While I wait for the restoration of Internet connectivity at my place after returning from Italy, I’m forced to leave all my awesome videos (like this one of the view from the clock tower in Brisighella or this other one of a horse-drawn carriage ride in a nature reserve in Savio) of Emilia-Romagna on my computer, lest I jam up the connection for everyone else in this cafe with large uploads.
I don’t want to be that guy.
Anyway, I’ve been reminiscing about all the great moments I had in Emilia-Romagna as a part of BlogVille. There are so many reasons to visit this beautiful region in Italy; here are my top five.
A huge majority of Italy’s most delicious exports originate from Emilia-Romagna. There’s Modena’s balsamic vinegar, the great cheeses of Parma, prosciutto, lasagne, ravioli, tagliatelle al ragù (oddio!), Sangiovese wine and the amazing piadina. Along the coast, fresh seafood is in abundance, often served as a mixed platter of fried goodness. In short, it’s impossible not to get a little grasso here.
That’s Italian for “fat.”
2. Fairy Tale Towns
It only takes a short train or bus ride to get from one idyllic town to the next. Many cities, like Pennabilli, Brisighella or Santarcangelo di Romagna offer panoramic views from their highest points. Others, like Verucchio, feature amazing castles that seem to come straight out of fairy tales.
3. Street Fairs
I was fortunate enough to experience three large town festivals during my two weeks in Emilia-Romagna: Pennabilli’s Artisti in Piazza, the Palio di Ferrara and La Notte Celeste in Bagno di Romagna. During the latter, we met the president of the tourism board of Emilia-Romagna, were interviewed by the Italian press (I responded in Italian, guys!) and were invited on stage in front of the entire town to say hello.
Needless to say, that was one of the greatest experiences of my trip; a huge honor.
4. Unbelievable Cultural Attractions
While pretty much all of Italy is a hotbed for culture, Emilia-Romagna offers its own unique offerings. It was in Savignano sul Rubicone where Caesar “crossed the Rubicon,” Ravenna served as the capital of the Western Roman Empire before its decline, and the famous Gothic Line of World War II passed straight through Rimini where a great battle was fought between the Allied and Axis forces.
A favorite of mine was the Basilica di San Vitale in Ravenna. The mosaics were simply breathtaking. Even compared to all the churches I saw in Rome, this one really stood out.
5. The Great Outdoors
I have to admit that nature and active life weren’t high on my list of things to do in Italy, however Emilia-Romagna really offers something for everybody, whether it’s hiking through the Apennines or biking down the official Ferrari race track. My favorite outdoor activity, however, was the grueling task of enjoying a Spritz on the warm Rimini beach.
La dolce vita davvero.