In Italy, the region of Emilia Romagna is known as Italy’s food valley. Each and every province in Emilia Romagna has its own food specialties. In Emilia, you can find some fantastic regional Italian dishes and food products that are also famous worldwide. With this Emilia Romagna food guide, you’ll learn about local specialties, what and where to eat, and what are some of the best Emilia Romagna food products to try.
Besides the food in Emilia Romagna, you have plenty of things to do. The towns in the region are beautiful, full of history, offering many things to explore. There are beautiful landmarks, as well as incredible lands and landscapes for outdoor lovers.
This region has some beautiful cities and towns with medieval historic centers, castles, and also Renaissance pieces that must be seen. For now, let’s explore the Emilia Romagna food guide, and get lost in the land of great cheese, pasta, and meat products.
Reasons to visit Emilia Romagna, Italy
The region of Emilia Romagna in Italy is been my home for almost a year. I couldn’t have picked a better place to live in Italy, as this region is unique and fantastic in all the possible ways! With this Emilia Romagna food guide, you’ll learn about the best cities to visit in Emilia Romagna, with their traditional food picks that you must try. You’ll get restaurant tips besides the best places to visit in Emilia Romagna. Within this post, we’re focusing mostly on the regional Italian food, but if you’re looking for more details on what to visit in Emilia Romagna, I have a post for that to check out too!
How to arrive in Emilia-Romagna, Italy?
The region of Emilia Romagna in Italy is located between three of the most popular touristic regions of the country. These would be Lombardy, Veneto, and Tuscany. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you’re arriving in Milan, Florence or Venice, you can easily travel to Emilia Romagna in about 1-2 hours by train, car or bus.
Airports around and in Emilia Romagna
Bologna has its own airport with international flights to most European cities. Depending on where you’re coming from, you might be able to fly directly into Bologna as well, so check out the options when booking your tickets. The train lines in the region are great, passing through all major cities of Emilia Romagna. If you’re not renting a car, trains are usually the easiest way to travel from one town to another by train.
Florence: If you fly to Florence Amerigo Vespucci airport, and you’re looking to visit Emilia, you can take the train, buses, such as FlixBus, or rent a car. Bologna is 2 hours away from Florence.
Milan: If you’re arriving in Milan, you might fly into Milano Linate, Milano Malpensa, or Milano Bergamo airports. With a short bus ride, you can reach the city center of Milan from any of these airports. If you’re not renting a car, you can reach the region of Emilia Romagna by train the easiest way. The first stop in the region, Piacenza is a 53-minute train ride from Milano Centrale train station. The train line goes through all the region, second stop after Piacenza being Parma, then Reggio Emilia, Modena, and Bologna.
Venice: If you’re traveling to Venice, you might be flying into Marco Polo Airport, or Nicelli, or Treviso Airport. You can also rent a car, but if you’re choosing to travel by train, Bologna is 2 hours away from Venice, Italy.
When to visit Emilia-Romagna?
The best time to visit Emilia Romagna? It’s no right answer for this. If you’re asking me, Emilia-Romagna is a year-round destination, so it really depends on what you’re interested in doing. Besides sightseeing, you can do winter sports in the winter like snowshoeing, trekking, and hiking. During the autumn, spring, and summer you can enjoy nice walks in the buzzing, colorful cities, visit agriturismo places around the region, spend time on the beach, do outdoor activities, and much more! Winter is pretty cold in the region, so if you’re looking to visit cities, Emilia Romagna might not be the perfect destination during the winter months!
Emilia Romagna food guide
Emilia Romagna food List
Here’s the Emilia Romagna food list with all the highlights of Emilia Romagna food specialties. These below are some of the most famous, most popular dishes and regional food products in Italy’s favorite foodie destination. Also, if you’re looking for some Emilia Romagna food recipes, you can check out the Wandering Cookbook, which has some of the authentic Italian food recipes in it!
- Vinegar: Balsamic Vinegar of Modena,Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia,
- Cheeses: Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano, Provolone Valpadana, Squacquerone di Romagna, Pecorino dell Appenino Reggiano, Paviggiola, Ravaggiolo, and more.
- Cold cuts: Prosciutto di Parma (Parma Ham), Coppa Piacentina, Cotechino Modena, Fiocchetto, Mortadella of Bologna, Pancetta Piacentina, Salame Piacentino, Prosciutto di Modena,
- Mushrooms: White Truffles, Borgotaro Mushrooms, Porcini di Borgotaro,
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin Olive Oil of Colline di Romagna, Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Brisighella
- Pasta: Anolini, Tortellini, Gnocchi from Emilia, Cappellacci, Cappelletti, Gramigna, Garganelli, Gnocchetti, Gnoccho Fritto, Borgotaro malfatti, Lasagne, Pisarei, Tagliatelle, Passatelli, and more.
