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A Sampler of the Emilia-Romagna

A region of N Italy: 22,124 square kilometers. 2006 population: 4,188,000. Capital: Bologna.

[image ALT: A small urban square, open on the right to a two-lane street receding into the distance, with a lone bicyclist approaching us in the foreground. We see basically one side of the square: two stuccoed buildings of a ground floor and one more story. The one on the right has two windows with shutters, with a circular stucco medallion over each, and between them a smaller French door, shuttered, leading onto a diminutive stone balcony. From the nondescript house on the left, two more stories of square church belfry poke up, belonging to a church the façade of which we see just barely, edgewise, on the street on the right. This is a view of the Piazza Pisacane in Cesenatico, a town of Emilia-Romagna (Italy).]

A statue of Garibaldi gazes out over the Piazza Pisacane in Cesenatico.

The Emilia-Romagna is a 9-province region of Northern Italy, or more accurately a double region, in which Emilia to the W and Romagna to the E account for four and a half provinces each; it is geographically unified by the Po River basin and historically unified by the Via Aemilia, the great Roman road that gave Emilia its name.

I'm hardly an expert on the region, where I've spent something like eight days total, about half of them in the coastal town of Rimini in the far southern fringes of Romagna; but if everyone shared the information we have, the world would be a better place, so here's mine:


[image ALT: A wide street, opening out into a large square, or more properly a sort of urban clearing. Three parked cars and a woman on a bicycle approaching us, but otherwise the piazza is empty. On the left, a newspaper kiosque with an octagonal metal roof and behind it the wrought-iron balcony of a building. On the right, not far away, a diminutive tempietto with a copper dome and lantern, no more than 7 meters tall. In the background, the square belfry of a church pokes up from a block of four-story buildings with arcades on the ground floor. It is a view of the Piazza Quaranta Martiri in Rimini, Italy.]

[ 9 pages, 1 schematic map; 12 photos, plus those in my diary ]

Rimini, a place usually thought of as a beach resort, I've always looked upon as a historic Roman town — and the Roman remains is therefore most of what I have for you: the Arch of Augustus where the Via Flaminia comes into town, and Tiberius' great bridge on the other side, where the Via Aemilia leaves it; and a few other sights, most of them also Roman.


[image ALT: A one-lane street between two-story stuccoed houses; at the end of the street a tall thin battlemented tower. It is a view of the Campanone in Santarcangelo di Romagna, Italy.]

[ 1 page, 6 photos, plus those in my diary ]

Santarcangelo di Romagna, a mere two hours' walk from Rimini, is a completely different atmosphere: a little medieval outcrop of a hill guarding the plain, and a miniature 18c city at its foot, with a beautiful piazza.


[image ALT: A curving continuous façade of stuccoed buildings along a quite two-lane street; the buildings are all three stories plus a ground floor. The upper two stories have wooden-shuttered windows, but the story above the ground floor has a series of semicircular openings as far as the eye can reach. It is a view of one side of the Piazza Marconi in Brisighella, Italy.]

[ 1 page, 7 photos, plus those in my diary ]

Brisighella is a late-medieval town of striking aspect, with castles perched on steep crags overhanging the town, one of the rare places yours truly, a rather spur-of-the-moment traveler, had wanted to see before actually visiting it. It has its churches too.

Other Material (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911)

[image ALT: a blank space]

Bologna (2 articles: the modern town; Bononia, the Roman town)

Faenza

Piacenza

Ravenna (2 articles: the town and the Exarchate)

Of the two sub-regions, Emilia is terra incognita to me, except for a night in Bologna. For Romagna on the other hand, I do expect to put up pages on a few more towns: Cervia, Cesenatico, Faenza, and Savignano sul Rubicone; but for these places, until I churn out the formal webpages, my diary will have to do (May 27 and 29, 2004, some nice photos); and the far more comprehensive sites in the footer bar below.


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Site updated: 23 Aug 10