Enjoy an indulgent trip across Italy’s Food Valley with this guide to Emilia-Romagna

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Photo courtesy of Sarah Maiellano

The conversation about traveling to Italy often revolves around a few major cities and popular destinations, like Tuscany and Cinque Terre. For food-obsessed travelers, though, Northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region should be at the top of the list.

This is where some of the most beloved foods in the world come from: Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano-Reggiano, traditional balsamic vinegar, lambrusco wines, tortellini and dozens of other signature foods. All in all, 44 of Emilia-Romanga’s products have earned protected status, which means that the products have been made in their original locations, using strict guidelines and controls. 

A road trip through this verdant region takes travelers on a food-centric agrotourism journey that’s as much about eating as it is learning about these celebrated foods and dishes from the people who have been making them for generations. In between meals, Emilia-Romagna also offers fascinating history, architecture and culture.

You’ll follow the Via Emilia, a 2,000-year-old Roman road that runs nearly coast-to-coast for 165 miles from Piacenza in the west to Rimini on the Adriatic coast.

Delicacies from the region are on display at Castello di Rivalta in Piacenza, the start of the Via Emilia. Castello di Rivalta features a 14th-century castle, historic accommodations and an on-site restaurant, Locanda del Falco, serving local specialties.

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