Emilia Romagna (Ferrara, Parma, Ravenna, Rimini) Attractions
Provinces: Bologna (BO), Ferrara (FE), Forli (FO), Modena (MO), Parma (PR), Piacenza (PC), Ravenna (RA) and Reggio nell'Emilia (RE)Area: 22,124 sq.km/8,542 sq.miPopulation: 3,947,000SituationEmilia-Romagna, the southeastern part of the north Italian plain occupies the area extending from the River Po to the Apennines and then eastward to the Adriatic coast.
It comprises the provinces of Bologna, Ferrara, Forli, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Ravenna and Reggio nell'Emilia.Population and economyThe high fertility of the soil and the advantages of its situation in an area of passage traversed by ancient traffic and trade routes between the Adriatic, northern Italy and the Gulf of Genoa enabled this region, and particularly the larger towns, to attain considerable prosperity from an early period.Emilia-Romagna is still one of Italy's most highly developed regions. The main elements in its agriculture are meat and dairy farming, tomatoes and fruit, sugar-beet, maize and rice. Its industries have an international reputation - petro-chemicals, based on the recently developed resources of oil and natural gas in the Po plain, engineering, car manufacture, textiles, boots and shoes. On the Adriatic coast fisheries and the tourist trade also make important contributions to the economy of the region.HistoryEmilia, the western part of the region, derives its name from the Roman Via Aemilia (now Via Emilia), a military road running from Rimini along the south edge of the north Italian plain via Bologna, Parma and Piacenza to Tortona which was built by the consul Marcus Aemilius Lepidus in 187 B.C. to protect the Roman provinces north of the Apennines. After the Lombard conquest of northern Italy the southeast part of the region, including Forli and Ravenna, remained in Byzantine hands under the name of Romagna.
Between Piacenza and Parma is Fidenza (72m/236ft; pop. 25,000), the ancient Fidentia Iulia, which was known between 387 and 1927 as Borgo San Donnino. The fine cathedral is in Lombard Romanesque style (12th century), with lion doorways and statues of prophets on the unfinished facade. Inside, to right of the entrance, there is a Romanesque holy-water stoup.
About 10km/6 mi southwest of Fidenza is Salsomaggiore Terme (165m/541ft; pop. 18,000), a spa attracting many visitors between March and November, with springs (high iodine, bromine and salt content) which are effective in the treatment of disorders of the joints, muscles, heart and nerves.
Tabiano Bagni, 5km/3mi east of Salsomaggiore Terme is a sulfur spa.