When Ravenna Was the ‘Capital of Empire’

‘Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe’ is a comprehensive look at the history of Ravenna during its golden age.

Emilia-Romagna Travel Guide

Bikes resting against the wall of a medieval street in Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna

Emilia-Romagna is a region known for its good taste and unforgettable flavors. The region is a major contributor to Italy’s gastronomic heritage, being the birthplace of prosciutto, Parmigiano, balsamic vinegar, and pasta like tortellini and lasagne. Bologna, the capital of Emilia-Romagna, is home to the oldest university in Europe. Forty kilometers of porticoes stretch above … Read more

Five Favorite Flavors From Ferrara and Modena

Flavors of Ferrara and Modena: Fresh tortellini and tortelloni for sale in Mercato Albinelli

To ring in the New Year, my family and I rented a farmhouse for a few days on the outskirts of Ferrara. Thinking back to the trip, the timing wasn’t ideal. Ferrara was freezing and on New Year’s Eve, the fog was so thick on our drive into town to watch the fireworks over Castello Estense that we wondered if we should even go out at all.

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Centuries of History and 300,000 Wheels of Cheese Destroyed in Deadly Italy Earthquake

The latest reports about the earthquake that hit Emilia-Romagna this weekend state that at least seven people were killed, 50 injured, and more than 13,000 have been displaced. The 6.0 earthquake struck early Sunday morning north of the city of Bologna in the town of Finale Emilia. According to The Guardian, the quake “wrought havoc in small towns and villages dotting the countryside between Bologna, Ferrara, and Modena.”

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Travel Secrets: 3 of My Favorite “Secret” Places in Italy

Coming up with three of my best travel secrets for Italy is no easy task. Alas, I’ve been tagged by Robin Locker at My Mélange to come up with my list, just as she has over at her blog. In fact, since I had difficulty paring down my favorites, I’ve come up with my non-Italy … Read more

Spain Conquers Italy

Large parts of Italy were once united under the Spanish flag, with conquests in Naples and Sicily by the houses of Aragon and Bourbon, among others. Even Milan and Parma were under Spanish rule at one point. I confess that I am not an expert on Spain’s influence on Italy, so you may want to … Read more

Gastronomic Tour of Emilia Romagna

You can eat well just about anywhere in Italy. But Italians know that Italy’s culinary heart lies in Emilia-Romagna. Lasagna, tortellini, premium balsamic vinegar from Modena, Parma ham, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, mortadella — all of these scrumptious items (and more) come from Emilia-Romagna. That’s why epicures who want to get the most out of a visit to … Read more

Bologna’s Old Cutlery Shop

In a recent NY Times Foraging column, Melissa Clark profiles Antica Aguzzeria del Cavallo, a cutlery shop that dates back to 1783. Clark notes, “If it cuts, rips, tears, nicks, grates, slices, shaves or pricks and is legal to sell, they most likely have it.” Here’s another taste of the short article: When Antonio Bernagozzi … Read more