Emilia Romagna & San Marino
Located in the north of central Italy, extending from the Apennine mountains to the fertile Po River Valley (UNESCO World Heritage listed) and Adriatic Coast. It is known for its elegant cities, unique architecture, history as a trading centre and rich gastronomic delights. The capital, Bologna, is a vibrant university town with arched porticos lining the streets and medieval and Renaissance structures. Ravenna, near the Adriatic coast, is famed for its brightly coloured, UNESCO World Heritage listed, Byzantine mosaics.
Follow a food trail across this region from Bologna to Parma, taking in Ferrara, Modena and Ravenna. Taste parmigiano cheese and ham in Parma, balsamic vinegar in Modena, bolognese sauce or ragu in Bologna and perhaps even drive a Ferrari!
To appreciate the true beauty of Italian artisanship, you must visit the small triangle of land between Modena and Bologna, called ‘Motor Valley’, where the world’s finest luxury cars, namely Ferrari, Lamborghini and Pagani, are made.
San Marino is a mountainous microstate surrounded by north-central Italy. Among the world’s oldest republics, it retains much of its historic architecture. On the slopes of Monte Titano sits the capital, also called San Marino, known for its medieval walled old town and narrow cobblestone streets.
When to visit
Emilia-Romagna is a year-round destination. As elsewhere in Italy, spring and autumn are the loveliest times for touring. In August, hotel prices are at their highest on the coasts, but lowest in the cities as the locals abandon them for the beach.
The sights are rarely crowded and temperatures are mild. In many ways the cities can be at their best in winter as well: opera season runs from December to March, hotels are cheaper (though beware of major trade fairs), you can have many sights to yourself and the rich, hearty food of the region tastes best.
April - June
Spring offers mild temperatures and a lot of day light. Enjoy pleasant cycling weather on the Po plains and avoid summer crowds on Rimini's beaches.
June - August
Summer music festivals fill the agenda from Bologna to Ravenna.
September - October
Ideal hiking conditions in Parco Nazionale dell'Appennino Tosco-Emiliano. Autumn has the best food around the year such as truffles, mushrooms. chestnuts, mulled wine and many of food festivals.
Some popular Emilia Romagna & San Marino Packages
Indulge in the wonderful flavours of Italian cuisine during this 4-day packaged tour in Sorrento. Learn how to create regional dishes with a hands-on cooking class and visit a charming lemon garden and discover the famous Sorrento lemon.
Explore the real Sicily through its ancient Greek and Roman ruins, magnificent architecture, medieval villages and sumptuous cuisine during this exciting, 8-day escorted tour.
This small-group tour is a real feast for the senses. Soak in the magnificent scenery of Amalfi Coast and learn how to cook authentic Italian dishes during this enthralling, 8-day cooking holiday.
Say boungiorno and learn the beautiful Italian language during this insightful, 8-day language holiday in Tuscany. Stay in a beautiful villa in the Tuscan countryside, receive daily Italian language lessons from a native speaker and explore the lush region or enjoy shopping at leisure.
Savour the best of Piedmont, from the capital city brimming with elegant palaces and square to the lush sloping hills where world-class wines are produced.
Revel in the unparalleled beauty of Italy’s most beautiful coastline through this self-guided walking tour of the Cinque Terre.
Discover the rich cuisine and beautiful landscape of Puglia, the heel of Italy’s “boot” on this week-long cooking class. Learn how to cook local specialities such as orecchiete pasta and explore the coastal towns of Santa Maria di Leuca, Otranto and Gallipoli.