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Emilia Romagna: ancient flavours and tradition
Emilia Romagna is the reign of homemade pasta such as lasagne, tagliatelle served with traditional Bolognese sauce, tortellini or cappelletti (pasta parcels) served in broth.
However, local cuisine also means cold cuts such as Coppa, Zampone, typical of the Modena area, Culatello and cured ham from Parma, salami from Felino near Parma and Mortadella from Piacenza. No table in Modena is complete without balsamic vinegar, whereas the coast of Romagna is famous for the humble "piada", made using flour and water, accompanied by a good glass of Trebbiano or Lambrusco wine.
Talking of which, the regions of Emilia and Romagna are home to two of Italy's finest wines: Lambrusco and Sangiovese.
FOOD AND WINE ROUTES ... TRAVELLING THROUGH ROMAGNA
We start in Castel San Pietro Terme, famed for its production of honey to which a national exhibition is dedicated (in September), and continue as far as Dozza, home of the Regional Winery of Emilia Romagna and one of the main production areas for Albana di Romagna wine. The itinerary continues to Fontanelice (Cornacchia) and then Imola, which is the only town whose layout was designed by Leonardo da Vinci. It is famous throughout the world, above all, because of the Enzo and Dino Ferrari Racetrack which hosts the San Marino Grand Prix (May) and the Heineken Jammin' Festival (June).
The area produces excellent wine, such as Colli di Imola Salterella, and numerous food and wine events are held here, including Bacchanalia-Cuisine, Inebriating Wine and the Sangiovese Wine Festival.
A little further on is Faenza where events such as Nott de Bisō (January), the Palio of Faenza (June) and the New Wine Festival (November) are held.
The tour continues through Modigliana, Forlė, Civitella di Romagna and Rocca delle Caminate, eventually reaching Predappio, the birthplace of Benito Mussolini, where there are an abundance of vineyards and olive groves. Events worth visiting here include the Must Festival (October) and the Sangiovese Wine Festival (November).
Nearby is Bertinoro, historically known as "Bersi in Oro" ("to be drunk in gold") because, according to legend, the daughter of the 5th century Emperor Theodosius enjoyed the Albana wine she was offered here so much, she decided that it should only be drunk in goblets of gold. The city celebrates the Feast of Hospitality in September.
Almost on the border with the Marche region is Mercato Saraceno. From here the route turns back as far as Longiano, where the "Salvatore Menghi" Oenological Awards are held, followed by Savignano sul Rubicone, Santarcangelo di Romagna, which hosts Saint Martin's Fair (November), and Coriano close to Rimini.
Our food and wine tour through Romagna continues north towards Ravenna and Brisighella where there is a Museum of Farm Work and where excellent olive oil, celebrated in the Olive Festival (November), is produced.