The best places to stay in Emilia Romagna?

The prosperous region of Emilia Romagna takes its name from Aemilian Way, a road built in 187 B.C. connecting Rimini to Milan. It may not be as well known to the outside world as some of its illustrious neighbours (Tuscany, Lombardy and Veneto) but some of its cities certainly are: who hasn’t heard of: Bologna and Parma for example?

It is also a region built for the vacation minded. Washed by the Adriatic Sea and bordered by mountains and a rich historical heritage it seems to have a bit of everything: beautiful natural attributes that take in the sea and mountains, art and culture. It even boasts one of the oldest universities in Europe – Bologna. Geographically, the region falls into two areas - the Apennines and the large plain, which reaches out to the Adriatic Sea. The coastline is flat and sandy, with a typical lagoon and marshy area (the Valli of Comacchio).

Whether you're in search of the best boutique hotels in Emilia-Romagna or small bed & breakfasts in charming villages, our curated selection ensures that you'll have direct access to the region's most captivating sights.

Check out our selection of beautiful self-catering apartments and holiday homes in Emilia Romagna, to take in the authentic ambiance of the region, while exploring its most beautiful cities, including Parma, Ravenna, Ferrara and Modena, just to mention a few.

Dive into our guide, thoughtfully organized into the following sections:

  • Where to stay: Uncover hidden gems, must-see attractions, and invaluable insider tips to make the most of your stay in Emilia-Romagna
  • What to do: Immerse yourself in engaging activities and soak up the vibrant culture that defines this enchanting region
  • Culinary delights: Indulge in the gastronomic wonders that have made Bologna, the heart of Emilia-Romagna, a world-renowned culinary destination

If you have specific interests or already have a clear idea of the type of accommodation you're seeking, the following collections can assist you in discovering the ideal place to stay:

Our favourite towns, villages and accommodations in Emilia Romagna

Emilia-Romagna is an evocative region that promises an authentic and diverse Italian experience. It may not be the busiest tourist destination in Italy, but it exudes its original charm and offers a range of fascinating areas for your ideal stay.

When you venture to Emilia-Romagna, prepare for an unforgettable stay in our carefully curated holiday accommodation. Choose from a variety of options to suit different tastes and styles.

In the heart of cities such as Bologna, Modena and Parma, discover stylish boutique hotels within easy reach of iconic landmarks and cultural treasures. Explore the historic city centres and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere that defines Emilia-Romagna.

If you want to experience the beauty of the region's countryside, check out our collection of the most beautiful country hotels, B&B and luxury hotels in Emilia Romagna.

Bologna: Begin your Emilia-Romagna adventure in the vibrant city of Bologna. Immerse yourself in the historic charm and lively atmosphere of its neighbourhoods, each with its unique character.

Parma: Continue your journey to Parma, a city renowned for its culinary heritage (home to Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano) and artistic treasures.

Ravenna: Explore Ravenna, a city of immense historical and artistic significance, famous for its stunning Byzantine mosaics and visit the Tumb of Dante Alighieri, Italian's most famous poet.

Apennine Mountains: Continue your Emilia-Romagna exploration with a journey to the Apennine Mountains, a region of outstanding natural beauty.

Comacchio: Explore the picturesque town of Comacchio, often referred to as "Little Venice" due to its charming canals and bridges.

Each of these must-visit places in Emilia-Romagna promises a unique blend of history, culture and natural beauty, ensuring an unforgettable and fulfilling journey through this remarkable region.

What to do in Emilia Romagna

When you visit Emilia-Romagna, a region that offers a rich tapestry of experiences, you'll find a wide range of activities to fill your days with excitement and exploration.

Start your journey in Bologna. Explore the city's historic squares, walk the cobbled streets and climb the iconic Two Towers for panoramic views. Immerse yourself in the culinary scene and indulge in authentic Bolognese cuisine with world-famous dishes such as tagliatelle al ragù and tortellini in brodo.

Take a trip to Ravenna, a city that is famous for its stunning Byzantine mosaics. Explore the intricate artistry of the Basilica di San Vitale and other UNESCO World Heritage sites that tell the story of Ravenna's rich history.

Discover the city's cultural treasures in Parma, where you can soak up the elegance of the historic centre and visit the iconic Cathedral and Baptistry. Don't forget to pay homage to Dante Alighieri at his tomb, a cultural tribute that adds depth to your visit.

Make a stop in Modena. Here you can admire the city's medieval architecture, including the stunning Cathedral of Modena and the Ghirlandina Tower. Embrace the region's culinary heritage with a visit to a traditional balsamic vinegar producer where you can sample this exquisite condiment.

Head to Ferrara, a UNESCO World Heritage city renowned for its well-preserved Renaissance architecture. Explore the magnificent Estense Castle, stroll along the medieval walls and admire the elegant palaces that line the streets.

For nature lovers, the Apennine Mountains offer just incredible walks in destinations such as Corno alle Scale and Monte Cimone. In winter, these peaks are transformed into a ski paradise.

Explore the charming canal townscape of Comacchio, often referred to as 'Little Venice'. Stroll along winding waterways, cross picturesque bridges and learn about the traditional art of eel fishing at the Museo Delta Antico.

Whether you are looking for art, culture, nature or culinary adventure, Emilia-Romagna offers a diverse and enriching experience for every traveller. Every day brings new opportunities to discover the region's treasures and create lasting memories.

Culinary delights in Emilia Romagna

Emilia-Romagna's cuisine is a true masterpiece of Italian gastronomy, celebrated worldwide for its rich and indulgent flavours. This region is a culinary paradise where tradition and innovation harmoniously coexist, offering a delightful array of dishes and delicacies.

At the heart of Emilia-Romagna's culinary identity is the world-famous Bolognese sauce, known locally as 'ragù’, usually paired with handmade pasta, such as tagliatelle. Handmade pasta is a hallmark of Emilian cuisine, with Tortellini and Lasagne being local favourites. Another beloved specialty is Mortadella, the original inspiration for the widely known 'Bologna' sausage. This flavourful, finely minced sausage is often enjoyed in sandwiches or served in thin slices as an appetizer. The region's gastronomic excellence extends to its cheeses, with Parmigiano-Reggiano often referred to as the "King of Cheeses." This aged cheese is known for its nutty and savoury flavour and is widely used in Italian cuisine, particularly grated over pasta or risotto.

And let's not forget the exquisite Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale, or Traditional Balsamic Vinegar, which is aged for years in wooden barrels. It's a sweet and tangy elixir that enhances the flavour of salads, meats and even desserts.

In short, Emilia-Romagna's cuisine is a symphony of flavours. Every bite is a celebration of the region's rich culinary heritage. Whether it's a bowl of pasta, a slice of mortadella or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, you're in for a culinary experience that will delight your taste buds and leave you wanting more.