Bologna, Ravenna, Ferrara and Modena…
Art, history and architecture are at the heart of Emilia Romagna, although the locals are more than just a little proud of their gastronomy too! Emilia Romagna lies betweeen the River Po to its north and the Apennine Mountains to its south. It is one of the most fertile and productive regions of Italy. The region doesn’t attract nearly the same volume of tourists as its neighbouring provinces (Lombardy, the Veneto and Tuscany), which is strange as it offers just as much; glorious countryside, plenty of historic architecture and local cuisine renowned across the rest Italy. Dotted around the area are some proud, historic towns filled with restored medieval and Renaissance palazzi, the legacy of a handful of feuding families – the Este in Ferrara and Modena, the Farnese in Parma and lesser dynasties in Ravenna and Rimini – who used to control the area before the papacy took charge. Join our tour to enjoy the highlights and hidden gems of the region!
All tours are tailor made to suit the itinerary and budget of the society. However we highly recommend the following:
- Travelling in April, May, September or October for 4 or 5 nights.
- Based in a city centre hotel in Bologna or Ravenna, on bed and breakfast basis with a couple of dinners for your group, to experience the warm hospitality of the locals and their local produce.
- Guided tours of the main cities and some free time to relax and enjoy the special atmosphere.
What to Do
The ideal base in which to explore the area. Part grande dame of culture, art and cuisine and part medieval university town. The Basilica di San Petronio, is one of the most beautiful churches in Italy, with its half marble and facade. Bologna is characterized by its porticoes, its towers, Piazza Maggiore and Giambologna’s bronze statue of the god Neptune. The Santo Stefano Complex (referred to as “the Seven Churches” by locals) is a place of exceptional historic and religious interest and time must be allowed for the impressive National Art Gallery, to see works by Giotto and his school, Guido Reni, Guercino, along with the famous Ecstasy of St. Cecilia by Raffaello.
Recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, this is the perfect Renaissance city, famed for its elegant architecture and great works of art. The Este family, as symbols of their power, constructed impressive buildings including the Castello Estense. Highlights include the Cathedral, Loggia dei Merchant with its ancient workshops, Palazzo Schifanoia, built by Alberto V D’Este in 1385 (now the Museum of Ancient Art) and the Palazzo dei Diamanti, clad in pink and white and now the site of the National Art Gallery.
A city with an important past and Etruscan in origins. Later, the Celts and the Romans laid claim to it. The city is home to glorious architecture such as the Romanesque Cathedral clad in white marble. The Ghirlandina, a bell tower that rises majestically over the rooftops; City Hall (Palazzo Comunale), a complex of Medieval buildings remodeled during the 17th-18th Centuries; and The Palazzo dei Musei which houses the most important cultural institutes of the city, the Lapidary Museum and the Estense Gallery, conserving many masterpieces and works of art; the Civic Museums; the Municipal Historic Archive; and the Estense Libary, with the famous Bible of Borso d’Este, illuminated by Taddeo Crivelli.
Emilia Romagna’s city of mosaics with no fewer than eight Christian monuments deemed worthy of the UNESCO World Heritage List. The masterpieces of this town, a capital of the Byzantine Empire, bear witness to the wealth acquired over its long history. Just a few of the highlights include: the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, with the interior decorated by vivid mosaics; the Cathedral of San Vital with its interior lined with marble and wonderful gold and bright green Byzantine mosaics; the Neonian Baptistery, considered one of the most ancient and best preserved monuments of Ravenna; Dante’s Tomb; and the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe, an absolute must see, with a cylindrical bell tower and elegant columns surmounted by Byzantine capitals and mosaics. This is sure to be a highlight of your tour.
In addition to the above mentioned cities, other places that are well worth visiting include:
Parma (famous for its ham, Verdi, Palazzo della Pilotta, Bishops Palace & Cathedral), Reggio Emilia (with its wonderful ancient churches and awe-inspiring frescoes); Faenza (famous world wide for the ancient majolica tradition and ceramic work); Floriano Villa of the Bagnarola Villas (just outside Bologna); a trip on the Po Delta; Comacchio; or if you don’t mind moving out of the immediate area a little further to Lombardy, the wonderful & historical city of Mantova with its stunning palaces.
Any of our tours can be tailored to suit your particular groups requirements.
For further details please contact one of the team on 01225 764205 or firstname.lastname@example.org