Provinces of Emilia

Guide to Property in Emilia Romagna

Emilia Romagna borders on Tuscany and Liguria, yet Italian property for sale can be up to 30-50% lower in Emilia for a similar property. An attractive stone farmhouse in a panoramic position coming with hectares of land can be bought for under 100,000 Euro. The region has good accessibility, and offers skiing, beaches and an outstanding natural environment which makes it an attractive Italian location for second home buyers.

From the Apennine mountains in the west of Emilia Romagna the land descends to the Adriatic coast.  Emilia Romagna also boasts some of the most beautiful towns in Italy such as Bologna and Parma overflowing with Byzantine art and architecture. The tranquil landscape is dotted by villages with their traditional popular customs celebrating the different seasons with festivals and feasts.

The excellent infrastructure of the region means that you are never more than an hour from Bologna with an international airport, Ravenna, Modena, Parma or the sandy beaches of Rimini on the Adriatic coast.

Emilia Romagna has something for everybody.

Featured Properties

Overview of Emilia Romagna

Pietra di Bismantova Emilia Romgana

Emilia Romagna consists of a wide plain south of the Po river, and a more mountainous area near the border with Tuscany, with the peak of Monte Cimone (2165 m). The area historically called Emilia is to the west and includes the provinces of Piacenza, Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Ferrara and the western part of the province of Bologna, whereas its eastern part, with the provinces of Ravenna, Rimini and Forlì - Cesena is called Romagna. Within Emilia Romagna is also the independent republic of San Marino,

The National and Regional parks represent the "green heart" of Emilia Romagna and testify to the importance attributed to the protection and promotion of the natural beauty and landscapes of the region. The Casentinesi Woods, the Gigante Regional Park, the Park of the Corno alle Scale and the Delta of the River Po are the principal green oasis to be explored horse-riding, walking or skiing.

The seasonal changes can really be appreciated in Emilia Romagna, as the landscape changes colour. Green summer leaves of the deciduous forests turn russet and gold in the autumn. In winter, snow blankets the year-round foliage of the evergreens. They are evocative landscapes, home to a rich diversity of plants and wildlife. Almost a thousand species of flora can be found in the parks, Lilies and orchids thrive in the woodlands. Numbers of deer (red, roe and the more common fallow) and wild boar have all increased.

The Emilian Apennines is a beautiful, panoramic, natural environment. 969 sq. kilometres of mountains and hills which, with Mount Cusna (“Il Gigante”) reaches to over 2,000 meters in height. The mountain community consists of thirteen municipalities which are situated in three main valleys created by the rivers Secchia, Enza and Dolo.

The Gigante Park, established in 1988 and the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine National Park is an area of more than 17,000 hectares within the communities of Busana, Collagna, Ramiseto and Villa Minozzo. It comprises the lakes and main peaks of the Apennine range and also the area of Mt. Ventasso

The irregular Apennine peaks mark the border between Emilia and Tuscany and in the middle of these peaks sits the Bismantova, a magnificent sandstone plateau. Its structure, awesome and mysterious, is a breathtaking symbol of the whole region. The meadow on top of the plateau abounds with junipers, bilberries and wild flowers while the lower levels are populated by oak, beech and chestnut trees.

To the east is the Adriatic coast with expansive and well-maintained beaches and innumerable attractions; the Adriatic is one of Italy’s best-known beach resort localities. The coastline runs from the Lidos of Comacchio to Cattolica, passing through  Cervia, Cesenatico, Igea Marina, Bellaria, Cattolica, Rimini and Riccione.

Please see our Guide to the Apennine Mountains

Art and Culture of Emilia Romagna

Ravenna Mosaic

Art, history and architecture are only some aspects in the wide range of features characterizing Emilia Romagna.

