Emilia-Romagna is a region on Italy's Adriatic coast.
During the 2nd century a road was built that connected Rimini to Piacenza in honor of the Roman consul Mark Emilio Facetious, and it was called Aemilia. It was this road that lent its name to the region. In the 6th century the Romans lost this territory, which was divided between the Longobardis and the Byzantines, and the territories were named Longobardia and Romania respectively. With the unity of Italy, the Region acquired the aboriginal name of Emilia, and it was only in 1947 that the name of Emilia-Romagna was assigned.
Emilia-Romagna is a region of gentle hills between the River Po and the Appennines, sloping gently down to the Adriatic in the east. As elsewhere in the Po Basin, intensive agriculture is pursued alongside heavy industry - this region was once known as "the breadbasket of the Roman Empire".
During the summer months the miles and miles of sandy beaches are a mecca for Italian tourists, and are also particularly popular with Germans.
Listen in to conversations around Parma to hear one of the more unique regional accents.
The beginning of the end: A great battle for Italian sovereignty was lost in the 1500's near Parma against King Charles of France who had humiliated the Italians by conquering Naples and then blatantly marching back home to France through Italy with his war spoils, opening the door for many other invaders. There wouldn't be another Italian unity movement until Garibaldi in the 1800's. It is believed this event contributed to Italians desire to identify themselves with their regions as opposed to their country. To this day Italy's unity as a whole country is questionable.
There are international airports in Rimini, Bologna, outside Milan called Linate, and nearby Ancona.
Trains and roads run the length of the Po river to the coast from Milan, linking the airports and the resorts.
Many of the larger cities like Parma, Bologna, Cesena, etc. have bus service into the countryside. Bolonga is a Major train station with Eurostar, as is Rimini. If you can, rent a car and take any of the many roads that branch off the Autostrada and head south into the Alpennine Mountains where you will find hot spring spas, Ancient castles protecting mountain passes (highly recommended: Castello Torrechiara, near Parma). Side note: While taking the train south from Milan. Don't forget to catch a glimpse of the Domo perched above Bologna in the south. It is especially interesting at sunset.
The region is famed for its culinary delights, especially bolognese sauce and mortadella (authentic Italian cousin to Oscar Meyer) from Bologna, and Parmesano Reggiano cheese and Prosciutto di Parma from around Parma. The region also produces the original Balsamic vinegar, that is produced in Modena and Reggio Emilia. -Official(noted with a wax seal in increasing quality from red, to silver, then gold)"Aceto Balsamico", that is slowly aged several years in several different barrels of different wood, is the only real Balsamic. All others are usually cooked down industrially. -"Parmesano Reggiano" is the original "Parmesan" obtained from red cows. According to age it comes in 3 grades with flavor intensifying with age. They do sell cheese that doesn't pass inspection indicated by the official mark being burnt. Always look for the official seal in the rind of 2 cows and a cart. It is technically illegal to import food, but at 10Euros per kilo (2.2 lbs per kilo), do yourself a flavor and buy some vacuum-packed to take home.
So numerous are the night clubs and discotheques in Rimini that there is even a bus (not just a bus, but a disco bus) that circles the town all evening, dropping revellers off at one establishment after another. Bologna is known as a college town in Italy with great concert venues nearby.
Veneto lies directly north. South along the coast is Marche, with the tiny state of San Marino. Tuscany with Florence lies over the mountains to the south. Liguria can be reached over the mountains to the southwest. Lombardy with Milan then Piedmont are to the west. On the east is the region's Adriatic coast.