8 Best Towns and Cities in Emilia-Romagna: Italy’s Food Hub

Located in the heart of Italy, Emilia-Romagna is not just a region known for its picturesque landscapes, but also for its incredible food scene. From charming medieval towns to enchanting cities steeped in history, Emilia-Romagna is a destination you have to experience. In this guide, I’ll take you through the 8 best towns and cities in Emilia-Romagna: Italy’s food hub. You’ll want to visit Bologna, the capital of the region as well as discover lesser-known towns like Dozza Imolese and Comacchio.

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8 Best Towns and Cities in Emilia-Romagna

Wondering what the best towns and cities in Emilia-Romagna are? Read on for my selection! I’ve visited the region multiple times and really love it!

1. Bologna

Bologna is the regional capital of Emilia-Romagna and therefore a must-visit. It is most known for its well-preserved medieval center, beautiful porticoes, and amazing food scene. While there, you must go to the Piazza Maggiore, the Two Towers for views of the city, and the Basilica of San Petronio. These are some of the most famous buildings in Italy!

You can find the best food in Italy right in Bologna. You can’t leave without trying tagliatelle al ragù (Bolognese sauce), tortellini, and cured meats like mortadella and prosciutto. The best place to try tagliatelle al ragù is Osteria dell’Orsa (Google Maps).

Pro-tip: Take a food tour so you can try many different foods in Bologna!

2. Parma

Parma is one of the most amazing cities in the Emilia-Romagna region. To be honest, I dreamed to visit here because I LOVE parma ham and they are the ones who invented it. Not only that, the town is super quaint and charming. I highly recommend this tour to witness the production of Parma Cheese and Parma Ham.

While here, visit the Parma Cathedral and the magnificent Teatro Farnese. Then lose yourself in the charming colorful streets.

3. Modena

Modena is another great city in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Located only a 25 minute train ride from Bologna, it’s also the halway point between Parma and Bologna.

Modena is the birthplace of Ferrari and Maserati, two iconic Italian automotive brands. It is also famous for balsamic vinegar and sampling it here is a must.

Things to do in Modena include a stroll through Modena’s historic center which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can visit the Modena Cathedral and the Piazza Grande as well.

4. Dozza Imolese

Dozza Imolese is one of the most beautiful towns in Emilia-Romagna. It’s also a wonderful hidden gem in Italy located only a 40-minute drive from Bologna!

It’s known for the many colorful murals adorning the facades of buildings throughout the town. I loved how it was full of creativity and charm.

You can visit in a short time as the town is quite small. Just admire all the stunning artwork that transforms the village. It is truly an open-air gallery.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Rocca Sforzesca, a medieval fortress offering panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Dozza is an authentic Italian experience and is definetly off the beaten path.

5. Ravenna

Ravenna is another incredible city in Emilia-Romagna. Known for its stunning Byzantine mosaics, you’ll find a whopping eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Don’t miss my full guide to Ravenna Italy.

Those include the Basilica of San Vitale and the magnificent Mausoleum of Galla Placidia. Ravenna boasts a wealth of sites dating back to the Roman and Byzantine eras.

Beyond its mosaic-adorned churches and monuments, Ravenna’s picturesque streets are also reason enough to visit.

Be sure to try piadina while there. This sandwich consists of a thin, flatbread typically filled with a variety of ingredients such as prosciutto, cheese, arugula, tomatoes, and cheese. The best place to try it is at La Piadina del Melarancio.

6. Comacchio

No, this absolutely isn’t Burano, Italy. It’s the colorful fishing village of Comacchio! And could easily be mistaken for Burano, the colorful town near Venice. When I was scouring to find the best towns in the Emilia-Romagna region, I came across this hidden gem. Even Italians I know hadn’t heard of this place!

It is extremely hard to get to without a car which is probably why it’s less explored too The easiest way is to take a bus (which might be a bit unreliable) or a taxi from Ravenna, the closest major town. I took a $60 taxi there and back to get here.

This town is the capital of eel as it’s known for it’s eel fishing techniches. If you like eel (sadly I don’t!), then be sure to try it at one of the restaurants and don’t miss the Eel Festival held here annually.

7. Rimini

Photo by Mattia Golinucci on Unsplash

Rimini is located on the Adriatic coast in Emilia-Romagna. This seaside resort destination has golden sandy beaches, clear azure waters, and a lively atmosphere.

Some of its best landmarks include the Arch of Augustus and the well-preserved Tiberius Bridge which dates back to Roman times. The energy in this city is great with bustling cafes, bars, and restaurants lining its picturesque streets. There’s also a good nightlife to experience here.

8. Ferrara

Photo by Nick

Ferrara, is one of the best cities in Emilia-Romagna, Italy and a popular choice to visit during your time in the region. Ferrar is full of medieval charm as it’s encircled by ancient walls.

The historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Don’t miss a visit to Estense Castle, the ornate Cathedral of Saint George, and the picturesque Palazzo dei Diamanti.

There are also so many museums and galleries to explore including the National Art Gallery and the Palazzo Schifanoia.

Hopefully, you enjoyed reading this post on the best cities in Emilia-Romagna.

For more reading, you may also like:
🎨 Dozza Imolese: The Town of Murals in Emilia-Romagna
Things to do in Ravenna – The Mosaic Town in Italy
🌈 Comacchio, Italy: Burano’s Look-alike Town
🇮🇹 Hidden Gems in Italy
💎 30 Best Hidden Gems in Europe
📸 Most Beautiful Cities in Europe
👩 Solo Female Travel Guide to Italy
🇮🇹 For more travel inspo visit my Italy section

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