I’m sure you are already familiar with Emilia, with Modena, Parma and Bologna, and their famous ham, parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar. But Romagna is the other half of Emilia-Romagna, and is definitely a land worth exploring.
Situated between the Adriatic Sea and the hills of Tuscany, it has a gorgeous and varied landscape, a rich culinary tradition, and happens to be populated with an incredibly hospitable people, the Romagnoli.
Here we have magnificent DOP and IGP products such as fossa cheese, squacquerone cheese, Mora Romagnola pork cold cuts, Razza Romagnola beef, DOP extra virgin olive oil, the legendary piadina as well as superb wines such as Sangiovese, Albana (the first Italian white wine to be awarded DOCG certification), Trebbiano, and Pagadebit (‘pay off the debts’ in local parlance).
Furthermore Romagna has a fascinating history and is, along with Florence, Ferrara and Mantua, the cradle of the Renaissance. Two of the most important Renaissance families, the Montefeltro and Malatesta, lived here, and the many magnificent castles and fortresses they built attest to their power: San Leo, Urbino, Verucchio, Gradara, Roncofreddo, Longiano, Montiano, Montefiore, Torriana; it seems every hill has a castle. Many of the Renaissance masters were born and/or worked here: Raffaello and Piero della Francesca, Dante and Leonardo da Vinci (the painted landscape behind the Mona Lisa is Romagnolo). The name Romagna means "land of the Romans", and in fact there are important Roman monuments here such as the Arch of Augustus and Tiberius’ Bridge in Rimini; here too is the legendary Rubicon river that was famously crossed by Julius Caesar in 49 BC.