This summer we (my husband, 16 year-old daughter, 12 year-old son and I) are heading to Italy for our family trip – again. We’ve been to Italy for our family holidays more times than we’ve been to any other country. There are many reasons why we go there so often – I’ve written about them here if you’re interested – but in essence it’s because all four of us love it there.
Despite having travelled widely in Italy there’s one particularly appealing region which none of us have visited: Emilia-Romagna. Millions of tourists pass through Emilia-Romagna as they travel between Venice and Tuscany. But Emilia-Romagna itself is well-worth exploring – it has a rich heritage and is less expensive to visit than its famous neighbours.
I’ll be writing about our trip over the next few months as well as sharing our experiences on my social media channels. Until then, here are some of the things that we plan to do while we’re in Emilia-Romagna. Thank you to the Emilia-Romagna tourist board for their support in arranging this trip:
The Lonely Planet guide to Italy says of Parma: ‘Stopping here isn’t an option, it’s a duty.’ I’m very dutiful and so we’re spending the first night of our trip in the historic city. I predict that we’ll eat some delicious food there (parmesan cheese and parma ham will feature) and stroll around the cobbled streets sightseeing until the kids can’t take any more and we have to find some more food. Or wifi. Probably both.
We’re visiting a parmesan cheese factory to find out how this world-famous cheese is produced, the history behind it and, I hope, to taste some cheese.
We’re spending a few days in Bologna, a city famous for its rich food, its university (the oldest in the world, dating back to 1088) and its left-wing politics. It sounds like my kind of place and I’ll enjoy exploring the medieval city centre and trying some of its famous dishes. I’m looking forward to going to a university city without having to listen to a talk on entrance requirements or view the student accommodation. We’re going to have a cooking lesson in Bologna, which I think that the kids will particularly enjoy.
We’re going to the Ferrari Museum at the Ferrari factory in Maranello, near Modena – and I think that this is the part of the trip that my husband is looking forward to the most. There are Ferrari exhibitions at the museum, you can tour the factory and see the test track.
We’ll spend some time at an agriturismo for lunch and a swim. Agriturismos are wonderful places which you can find all over Italy. They are farms which serve food which they have produced themselves. Some of them also offer accommodation – like this one where we stayed in Sicily last year.
We’ll be on the Adriatic coast in the historic town of Cesenatico for a week. Cesenatico has a four-mile long sandy beach and is renowned for its excellent fish restaurants. It also has a canal which was redesigned by Leonardo Da Vinci in 1502.
There are various theme parks on and near the coast where we’re staying and so we’ll definitely be checking some of them out. There’s a water park, Atlantica, in Cesenatico so I’m sure we’ll be heading there to cool off. Mirabilandia is a theme park with rides and a water park which looks like fun too.
Recommended guide book
This is the guide book which seems the most helpful for Emilia-Romagna:
Over to you
If you’ve been to Emilia-Romagna do you have any tips for us about things to see and do there? If you haven’t been there, is it the sort of place that you’d like to visit? Is there anything that you’d like us to check out while we’re there?
Disclosure: This post is in association with Expedia. All opinions and words are my own.