Travel Matters Ltd

27th August 2020

Italy – The food haven that is Emilia-Romagna

Emilia-Romagna, the region often overlooked by tourists, is known for its medieval cities, fantastic gastronomy and seaside resorts. The capital, Bologna, is a beautiful city with an 11th-century university and a medieval town centre.

Ravenna, a gem of the Roman empire, located close to the Adriatic coast, is known for its brightly coloured Byzantine mosaics and is home to eight UNESCO heritage sites.

Beautiful countryside around Bologna

However, our trip was mostly concentrated around gluttony as opposed to sophisticated pleasures. As one local said, this is the place “to get fat and drive fast” referring to the region being a luxury car manufacturing capital as well as the centre of gastronomy. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Pagani all originate from here, and do Parmesan, Parma ham, balsamic vinegar of Modena and lasagna/pasta bolognese ring a bell?

One of the pools at Palazzo Di Varignana

I highly recommend signing up for a food tour visiting a Parma ham and Parmesan cheese factory, as well as stopping for a balsamic vinegar tasting. It makes for such a fantastic experience sampling these local delicacies with a glass of Lambrusco as well as learning about the way they are produced. You will realise that a supermarket bought balsamic vinegar is just a pale shadow of the real stuff aged from 6 to 30 (!) years.

Barrels for aging balsamic vinegar

The hotel I recommend to make your base is Palazzo Di Varignana. It’s a peaceful countryside retreat for the whole family, located in the most pretty location. The rooms are modern, most with terraces or balconies. The resort has several pools as well as the most impressive SPA and a kid’s club.

SPA at Palazzo Di Varignana

Our dinner at their trattoria serving typical Bolognese cuisine was delicious and my tortellini had a generous serving of black truffle.

Homemade tortellini with Black truffle

What a beautiful area of Italy to explore!

Call us on 020 8675 7878 to discuss your next holiday!

By Karen Simmonds
27th August 2020