- Sauces: Bolognese Ragu, Bechamel, Sausage Ragu. Brodo,
- Wine: Bianco di Scandiano, Bosco Eliceo, Colli Bolognesi, Colli di Parma, Colli Piacentini, Lambrusco di Sorbara, Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce, Ortrugo, Reggiano, Reno, and Romagna
Vinegar in Emilia Romagna, the most famous cheese in Emilia Romagna, as well as the typical mushrooms you can find in Emilia Romagna. Then, the most famous cold cuts of Emilia Romagna, olive oil, sauces, types of pasta in Emilia Romagna, and wine. These are some of the most important highlights of the Emilia Romagna food list. We’ll now get into details going town (and province) by the town through the region, highlighting everything important that you must know and try within this Emilia-Romagna Food Guide.
Emilia Romagna Food Guide by province and cities
Some of the Emilia Romagna best places to visit have also the best food to try. We’ll now see the provinces and cities that are definitely to be added to your places to visit in Emilia Romagna list! Ready to discover the Italian food valley?
One of the most famous Italian cities in the world! Bologna food and Bologna meat, the tagliatelle pasta, Tagliatelle Bolognese (or in Italian called Tagliatelle al Ragu)… Does it ring the bell? Some of the most famous authentic Italian food is coming from Bologna, the capital city of the Emilia Romagna region.
Some of the best food in Bologna Italy is the tagliatelle pasta, which you can get as mentioned Tagliatelle al Ragu, which is one of the most famous dishes worldwide. Lasagna with Bechamel sauce is also something that you should try in Bologna, as well as the Mortadella cold cuts. Some of Bologna’s specialties include also the Maccheroni alla Bolognese with white ragu, and the Tortellini in Brodo as well as the Squaquerone cheese.
If you’re visiting Bologna, you should definitely roll in a Bologna food tour! There are many different types of food tours in Bologna, with a highlight to Taste of Bologna tour. You can also find GetYourGuide food tours in Bologna right below!
Bologna Food Tour
Another unmissable thing to do in Bologna is to visit local markets and Salumerias shops. Salumerias’ are cold cut and cheese shops (they sell cheese on the side) where you can buy the best local cold cuts, some of those mentioned on the Emilia Romagna food list. One of the oldest and most popular markets in Bologna is the Mercato di Mezzo. This one is located on the streets of the historic center of the city, right near Piazza Maggiore.
For those who love Italian Gelato, you can’t miss trying ice cream in Bologna! Besides the gelaterias in the town, you can visit the Carpigiani facility right outside of Bologna for an unforgettable gelato experience. Carpigiani is a premiere gelato machine manufacture, hosting visitors continuously, offering an interactive Gelato Museum experience as well. All in all, Bologna is one of the best cities to visit in Emilia Romagna, and it’s definitely the most important spot of the Emilia Romagna food guide!
Ferrara is located north of Bologna, about 20 minutes by car. This is also one of the best places to visit in Emilia Romagna, especially for the amazing Ferrara food. The charming historic center of Ferrara combines the Middle Ages and the Renaissance architectural style and there are so many things to discover in the city. Ferrara is a great day trip from Bologna, even if you’re not planning to visit all the best places in Emilia Romagna.
Withing the Emilia Romagna food guide, we must highlight Ferrara for the cappellacci di zucca ferraesi. The cappellacci pasta is a typical dish in Ferrara, filled with pumpkin. It’s a type of tortelli that’s bigger in size and it’s really delicious! The cappellacci di zucca is usually served with ragu and consumed with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on top.
You can find many amazing osterias in Ferrara to try traditional local dishes, but for the greatest cappellacci di zucca I’ve ever had, I’d definitely recommend visiting Osteria degli Angeli. It’s a really popular osteria and it’s located right outside of the most famous landmark of Ferrara, the Estense Castle. At Osteria degli Angeli you can find outdoor tables with a view of the castle, but also in the backyard, which is peaceful and beautiful. While you’re eating Ferrara food, you can feel like you’ve traveled back to the Middle Ages.
Modena is worldwide known for the best balsamic vinegar. The balsamic vinegar of Modena is the highlight of the city within the Emilia Romagna food guide. As you could see before on the Emilia Romagna food list, the balsamic vinegar of Modena is one of the specialties in the region. In Italian it’s called Aceto Balsamico di Modena DOP. This one you can try at a local manufactory and buy it in local shops too.