Bologna is part city of commerce, and part grande dame of culture, art and cuisine, and in part college town with a rather alternative flair. Similarly to Bologna's own diverse characteristics, the Basilica di San Petronio, one of the most beautiful churches in Italy, displays a with its half marble and half raw façade.   Those who want to reach the heights of the city must climb the 498 steps of the Asinelli Tower. The view from its top will reward all those who make the climb.

one of the most famous theaters in Italy, evidence of the close relationship between Parma, the birthplace of Giuseppe Verdi,  and the opera.

Ferrara, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, is a marvelous example of Renaissance splendor perfectly preserved. This can be seen in the roads, façades of the buildings and the other artistic treasures the town has to offer, especially the Castello Estense.

Modena boasts a Romanesque cathedral and the Ghirlandina Church Tower.

With no fewer than 8 Christian monuments deemed worthy of the UNESCO World Heritage List, Ravenna is Emilia Romagna's city of mosaics. The masterpieces of this town, a capital of the Byzantine (Exarchate) Empire, bear witness to the wealth acquired over its long history. Highlights include: the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, the Mausoleum of Theodosius and the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe (featuring some of those above-mentioned spectacular mosaics).

Faenza, rich in monuments and historical and cultural heritage, is internationally-acclaimed for its ancient ceramics industry, dating back to the 13th Century.

Towns in Emilia Romagna

Bologna

Bologna

The principal city of the region is in itself a treasure, boasting 38 museums, one for every kilometre of portico. It is a young city - yet also home to the oldest university in Europe housing churches and buildings each concealing countless masterpieces such as the churches of Santo Stefano and San Domenico.

Modena

Blessed with beautiful piazzas, Romanesque cathedrals and the Estense Gallery, a true treasure chest of masterpieces from the Emiliana and Padana painting schools.

Ferrara  

An esoteric city evoked by Carra` and De Chirico. It has been called the first modern city of Europe, induced by the remains of the elegant court of the Estensi Princes.

Reggio Emilia

Famous theatres always announcing the latest forthcoming shows, is a city which never forgets its past: the Cathedral, the Romanesque baptistery and the Basilica of San Prospero.

Parma

Magical town where it is a delight to lose yourself within the galleried archways of the baptistery, the domes colourfully decorated with frescoes by Correggio and Parmegianino and to hear the beautiful opera singing coming from within the Teatro Regio.

Please see Our Guide To Parma

Piacenza

The northernmost of the provincial cities and lies between the river Po and the green Apennine mountains. To this day its magnificent Dome, in the mediaeval centre of the city, is perfectly preserved.

Forli

Boasts the church of San Mercuriale, a Romanesque building whose mighty bell tower stretches upwards virtually touching the sky, providing all onlookers a truly powerful and majestic sight.

Cesena

A lively and vibrant city with an immaculately preserved ancient city centre. The humanist ideals of the once ruling Malatesta family, flourishes even today within the walls of the Malatestiana Library, a temple of knowledge and guardian of valuable illuminated manuscripts.

Ravenna

The city of Byzantine gold, which sparkles in the mosaic patterns in the mausoleums and basilicas.

Rimini

Long, wide sandy beaches, fashionable haunts and a Fellini like atmosphere. But scratch a little beneath the surface and you will find traces of ancient Roman Empire and masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance.

Sports and Leisure in Emilia Romagna

Emilia Romagna has something for everyone:  Premier Italian golf courses, skiing, canoeing, climbing, sports cars, hot water spas and 50 km of wonderful sandy beaches on the Adriatic Coast.

Skiing

Abetone 70 km of slopes and 25 lifts

The resort covers four valleys: Val di Luce, Valle dello Scoltenna, Valle Sestaione, and Val di Lima for a total run of 30 km. The lifts include 3 cable-cars, 7 chair-lifts, one cable way, a surface lift and a baby surface lift. Cross-country skiing can be enjoyed on well beaten trails.

Sestola

At the feet of Alpe delle Tre Potenze lies Sestola which with is slopes along Monte Cimone is becoming yet another key point in central Italy. Having 25 chair-lifts and cable-cars, with little more than a 1000m gradient, it offers more than 30 slopes (plus four cross-country loops).

