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Travel

Emilia Romagna: Fall 2010

Download the Emilia Romagna Letter (PDF)

pictureThe region of Emilia Romagna consists of a wide plain south of the Po river, and a mountainous area near the border with Tuscany. Within Emilia Romagna is also the independent republic of San Marino, the most ancient in Europe, with a population of about 26,000 inhabitants.

Inhabited since very ancient times, 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. 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.

When municipal rose 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. The region was finally united to the newborn Kingdom of Italy in 1860.

Tourism flourishes along the Adriatic "Riviera", one of the most lively seaside areas in Italy, as well as to the art cities and the spa center of Salsomaggiore. The region is Italy's first producer of wheat, sugar-beet and fruit, second producer of barley and soy beans. The rich soil also produces many great wines.

It is Italy's unsung region, yet its food has conquered the world—or at least the table. Think prosciutto di Parma, Parmesan, porcini, and half of all pastas known to man (just for starters). The source of its power? Po Valley dirt—fine, dense, almost chocolately , accumulated over millennia.

Dates and details for our fall 2010 trip to this fabulous destination are being finalized. We’re also discussing adding an extension to Florence. Stay tuned for more information.

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