Emilia-Romagna? The region is relatively unknown, but it has much to offer for families even beyond Rimini: medieval castles and towns, adventurous nature and almost 100 kilometers of coastline.
“Emilia-Romagna”? This often gives you questioning looks. Everyone at Rimini would have known immediately. The northern Italian region has more to offer than the famous seaside resort on the Adriatic. For a long time now, those who are interested in culture, who stroll through the streets in Bologna, Modena, Parma, Ravenna or Ferrara, join the beach holidaymakers. The neighboring region of Tuscany , in addition to bathing pleasure and culture also has a lot to offer nature and entertainment, because it extends from the Apennines to the Po Delta and is set around families. You will see: Here everyone will find something that he enjoys.
Okay, secluded coves are not the thing of Emilia-Romagna, but we’re not romantic for two, but with the whole family and they want to be entertained. Famous are the seaside resorts Rimini and Riccione, but everywhere along the 100 kilometers of coast can be found in addition to free beaches and Bagni (beach) with beach chairs and umbrellas. There’s a lot going on in the summer: In many places you can try out beach tennis, beach volleyball, beach soccer, surfing, kitesurfing or stand-up paddling and listen to concerts in the evening. Most beach resorts now have Wi-Fi, which appeals to older children, many offer yoga, Qigong, Pilates, massages or Nordic walking.
Sure, big wheels are not uncommon. In London there is one, in Paris on the Place de la Concorde and also on the Vienna Prater. But a Ferris wheel on the beach with sea views is really something special – to experience a sunset in a gondola, is the hit! At the Ruota Panoramica in Rimini , families can travel more cheaply.
There are castles and castles scattered all over Emilia-Romagna, waiting to be explored by little knights and knights, revealing something of their medieval history. Particularly impressive with its towers and battlements is the castle Rocca Manfrediana di Brisighella, which towers over the village. Impressive is also the castle Castello dei Pio in the center of Carpi or the former moated castle Rocca Sforzesca near Imola. In the courtyard of the Castello the Torrechiara (photo) in the province of Parma, the Torrechiara Festival takes place every summer, in honor of the soprano Renata Tebaldi.
The parents enjoy the delicacies of Emilia-Romagna – Parmesan, Parma ham and balsamic vinegar – and on the coast freshly caught fish. The kids will love the Italian ice cream and the many pasta dishes that also come from the very active culinary region: tortelli, tortellini, ravioli cappelletti, anolini, gnocchi …. stuffed with ricotta and herbs or stuffed with meat, cheese or pumpkin , Tortellini were cooked for the first time in Bologna, the capital of the emperor – according to legend, they were modeled on the navel of the goddess of love, Venus. Maybe the kids will even discover a new favorite dish on holiday beyond “Bolo”. By the way, this is also from Bologna – but the Emilian gastronomy prefers noodles to “Ragù alla Bolognese”.
Bologna, the capital of Emilia-Romagna, is famous for being the oldest university in Europe (founded in 1088) and was the European Capital of Culture in 2000. Today it is raining? OK then! More than 40 museums and a total of 40 kilometers of arcades provide entertainment and a dry window shopping. Those who get hungry in between can fortify themselves with tortellini. The stuffed pasta comes from Bologna and is filled with pork, Parma ham, mortadella or parmesan and served in broth.
The Apennines are the greenest region in Italy, with two national parks – the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines National Park , where it is possible to climb up to 2,000 meters, and the Foreste Casentinesi National Park , home of the oldest and densest forests in Italy, including the Wolf and the Goldalder are at home. Here you can hike, find goals in orienteering or test your limits at the hydrospeed. The Parco Avventura Cerwood with its high rope course, the lake, the barbecue areas and the playground with the track for play tractors and pedal cars, with table tennis, painting studio, mini carpentry workshop and tree houses is the hit with children. In Adventure Park Cimone there are zip lines, climbing walls, a quadrennial track and a toboggan run with chairlift. You can also rent mountain bikes here.
Ferrara … funny that this beautiful city so rarely appears on the tourist map. Finally, it boasts the most beautiful lanes in Italy, the most famous with its arches and passages is the Via delle Volte – it should be the most beautiful in Italy. Very pleasant: The bumpy streets are closed to traffic, so you can explore them stress-free with the whole family. Not Vespa is driven here, but bicycles – Ferrara is one of the cities with the highest bicycle density. But the medieval city also shines with the monumental Renaissance Palace Castello Estense, an impressive cathedral and the Palazzo dei Diamanti of the purest marble. Only 50 kilometers from Bologna!
A river, which is called Po, makes for some laughter in the back seat. And then the Po Delta with its extraordinary biodiversity is one of the most important wetlands in Europe. Beautiful birds can be observed here with luck and depending on the season: herons, grebes, white storks, pink flamingos or the very rare whiskered tern. On the beaches and on the sandbanks broods the oystercatcher, which has almost disappeared in the rest of Italy. The water landscapes of the delta can be explored by boat. Offshoots are available, for example, in the fishing villages of Goro or Gorino.
At Parma, we first think of Parma ham and Parmesan, both created here. The old town also boasts sights such as the Romanesque Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta with its Gothic frescoes, the octagonal baptistery of San Giovanni with its pink marble façade or the Palazzo della Pilotta with the Teatro Farnese. Perfect for a breather is the Parco Ducale ( Ducal Garden), where you’ll find gorgeous old trees, fountains, historic buildings, benches, ice cream and balloons for the kids. Maybe you’ll have some energy after that to see some of the 2500 puppets and hand puppets in the doll museum ” Il Castello dei Burattini ” …
You like it really busy – or rather your children? Then in one of the many fun pools! The Atlantica in Cesenatico is one of the most visited theme parks of the coast. No wonder, the bath offers over 100,000 square meters, a 400-meter-long slide, various wave pools, baby pool and a river, where you can drive dinghy. In Riccione, the Aquafan water park attracts with more than three kilometers of water slides, waterfalls and events – such as legendary foam parties and well-known DJs.
Just nine kilometers from the Adriatic Sea lies Ravenna with unimaginably beautiful art treasures and colorful mosaics. Class: Cinzia Titarelli offers city tours for children, also in German. And if it’s still too boring for the little ones, then Italy’s most famous amusement park, Mirabilandia , awaits you after a 15-minute drive: Here, sensational rides are causing a stir, stunt men perform breakneck scenes, and simulations can be used to experience foreign worlds.
Right next to the Mirabilandia around the corner, you can watch wild animals from your own car at Zoo Safari Ravenna – just like on a real safari and sometimes without any barriers. Some animals may even pet her. You can also drive through an electric vehicle or join a tour on the train, where guides tell you exciting facts. 450 species can be seen here – including lions, zebras, tigers, giraffes and hippos.
In Modena, too, we have created a specialty that has long since grown dear to our hearts: the balsamic vinegar. But Modena is also known for its operas, its palace and its cathedral – and for the Ferrari and the Lamborghini. You have car fans in the family? The Enzo Ferrari Museum displays an exhibition about the life of the famous sports car designer in the house of his childhood – and in a futuristic building a collection of his famous sledges.
What still speaks for the Emilia-Romagna as a family travel destination, is the relatively easy journey. At least South Germans come quite well by car to northern Italy. The main routes lead through Austria over the Brenner; Through Switzerland we travel via the Gotthard tunnel, Chiasso and via Milan. From Munich you can reach Bologna in about six hours, with the plane it only takes a good hour. Or you get on the night train – then the journey is a little adventure.