Emilia Romagna, the complete guide

Emilia Romagna, region of art and history, culture and tradition, good food and kindness. 

Visiting it all would take a long time, and believe us, it would be worth it. However, if you want to visit the main cities of Emilia-Romagna you can do so in a week. 

What will you need? A means of transportation, a navigator or a map and a great desire to walk, explore and be amazed by the richness of this territory. 

We start our tour to discover Emilia-Romagna!


Reggio Emilia, the city of the tricolor 

Let’s start with a curiosity: why is Reggio Emilia nicknamed “City of the tricolor”? 

This name earned it because, in 1797, here was adopted the banner that later became the national flag. About this, in the city you can visit the Sala del Tricolore and the Museo del Tricolore. 

Reggio Emilia is certainly less famous than other cities in Emilia but absolutely worth a visit. 

Among the most beautiful monuments to see are the Basilica della Ghiara, which houses works of great importance such as the Crucifixion of Guercino, and the Municipal Theatre which is one of the main opera museums in Italy. 

And then, walking through the city, you can admire its squares and streets on one side, the lush hilly views on the other: really not to be missed.


Parma, the Creative City for Gastronomy according to UNESCO 

After spending a few hours in Reggio Emilia, you can move to nearby Parma: here we recommend you not to miss the Duomo and the Baptistery.  

For art lovers, the National Gallery of Parma will be truly amazing. Fans of opera and opera will not miss the opportunity to visit the places of Verdi, or those areas of the province of Parma where Giuseppe Verdi was born, lived and returned after becoming famous.


Modena, the city of tortellino 

Modena and Bologna can be visited in just one day for their geographical proximity but, having so few hours available, you’ll have to choose what to see. 

Not to be missed in Modena is the Ghirlandina tower, the Doge’s Palace and the Enzo Ferrari House-Museum. 

Our advice is to spend a couple of hours to visit the main attractions of Modena, have a snack based on tortellini or an exquisite crescentina with raw ham and then move to Bologna that, surely, will require more time. If you are a Ferrari fan, book a visit to the Maranello museum and a factory tour inside the historic sports supercar factory.


Bologna the learned, the fat, the red 

That’s what the Bologneses call it. Bologna, capital of the Region, earns the nickname of “Dotta” for the presence of the oldest university in the world, dating back to the year 1000; “Red” for the traditional color of bricks and roofs of medieval houses; “Fat” for its irresistible typical cuisine that includes a lot of pork and its delicious meats. 

Curiosity aside, Bologna (link: is a city that must be savored in all its essence: between its narrow streets and alleys, you will love the diversity celebrated in every way. 

Going then to the discovery of the famous Secrets of Bologna, you will seem to be part of a film set in a time different from what we live and more ancient. 

In this regard, here is a short list of the secrets of Bologna: have fun getting lost in the city and find them all (if you can…).


Little Venice 

You are in Bologna but, for a moment, you will feel like you are in Venice. 

The small window in via Piella has become a real tourist attraction thanks to its view of the canal. 

The place is romantic and perfect for taking romantic photos; however, it is now very well known by tourists so you may have to wait in line. 

If you do not want to waste time standing in a row, you can admire the same identical view from the other side of the canal, a stone’s throw from Via Piella with the only difference that, on the opposite side, does not have a window, so it is definitely a less spectacular place.


The virility of Neptune 

Imposing statue that gives its name to the square but which, if looked at from a certain angle, will amaze you leaving you speechless. 

Stand at the library stairs (on the ground there is a darker tile indicating the exact location) and look at the statue: Neptune’s index suddenly looks like its reproductive organ.


Cannabis Protectio 

In Via dell’Indipendenza you will notice the words Panis vita, canabis protectio, vinum laetitia – Bread is life, cannabis is protection, wine is joy. 

The writing refers to the wealth that Bologna has gained thanks to the cultivation of hemp.


The wireless telephone 

Under the vault of Palazzo del Podestà you might see someone from behind talking at the corner of the wall: do not worry, it is the “wireless phone” of Bologna that allows you to talk at the corner of the wall and transmit the sound at the opposite corner. 

The broken vase 

As many as 498 steps to observe Bologna from above climbing the Asinelli Tower: the most attentive will notice a broken vase, for some symbol of the city’s ability to find solutions to problems.  

According to another interpretation, on the contrary, the vessel was put there by the citizens to send a message to local politicians deemed unable to manage the city. 

We do not know what is the real meaning of the enigmatic vase but we are certain of one thing: according to the Bolognese, better not to climb until you have graduated! 

The secret of Panum Resis 

At Palazzo Poggi, the historical seat of the ancient university of Bologna, on a chair there would be the writing Panum Resis, which indicates the basis of all knowledge. Too bad no one can spot her. 

The three arrows 

Do not be surprised if, passing through Strada Maggiore, you happen to see a few people with their noses up: they are looking for the three arrows stuck in the wood of an ancient porch. 

This is the best kept secret of Bologna since almost nobody can identify all three arrows: good luck!

Riviera Romagnola: Rimini and Riccione 

If your tour of Emilia-Romagna takes place in summer or spring, then it must include Rimini and Riccione, among the most popular destinations of the Adriatic Coast. 

In both cities you will find great hospitality and friendliness from the locals, happy to welcome many tourists every year. 

Rimini (link: is ideal for young people because, in addition to offering equipped and glamorous beaches, at night it offers a nightlife to be envied by any other city.


Riccione (Link: https:/// offers beautiful beaches and nightlife. Here, however, there is also the Aquafan, a wonderful water park: the ideal place for families with children! 


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