Glass visits Emilia-Romagna – the land of slow food and fast cars

NESTLED between rolling hills, verdant valleys and Roman history, the northern Italian region of Emilia Romagna has become known for its captivating blend of heritage, gastronomy and automotives.

Centred around Bologna, a city crafted from mediaeval burnt orange towers and winding cobblestone streets, the appeal of this area is down to the way it upholds its past without forgetting to move into the future. 

Palazzo Ducale di Modena

Travelling from the centre to its neighbouring city of Modena for the annual Motor Valley Festival, the alluring nature of tradition was met with the pulsating scent of petrol.

Despite the architectural prowess of sites like Modena Cathedral and Palazzo Ducale, the region is famous for its place in car history, being the home to Ferrari, Maserati, Pagani and Lamborghini –  with their headquarters and factories still standing firmly in their original position. 

Bologna Delicatessen

Between being immersed in the narrative of each of the rivals, dotting between whiplash-inducing experiences in the Autodromo di Modena and seeing first-hand the craftsmanship of the manufacturing  of commissioned cars, Emilia-Romagna’s draw extends beyond its heritage and into its defining culinary position. 

Ferrari Game Changers Exhibition, Modena

It’s on these fertile grounds that Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, traditional balsamic vinegar and Prosciutto di Parma were born, and it is here where three-Michelin star chef Massimo Bottura opened his world-renowned, Osteria Francescana.

It was while eating dinner at his second outpost, Casa Maria Luigia, sat next to his customised fast cars and drinking local Lambrusco wine, that the combination of Emilia-Romagna’s contrasting delicacies made me understand why the greats never left this city – the taste of tradition and innovation is truly timeless. 

by Imogen Clark 

For more information visit Emilia Romagna Turismo