Corno alle Scale

12 slopes and two cross-country loops.

50km of slopes which are constantly covered with snow

Cerreto Laghi m 1350 – 1,890 meters

Alpe Di Cusna (Febbio)  2,063 meters

Please see our Guide to Skiing in the Apeninnes

Alternative Sports

Thanks to their particular geographical characteristics, the Apennines are the ideal location for alternative sports. There are long trails for hiking, mountain bike riding and horse riding as well as others for trial motorcycles. Other trails are there to be discovered through orienteering. The innumerable torrents and mountain streams are ideal for a number of sports such as canoeing and torrenting.

Please see our Guide to Walking and Trekking in Emilia Romagna

The wide open spaces, the craggy cliffs and enchanting mountain landscapes are particularly suited to hang-gliding and para-gliding. For thrill seekers there is rock climbing, ski-mountaineering and extreme skiing on the highest Apennine peaks.

Please see Our Guide to Sport in Emilia Romagna

Home of Motor Sports

For those interested in motor sports, Emilia Romagna is a paradise! Please see our guide to Motor Sports in Italy.

Cycling

If you prefer to travel under your own steam the Giro dell’Emilia cycling race pushes off from Reggio in September and is well worth seeing.

Golf in Emilia Romagna

Please see our guide to Golf in Emilia Romagna which provides a guide to the golf courses and clubs of Emilia Romagna.

Camping

Camping in the Apennines of Emilia Romagna is a wonderful experience.  Please see our guide to Camping in the Apennines

Food and Wines of Emilia Romagna

Parmesan Cheese

Emilia-Romagna is undeniably the region where Italy's best food is produced. The local specialties, famous throughout the world, include Parmesan cheese, Parma ham, Lasagne, Balsamic Vinegar and Tortellini stuffed with meat, vegetables and herbs. Lambrusco is the most renowned wine produced from the local vineyards. It is common in the autumn to pick wild Porcini mushrooms and Blueberries found in the foothills of the mountains and there are many outlets for locally grown natural produce. The area has a multitude of amazing restaurants and trattorias

Emilia Romagna is the home of handmade pasta such as tagliatelle, tortellini, cappelletti and lasagna.

Gnocco fritto, pieces of pasta rolled thin and fried in boiling lard to acquire their characteristic taste and eaten while still hot with local sausage and Erbazzone which is a spinach pastry.

Chestnuts - roasted or used to make a delicious sauce, truffles, wild boar and the wonderful drinks and pastry fillings made from the fruits found in the woods such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and bilberries.

You can combine eating with exercise by going mushroom picking in the mountains; the region is home to the porcini mushroom.

Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan Cheese) represents all that is excellent about food production in the Emilian Apennines. Produced in 52 diaries with milk taken from 860 farms that own a total of 30,000 selected cows. It can be eaten before, during or after your meal and it is present in hundreds of recipes.

The world famous traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena and Reggio Emilia delights the taste buds thanks to its unique production process, derived not from wine, but for the skins of the best grapes. It undergoes a slow and lengthy transformation from skins to vinegar which can in some cases mean more than 25 years from start to finish.

In Emilia the premier wine is Lambrusco, in frothy shades of purple to pink it is made from grapes grown mainly on the plain south of the Po. Romagna's wines come primarily from the native Sangiovese, Trebbiano and Albana grape, the variety that accounted for Italy's first white DOCG

There are many outlets for locally produced food but the best means is undoubtedly through the market. Every village has a market day and as the villages are reasonably close to each other giving you exceptional choice.

Example dishes of Emilia Romagana

Asparagi alla parmigiana: green asparagus served with melted butter and grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Cappelletti romagnoli: the “hats” with a filling of cheese, pork, turkey breast, sage and rosemary are served with a pork ragout or in broth.

cappone ripieno large capon roast in the oven with a stuffing of veal, ham and Marsala.