One of the best balsamic vinegar producers you’ll find in Modena is the Acetaia Pedroni, which also houses an exquisite restaurant. One other restaurant I’d highlight for the best food in Modena is La Francescana, which’s a really fancy, award-winning restaurant. The owner of La Francescana restaurant in Modena is Massimo Bottura, who is one of the most famous chefs in Italy. He’s also on the list of Le Chef magazine’s top 100 chefs in the world list! The other, for traditional food in Modena isTrattoria da Ermes. Trattoria da Ermes is very popular among the locals, so you’ll find this place visited mostly by Italians. It’s also very affordable!
If you’re looking for a food tour in Modena, you’ll find plenty of them. The earlier mentioned Taste Bologna has food tours in Modena as well. For more Modena, Italy food tours, here are some highlights from GetYourGuide.
Modena food tour
Another highlight for the best food in Modena is to visit the town’s market, the Albinelli Market, where you can shop the best local products on the Emilia Romagna food list. For traditional food in Modena you should try the tortellini in Brodo, the Crescentina, Gnocco Fritto, scalloped magaroni, and the Passatelli in Brodo. Another highlight for Modena in this Emilia Romagna food guide is the Modena pesto, that you must try! If you’re looking for gelato in Modena, make sure to visit Gelateria Bloom.
Continuing the Emilia Romagna Food Tour
Parma is another of the best places to visit in Emilia Romagna. The Parma food, Parma food markets, the parmesan cheese, and the parma ham make this one of the best cities to visit in Emilia Romagna. It’s definitely a must-see if you’re headed for an Emilia Romagna food tour. Also, UNESCO named Parma, “Creative City for Gastronomy,” the first city in Italy to receive this honor.
Parma and it’s surrounding countryside are the birthplace of the most famous Italian cheese, the Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan cheese). If you’re in the city, you can also visit the parmesan cheese factory in Parma, Italy. It’s a unique experience to walk down the rows of huge, tasty Parmigiano Reggiano cheese blocks!
Parma is also famous for the Parma ham (Prosciutto di Parma). If you’re asking what is parma ham, I’ll explain it quickly! The parma ham (Prosciutto di Parma) is a raw type of Italian ham that’s sliced really thin and it’s consumed for an appetizer (Italian aperitivo), sandwiches (in panini), on torta salata (salty pie), or also with yellow watermelon.
There are many food and wine tours in Parma, Italy. You can roll in some great food tours in Parma, Italy by visiting the earlier mentioned parmesan cheese factory in Parma, or the Prosciutto di Parma factory. Here are some other Parma food tours for you!
Parma food tour
Besides the food tours in Parma, you should definitely visit the Parma food market as well, such as the food market on Piazza Ghiaia. For the best food in Parma, you should get yourself some of the two highlights I’ve mentioned, the Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma but also Grana Padano cheese that’s also a local specialty. Some other of the best food in Parma is the Anolini pasta, Tortellini with sweet and sour filling, tortellini (or tagliatelle) with Porcini mushroom sauce, and the Brodetto alla Marinara.
If you’re looking for great restaurants in Parma, try the Osteria dello Zingaro as well as Ristorante Cocchi that’s a bit more pricy. And of course, if you want some gelato, you should pay a visit to Ciacco Lab in Parma.
Just like all the previously mentioned cities, Piacenza is a special location for an Emilia Romagna food tour. Some of the most famous cold cuts of the Emilia Romagna food list make Piacenza a must-visit. But also for its wines, beautiful city center, and the surrounding hills of Piacenza.
Piacenza isn’t really popular among tourists yet, but it definitely should be! The town offers so many things to do in Piacenza, as well as great outdoor activities in the hills of Piacenza. It’s also a highlight of the Emilia Romagna food guide thanks to the amazing local Italian salami, and some other great Piacenza food finds.
Piacenza is definitely one of the best cities to visit in Emilia Romagna! If doing so, make sure to get some special Piacenza food finds, such as the salumi Piacentini. There are many Salumerias‘ in the historic center and outside as well, where you can find the three best cold cuts of the area. You must try in piacenza the Coppa Piacentina, Salame Piacentino as well as the Pancetta Piacentina.
My personal favorite is probably the coppa, but the salame as well! Though, with the salame I have one issue… If I start eating, I can’t stop until there’s still Salame Piacentino left on the table.
These cold cuts are usually served as appetizers (Italian aperitivo) but they are just as great in sandwiches (panini). If you’re looking for some local food in Piacenza, try Osteria alla Volta or Osteria Santo Stefano. There’s also a place called Trattoria La Pierina that’s really great for local Piacentino cuisine, though it’s also really traditional. So traditional that you’ll get your wine in a small bowl instead of a glass! This is also my favorite place to try the Panzerotti al Forno!
