What's special about a region that brings the world Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Ducati, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Parma Prosciutto, Barilla Group, the oldest university in Europe, and much more? Plenty. Emilia-Romagna is a cornucopia of Italian richness, both modern and ancient.

Deriving its regional name from the combination of Via Aemilia, the 2 C. BC Roman road connecting Piacenza and Rimini, and Romania, the Byzantine capital in Italia, Emilia-Romagna today reflects the delicious blend of Etruscan, Gaul, Roman and Byzantine culture that provide a fascinating backdrop for the 21st C. traveler.

Known internationally for its exceptional cuisine, the regional capital of Bologna, home to Europe's oldest university, is also affectionately known as the "Il Grosso", the large one-for its magnificent heritage of culinary excellence.

The Po River, running from the Alps to the Adriatic along the complete length of the region, nurtures excellent vineyards and wines (Lambrusco, Sangiovese, etc.) to add sparkle to your time in Emilia-Romagna.

Faenza, located just east of Bologna, has been a major center of ceramic art since the 12th C. and currently hosts the International Museum of Ceramics.  The colors, designs and shapes made famous in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance are still available through local artisans.

Try a side trip to Modena to capture the unique spirit of Italian, automotive excellence. In the 1920’s Enzo Ferrari founded Scuderia Ferrari in Modena, and in the 1930’s the Maserati family brought their motor works to Modena. Visit the Ferrari racetrack at Imola and the Galleria Ferrari at Maranello.

Indulge your passion for opera in Parma, the home of composers Verdi and Toscannini. The Teatro Reggio, built by Napoleon’s second wife, the Duchess of Parma, is Parma’s classic opera house. Known for their fierce operatic criticism, only the finest performance is satisfactory in the Teatro Reggio. The historic center of Parma is a wonderful collection of Medieval and Renaissance art and architecture amid numerous options to indulge in Parma’s gastronomic excellence-alla parmigiana.