Erbazzone: round tart baked or fried with spinach or chard, salt pork, onions, garlic, sometimes ricotta, typical of Reggio, called scarpazzone when baked in a crust.

Garganelli: pasta tubes with ragù alla romagnola based on chicken livers, veal, prosciutto, tomatoes, herbs and bechamel

Gramigna: short, curly pasta tubes often served with sausage braised in wine.

Lasagne verdi: Bologna's spinach green pasta sheets layered with ragout and bechamel.

Passatelli: grated grana, breadcrumbs, eggs and bone marrow are worked into paste and forced through slots to form dumplings, cooked in beef broth as soup in Romagna.

Pasticcio di tortellini: in Bologna, the cooked pasta with ragù is baked in a pie crust with broth, grated cheese, breadcrumbs and, if available, white truffles.

Pisarei e fasò: tiny pasta rounds with reddish borlotti beans, tomato sauce and grated Parmigiano Reggiano, the pride of Piacenza.

Prosciutto con melone: roseate slices of Parma ham with fresh cantaloupe (or figs).

Riso con sugo di anatra selvatica: risotto of the lowlands around Ravenna and Ferrara with a sauce from wild duck stewed with white wine, tomato and herbs.

Tagliatelle alla duchessa: chicken livers browned in butter flavour noodles dressed with beaten egg yolks and grated Parmigiano Reggiano, as Parma's Marie Louise liked them.

Tortelli con le erbette: envelopes filled with ricotta and greens are served with drawn butter around Parma.

Tortellini in brodo: the pasta curls with an exquisite meat and cheese filling are traditionally served in capon broth with grated Parmigiano.

Ham and Cheese Grocery

History of Emilia Romagna

Inhabited since very ancient times as revealed from archaeological findings, the region was occupied by the Etruscans in the 6th century BC. In the 4th century it was then invaded by the Celts, then in the third the Romans conquered it, joining its territory to Liguria. Augustus gave it the name of Aemilia, as the Octava Regio (8th region) of the Empire. With the decadence of the Roman Empire, in 402 AD Emperor Onorius moved the capital from Rome to Ravenna, calling the Eastern side of the region Romania and making it into the political center of the Western Roman Empire in the last decades of its existence.

The Lombard invaders conquered only part of the region, more or less the area of Modena, Parma, Piacenza and Reggio, while Ravenna and Bologna stayed under the jurisdiction of the surviving Eastern Roman Empire, whose capital was Byzantium. With the coming of the Franks the region was entrusted to the Pope, to be politically included in the State of the Church in the early 11th century.

When the municipal life started to rise again, in the late Middle Ages (13th - 14th centuries) such towns as Bologna, Piacenza, Modena and Reggio enjoyed a remarkable prosperity, also due to the strategic position of the region among the many Italian States of the time and to powerful families, such as the Farnese and Estensi. After being for centuries a constellation of Dukedoms and States, the region was finally united to the newborn Kingdom of Italy in 1860.

Geography Emilia Romagna

Surface of 22,446 square kilometers

Coastline extending over 250 Km

Population of over 4,450,000 million

Bordered by Lombardia to the north, Liguria and Tuscany to the west and south, Veneto to the north east and Le Marche to the south west.

Provinces

Bologna (Regional capital), Ferrara, Forlì-Cesena, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Ravenna, Reggio Emilia, Rimini

Getting To Emilia Romagna

Airports

Bologna, Rimini, Forli, Milan, Pisa

Train

High Speed train link to Milan, Rome and Naples

Road

A1 from Milian

A13 from Venice

A15  from Tuscany

Climate

The climate throughout Emilia-Romagna varies between two different areas: the coastal zone, and the mountainous zone. Around the coastal zone, on average, the hottest months of the year are July and August, during which time the daily high temperatures will generally hover around the 28C.  

The mountainous zone, on average, the hottest months of the year are July and August, during which time the daily high temperatures will generally hover around the 26C  

Contact us for an initial call, or send us your requirements, so we can suggest the perfect Italian home for you in Emilia Romagna. 

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