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Emilia-Romagna

Emilia-Romagna just might be my favorite region in all of Italy yet.  I loved it even better than Tuscany.  Of course I say that because I haven't yet been to Piedmont or Puglia.  But I'm working on it!

 

I'm a geek for finding out where our food comes from and there's no other better classroom to learn about the roots of some of the greatest in Italian gastronomy than in the Emilia-Romagna itself.  Here's a few things that originate in this region:

 

Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesan from Parma

Prosciuitto or Parma Ham from Parma

Balsamico di Modena or balsamic vinegar from Modena

Bolognese or meat sauce from Bologna

 

Here's a poster I snapped a photo of in the Quadrilatero in Bologna.  It shows the depth of gastronomic delights found in the Emilia Romagna region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obscurity in Regnano

We were shown around the surrounding hills of Regnano by Enrico, an impossible Italian who after a couple days of his company, we had fallen in love with.  We climbed hills on our tiny Fiat 500 with Enrico at the wheel.  We had no idea where we were and could not point where we were on a map.  But we somehow ended up at this beautiful monastery.  I loved surprises like this.  

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March 1, 2015

 

1  Quadrilatero, Bologna's Old City Market

Fred Plotkin, author of the extensive food guide (that I most highly recommend!) called "Italy for the Gourmet Traveler", calls Bologna the best food market in Italy.  We ran right into it after we've gotten our map and it was...

February 25, 2015

 

 To experience Italy deeply, we made every conscious attempt to discover the countryside.  Italy has astounding history, architecture, and art deeply rooted in religion that we discovered in Rome and the Vatican.  But we were also hungry for the other facet of Italy’s...

July 20, 2014

I am convinced that one of the best ways to learn about a culture is by eating your way through a place.  Yes, museums and archaeological sites are not less important in any travel itinerary, but the mind-blowing experience of tasting something for the first time at pl...

July 12, 2014

The smell of fresh baking bread welcomed us to what would be our home for the next few days in the mountains of Regnano, at the center of the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna.  There was the customary commotion of the welcome: the how-are-you’s and how-do-you-find-Ital...

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plan

 

We were able to explore the hills and countryside around northwest of Emilia-Romagna because we had a car.  I am not sure how easy it would be to explore without one.  

 

When driving in Italy, keep in mind that most cars are small and they are oftentimes stick shift.  They charge a premium for automatic.  We had a Fiat 500 (the small one - not the Large or XL's you find in the US) and even with luggage, we managed fine.  

 

Be mindful of traffic signals, speed limits and pedestrian only zones.  A couple months later, we got an expensive traffic ticket in the mail.  Cops might not be visible, but cameras and radar are out there, so beware!

stay

We loved our stay with Mariapia and Mario in their home in the hills of Regnano.  The house was beautifully decorated and had the modern comforts.  The views were stunning as well.  

 

But the best part about our stay was the integrating with gregarious, hospitable Italians and la dolce vita lived large.  We dined with them every night (extra $), and we were served best, local cuisine made from scratch.  I even learned how to make tagliatelle with Mario!

 

Here is a link to Mariapia and Mario's Airbnb.  If you've never used Airbnb before, click here for a $25 discount.  

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where is emilia-romagna?