While exploring the Emilia Romagna food list for Piacenza specifically, try the local Anolini, the Psarei a Faso, and if you’re up for it, the local horse meat dishes too. For food markets in Piacenza, you can visit on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday the food markets set on Piazza di Duomo of Piacenza, as well as on Piazza dei Cavalli.
Gelato in Piacenza? My personal favorite is Cremeria Emilia, but the Cioccolatteria Bardini is also really popular!
Reggio Emilia is another place to visit in Emilia Romagna. It’s located between Modena and Parma, and it’s another of the best cities to visit in Emilia Romagna for great food and beautiful landscapes of the Reggio Apennines. The province offers a range of amazing dishes for an Emilia Romagna food tour. One of the most popular local specialty that I must highlight within the Emilia Romagna food guide is the Erbazzone, but also the Gramigna alla Salsiccia. The Gramigna pasta is a typical pasta type of Emilia Romagna that’s served with a ragu made with sausage meat. It’s almost like the Bolognese ragu, just instead of minced meat, you use sausage. You can find the recipe for this in my traditional Italian pasta dishes post.
If you’re planning a hike or bike tour in the Reggio Apennines, make sure that you stop for lunch in a countryside restaurant or Refugio and try there the Gramigna alla Salsiccia! One of these places I’d like to highlight is the Pietra di Bismantova, which offers hiking, rock climbing, and Via Ferrata options. On the side of the cliff, there’s a restaurant called Refugio della Pietra that serves amazing Gramigna alla Salsiccia!
Reggio Emilia is famous also for balsamic vinegar, as they have their own balsamic vinegar of Reggio Emilia DOP. If you’re looking for great restaurants in Reggio Emilia, the Trattoria del Macellaio Fornaciari is really great, as well as Amici del Rifugio Crucolo. Then, for gelato finds, stop by at Cremeria Capolinea as well!
There are a few places missing from the Emilia Romagna food tour, that I’ll make sure to update this post once I’ve visited. However, the best beer and food attraction is definitely Rimini if you’re hunting for a seaside destination. One of the best places to visit in Emilia Romagna if you want seafood and the seaside. The town is famous for summer festivals, as well as the long beaches and many food festivals. Some of the most popular dishes you should try when it comes to Rimini food, the homemade pasta dishes, porchetta rabbit, white truffles, and obviously the fresh seafood grill! For great seafood, you should visit Osteria de Borg.
Emilia Romagna wine guide
Best Emilia Romagna vineyards to visit and best Emilia Romagna wines to try
When it comes to the best wineries to visit in Emilia Romagna or the best Emilia Romagna vineyards to visit… I’m scared to even start writing. If the Emilia Romagna food guide was this long (and it’s not as detailed as it could be), when it comes to wine, my job becomes even harder.
Some of the best Italian wines you’ll find in the Emilia Romagna region. The lands of the region allow vineyards all along the valley, and there are hundreds of types of wines in Emilia Romagna.
Best wineries to visit in Emilia Romagna
Let’s see! Some of the best wineries to visit in the region are Cantina il Poggio in Salsomaggiore Terme, Fattoria Ca’Rossa in Bertinoro, Enoteca Regionale Emilia Romagna in Dozza, and Manaresi, or Vicobarone in Val Tridone (Piacenza) between many others.
There are also many wine tours all over Emilia Romagna that you can join. There’s a great cellar tour in Piacenza you can join, as well as in Bologna, Parma, Reggio Emilia, or Modena. Here are some options for a wine tour in Emilia Romagna.
Some of the Emilia Romagna wine specialties you must know about and try are the Lambrusco, as we’ve mentioned on the Emilia Romagna food list. Besides the Lambrusco, the Poggiarello is also a great wine to try, you can find Frizzante, white or red wine from Emilia both of Poggiarello or Lambrusco.
Some other red wines in Emilia Romagna that are really popular Sangiovese di Romagna or Barbera. White wines in Emilia Romagna wine region are usually made of Trebbiano. Val Trebbia is an amazing valley of the Trebbia river in the hills of Piacenza, producing the best type of grape for a white wine that’s used in the Emilia Romagna wine region.
Wrapping up the Emilia Romagna food guide
There’s so much more to say about the region and all its specialties! The Emilia Romagna food list is super large, and everything has its own tradition, own story, and own taste. The wines of Emilia Romagna are the same. What couldn’t fit in this specific article will be soon published in separate ones, so we can learn everything, literally everything possible about the best places in Emilia Romagna, along with the best food and wines of the region!
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