Surrounded by the Apennines, the Adriatic Sea and the Po river, Emilia‐Romagna is one of the most economically thriving and productive regions of the Italian peninsula
The warmth of its people, the unique natural and rural landscapes, its typical foods are just some of the distinctive elements of a region anchored to its history and traditions
Emilia‐Romagna is populated by almost 4.5 million inhabitants in a total area of 22,541 km2. Composed of 9 provinces (Piacenza, Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna, Ferrara, Forlì‐Cesena, Ravenna and Rimini), its capital is Bologna, home of one of the oldest Italian universities

Local Agricultural Systems, Global Reach and Recognition

Some of the most renowned food products in the world are produced here: Parmigiano‐Reggiano, Grana Padano, Prosciutto di Parma, Culatello di Zibello, Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of ModenaMortadella Bologna and many other products worthy of the origin protection by the European Union
The fertile plains, the particular micro-climates created by the great Po River, the mountains and the nearby seas (the Adriatic Sea and the Ligurian Sea), the traditions and knowledge handed down through generations are the main ingredients of the Food System of the region, comprising 73,466 farms and almost 5,000 processors

A more comprehensive and detailed picture of the structure of the agri-food system in Emilia Romagna can be gauged in these slides prepared by the Agricultural Directorate of the Regional Government in the event of EXPO 2015

The Regional Economic Policy: Agglomeration & Diversity

The economy of the region is characterized by the presence of a wide network of cooperative companies, not only in the agri‐food sector, but also in constructions and services
The Regional Economic Development Policies have fostered the creation of a High Technology Network of the Regional Universities and Research Centres, which are providing their knowledge and expertise to the firms in the Region, grouped around five main thematic platforms
The Universities involved in the High Technology Network are: the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Piacenza and Politecnico di Milano – Piacenza Campus (through their MUSP and LEAP Laboratories), the Università degli Studi di Parma (through its interdepartmental research centres SITEIA.PARMA, CIPACK, CIM, COMT, BIOPHARMANET_TEC and Laboratorio RFID&VIS-LABS), the Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio‐Emilia (that encompasses the INTERMECH-MO.RE, Softech-ICT, CIDSTEM, EN&TECH, BIOGEST-SITEIA interdepartmental centres and CRPA LAB research centre), the Università degli Studi di Bologna (by way of e. g. PROAMBIENTE LABORATORY, LARCO ICOS LABORATORY, CIRI ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT, CIRI ICT, LabICT PA , CIRI – ADVANCED MECHANICS AND MATERIALS, T3 Lab, CIRI LIFE SCIENCE, RIZZOLI RIT DEPARTMENT – Research Innovation & Technology Laboratories) and the Università degli Studi di Ferrara (with the TEKNEHUB LABORATORY, TerraeAcquaTech LABORATORY, MECH-LAV LABORATORY for advanced mechanics and LTTA LABORATORY interdepartmental research centres)
Notable thematic platforms are those developing the agrifood and the mechanics and materials sectors. In particular, the agrifood thematic platform involves university centres from the Università degli Studi di Parma, Univeristà degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Università degli Studi di Bologna and the CRPA LAB research centre. The mechanics and materials platform is fostered by the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Piacenza and Politecnico di Milano – Piacenza Campus, Univeristà degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Università degli Studi di Bologna, Bologna CNR and ENEA technopoles and Università degli Studi di Ferrara
The benefits of this local economic policies promoting development, through entrepreneurship and the formation of new firms in particular, in deverse – yet related industries – have been studied in the academic literature

The imagination, the desire to compete and the entrepreneurial spirit of the Emilia‐Romagna’s people have created one of the most important districts for sports cars and motorcycles in the world, centred around Modena, and comprising glorious manufacturers like Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Pagani, and Ducati

A region of culture and arts

Music, painting, literature have enriched greatly the national and international image of the region. The most illustrious representatives of the cultural heritage of the region are the great composer Giuseppe Verdi, the magnificent orchestra conductor Arturo Toscanini, the painters Antonio Allegri (called Correggio) and Antonio Ligabue, the narrator of the rural world of the Po lowlands Giovannino Guareschi, the great poets Ludovico Ariosto and Attilio Bertolucci, and the incomparable movie director Federico Fellini

A region-wide trail of culinary delights

While exploring the region, take a break at one of the many restaurants or agritourisms dotting the different landscapes and urban spaces. Inside the cities or in the countryside, let be enthralled by the typical flavours and aromas of the regional culinary tradition: anolini (from Piacenza) or cappelletti in brodo (from Parma or Reggio Emilia), tortellini in brodo (Modena and Bologna), pisarei e faso (Piacenza), tortelli con la coda (Piacenza) or d’erbetta (Parma), lasagne and tagliatelle alla Bolognese (Bologna), pasticcio di maccheroni (Ferrara), passatelli (Rimini) as first course
Punta ripiena al forno (Piacenza, Parma and Reggio Emilia), mixed boiled meats with sauces (Parma and Piacenza), torta fritta or gnocco fritto (Piacenza, Parma, Reggio Emilia), spalla cotta (Parma), tigelle (Modena), piadina (Forlì-Cesena, Ravenna, Rimini), and much more for second course
Do not forget to pair your food with the regional red wines Gutturnio (Piacenza), Lambrusco (Parma and Reggio Emilia), Fortana (Ferrara and Parma), and Sangiovese (Forlì-Cesena, Rimini, Ravenna) or white ones Malvasia (Piacenza and Parma), Albana (Bologna, Ravenna, Forlì-Cesena and Rimini)

The fascinating features of and charming opportunities offered by the Emilia Romagna Region are summarised and described in this article on The Independent while Bologna, the Capital City of the Region, is regularly narrated in this nice blog

For way more information on the cultural, recreational and culinary opportunities in the Region, visit the Emilia Romagna Turismo portal