Emilia Romagna is considered the cradle of pasta and is home to culinary world stars that reads like a Who's Who of culinary delights: Parma ham, balsamic vinegar, Parmesan or tortellini and many more. Especially for gourmets, Emilia Romagna is a true El Dorado, the ultimate land of milk and honey. The region between Lombardy and Veneto in the north and Tuscany in the south owes its prosperity to its many high-quality delicacies; it is one of the richest in the boot state. In Italy, food production is a major contributor to economic growth. Reason enough to declare 2018 the Year of Italian Food in Italy. Emilia Romagna has an important role to play as a culinary treasure chest, as it is known throughout the country as Italy's belly. Its stronghold and capital is Bologna, which Italians affectionately call "la grassa", the fat one. 38 kilometres of arcades bustle through the picturesque medieval city centre and are home to many a delicatessen, a dream destination for foodies. The lively city, with the oldest university in the country, is the perfect stage to pay tribute to tortellini & co. appropriately and with plenty of anecdotes. Tagliatelle, for example, didn't just originate here; it was created as a tribute to Lucrezia Borgia's wedding, as a tribute to her beautiful blonde hair. And the tortellini are not just dough rings, no they are the image of the Roman goddess of love, Venus. Or at least her navel. In keeping with the theme year, the globally active Eataly has opened a food theme park with an experiential character outside Bologna's gates, the Fico Eataly World. Here you can attend seminars on pasta production, observe a stone mill for extracting olive oil, or learn all there is to know about the nearby Parma ham, probably the most famous ham in the world. Or about Parmesan, the long matured hard cheese which is produced between Reggio Emilia and Parma, trademarked as Parmigiano Reggiano. Only with an official brand seal are the cheeses allowed to mature, they have to rest and mature for at least twelve months, but most of the time it takes up to two years to reach perfection. Or you can let yourself be initiated into the centuries-old secrets of the balsamic vinegar from Modena, which is an indispensable part of any high-quality cuisine. Whatever you want to know about the belly of Italy, Emilia Romagna has an answer. Guaranteed. So you see, you can't easily avoid pleasure and tasting from Emilia Romagna.
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