Most people may not be familiar with the name Emilia-Romagna - one of Italy's 20 regions - but most people have at least heard of Parma or Bologna, especially if they've ever eaten Prosciutto, Parmigiano or Bolognese sauce on their pasta. With much history, art and culture to boast of, Emilia Romagna is probably best known as the gastronomic epicenter of Italy. It is, after all, where some of Italy's mot iconic foods are born.
During our brief tour of Emilia-Romagna we stayed in the city of Reggio Emilia where family introduced us to the delights of gnocco fritto (a fried dough square) and tigelle (small round bread pockets) accompanied by a variety of salumi (cured meats). We also had the opportunity to visit a Parmigiano factory in Parma - amazing experience watching how Parmigiano is made - followed by a visit to a specialty food shop where we were treated to a tasting of Prosciutto, Parmigiano and balsamic vinegar. We then ended our week in the beautiful city of Bologna, where we sat down to a meal of fresh tagliatelle alla bolognese, the fresh pasta with the traditional meat sauce. Lest you think that all we did is eat - and you wouldn't be wrong! - we also walked around all of the city centers and admired the architecture and art that each had on display. And I don't want to offend any of my friends and family from Reggio Emilia or Bologna, because I know this is a touchy subject, but Parma has now become one of my favorite places ever!
So add Emilia-Romagna to your list of places to visit before you die. It has something for everyone and you definitely won't be disappointed!
Next stop on the 2016 Italian summer extravaganza is my hometown of Rionero in Vulture. I can't wait to share my adventures with everyone.
So until next time...