as Parma ham) and parmigiano reggiano (Parmesan). In the countryside
to the south, castles pepper hilltops as flat plains give way to the Apennine peaks. Ferrara
and Ravenna are the highlights of Romagna (the eastern half of Emilia-Romagna). Both are
within easy distance of Bologna and both merit a visit – Ferrara for its beautiful Renaissance
centre, Ravenna for its sensational Byzantine mosaics. If, after all that high culture, you need
a break, head to Rimini where the crowded beaches and cutting-edge clubs promise more
earthy pleasures, or San Marino where armies of day-trippers enjoy vast views. Alternatively,
saddle up and take to the road – cycling is one of the region’s most popular pursuits.
HIGHLIGHTS
„ Lap up the animated atmosphere in Bologna

(p413), the region’s dynamic capital
„ Marvel at the kaleidoscopic colours of

shimmering mosaics in Ravenna (p449)
„ Pay homage to the king of cars at Maranello’s

Galleria Ferrari (p426)

Parma

„ Study the finer points of Romanesque

architecture at Modena’s inspiring cathedral
(p423)

Modena
Maranello

Ferrara
Bologna
Ravenna

„ Throw yourself into the medieval maelstrom

at Ferrara’s Il Palio (p446), the oldest horse
race of its kind in Italy
„ Add a drop of aceto balsamico (balsamic

vinegar) to a hunk of parmigiano reggiano
(Parmesan) and bite while in Parma (p434)
„ POPULATION: Emilia-Romagna 4.1 million;

San Marino 29,600

„ AREA: Emilia-Romagna 22,121 sq km;

San Marino 61 sq km

EMILIA-ROMAGNA &
SAN MARINO

Emilia-Romagna has long been overlooked as little more than a stepping stone between the
Veneto and Tuscany. But take time to explore this underrated region and you’ll discover an
area rich in art and culture, an area of mouthwatering food and robust wine, of cosmopolitan
resorts and quiet backwaters.

A21

LOMBARDY

A21

Cremona

To Br...
EMILIA-ROMAGNA &
SAN MARINO
Emilia-Romagna has long been overlooked as little more than a stepping stone between the
Veneto and Tuscany. But take time to explore this underrated region and you’ll discover an
area rich in art and culture, an area of mouthwatering food and robust wine, of cosmopolitan
resorts and quiet backwaters.
Much of its medieval architecture dates to the Renaissance, when a handful of power-
ful families set up court here: the Farnese in Parma and Piacenza, the Este in Ferrara and
Modena, and the Bentivoglio in Bologna.
The regional capital, Bologna, is one of Italy’s unsung joys. A foodie city with a hedonistic
approach to life, it’s home to Europe’s oldest university and a stunning medieval centre. A
short hop to the northwest, Modena boasts a superb Romanesque cathedral and a hint of the
gourmet delights that await in Parma, the city that gifted the world prosciutto crudo (cured
ham, popularly known as Parma ham) and parmigiano reggiano (Parmesan). In the countryside
to the south, castles pepper hilltops as flat plains give way to the Apennine peaks. Ferrara
and Ravenna are the highlights of Romagna (the eastern half of Emilia-Romagna). Both are
within easy distance of Bologna and both merit a visit – Ferrara for its beautiful Renaissance
centre, Ravenna for its sensational Byzantine mosaics. If, after all that high culture, you need
a break, head to Rimini where the crowded beaches and cutting-edge clubs promise more
earthy pleasures, or San Marino where armies of day-trippers enjoy vast views. Alternatively,
saddle up and take to the road – cycling is one of the region’s most popular pursuits.
Emilia-Romagna &
San Marino
POPULATION: Emilia-Romagna 4.1 million;
San Marino 29,600
AREA: Emilia-Romagna 22,121 sq km;
San Marino 61 sq km
HIGHLIGHTS
Lap up the animated atmosphere in Bologna
( p413 ), the region’s dynamic capital
Marvel at the kaleidoscopic colours of
shimmering mosaics in Ravenna ( p449 )
Pay homage to the king of cars at Maranello’s
Galleria Ferrari ( p426 )
Study the finer points of Romanesque
architecture at Modena’s inspiring cathedral
( p423 )
Throw yourself into the medieval maelstrom
at Ferrara’s Il Palio ( p446 ), the oldest horse
race of its kind in Italy
Add a drop of aceto balsamico (balsamic
vinegar) to a hunk of parmigiano reggiano
(Parmesan) and bite while in Parma ( p434 )
Parma
Ferrara
Modena
Maranello
Ravenna
Bologna
© Lonely Planet Publications
411
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