Top 5 Emilia-Romagna

“The people of Emilia-Romagna eat more, care more and talk more about food than anyone else in Italy,” says food writer Claudia Roden. And in my experience, she’s right!


Emilia-Romagna stretches almost right across central-northern Italy, from the Adriatic coast just south of Venice in the east, stopping a mere 30km from the Mediterranean near Genoa, blocked only by the narrow crescent of Liguria. It contains two very different territories brought together in 1848 by Italian unification. Emilia in the west – home to the foodie cities of Parma, Modena and Bologna – has a long history of both industry and affluence. While in the east, relatively undiscovered Romagna has a more rural history and its own regional specialties including fabulous Adriatic seafood. The entire region is full of wonderful food, wine, history and nature as this list of highlights shows.

12th century marble baptistery - Parma Food Tour (c) Franz Scheurer Photography

Stay Palazzo dalla Rosa Prati Parma
My favourite hotel in all of Emilia-Romagna is this beautiful sienna-coloured, 13th century palazzo on cobbled Piazza Duomo. It’s steeped in history and home to the Marquis dalla Rosa Prati whose private residence is on the first floor. Right outside the door is the sparkling cream and pink Veronese marble of the rare 12th century baptistery (pictured), and the cathedral next door has a stunning cupola painted by Correggio.

Franceschetta58 dining room - Modena Food Tour

Eat Franceschetta 58 Modena
No Modena food tour is complete without experiencing the genius of Massimo Bottura. My food and wine tour guests love the ‘Tradition in Evolution’ menu at Franceschetta58, little sister to his more formal Osteria Francescana. It provides a different view of Modena’s traditional cuisine and a chance to taste some very rare wines, including one aged in beehives especially for the restaurant.

Pandolfa Rosé Ginevra in bottle and glass - Food & Wine Tour Emilia-Romagna

Drink Casa di Noelia & Pandolfa Forli-Cesena
A tour and tasting at this beautiful hilltop winery, between the Apennine mountains and the Adriatic Sea, is a highlight of any tour of Emilia-Romagna. Visit the vineyards by tractor-drawn cart, then walk through the ancient tunnel from the production cellar to the grand 18th-century villa for a guided tasting of their excellent wines. I love the quirky labels that are reworkings of Renaissance portraits.

Ravenna Mosaic detail - Romagna - Top Travel Tips For Seeing Italy as a Traveller not a Tourist

History Mosaics Ravenna
It’s impossible to visit Romagna without stopping by Ravenna to see its splendid, UNESCO-listed Byzantine mosaics. Instead of the more commonly painted frescoes, the domes and walls of its basilicas sparkle with vivid images composed of millions of tiny tiles. Lunch at enoteca-restaurant Ca de’Ven, in a wonderfully restored palazzo, completes the visit.

Po Delta, Romagna - Flamingos

Nature Po Delta Ferrara
Comacchio on the Po Delta in north-eastern Romagna is built on canals like a mini-Venice, and dishes based on eel from the lagoon are a specialty of local restaurants. It’s an ideal base from which to explore these unique waterways dotted with colourful fishermen’s huts and home to many birds, including flamingos.

Italy Food & Wine Tour Highlights

What Other Travellers Say

Janet (Tamworth, NSW, Australia)
Janet (Tamworth, NSW, Australia)
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Just back from the most amazing trip to Emilia-Romagna with Roberta. Not only the home of Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano-Reggiano & Balsamic Vinegar, but scenery to die for and more quaint and exciting restaurants and cafés than you ever imagined. And Roberta is just the person to help you discover and enjoy them! Her knowledge of the history of the region and its wonderful cuisine know no bounds and all added to the excitement of the trip. It was faultless - well organized and lots of fun!
Deb (Belconnen, ACT, Australia)
Deb (Belconnen, ACT, Australia)
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Wow, what a tour – I learned so much! Awesome fun traveling through Emilia-Romagna experiencing first hand some of the produce I've worked with over the last couple of years cooking with Roberta's recipe kits – the family are reaping the benefits now. If you're thinking of joining Roberta in future years get ready for an amazing experience.
Mark (Elizabeth Bay, NSW, Australia)
Mark (Elizabeth Bay, NSW, Australia)
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My wife and I recently joined Roberta's Emilia-Romagna tour. We enjoyed all the temptations offered and learned a lot about that part of Italy, especially its food and wine culture. What was most impressive was Roberta's local knowledge of people and places. The planning and effort she put into making the whole experience seem effortless was remarkable.
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