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Region of Italy


 • PresidentVasco Errani (PD)
 • Total22,447 km2 (8,667 sq mi)
Population (2010-11-30)
 • Total4,429,766
 • Density200/km2 (510/sq mi)
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST)CEST (UTC+2)
GDP/ Nominal€138.7[1] billion (2008)
GDP per capita€31,900[2] (2008)
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Region of Italy


 • PresidentVasco Errani (PD)
 • Total22,447 km2 (8,667 sq mi)
Population (2010-11-30)
 • Total4,429,766
 • Density200/km2 (510/sq mi)
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST)CEST (UTC+2)
GDP/ Nominal€138.7[1] billion (2008)
GDP per capita€31,900[2] (2008)

Emilia-Romagna (pronounced [eˈmiːlja roˈmaɲɲa], Emilian: Emélia-Rumâgna, Romagnol: Emélia-Rumâgna) is an administrative Region of Northern Italy, comprising the historical regions of Emilia and Romagna. Its capital is Bologna. It has an area of 22,446 km2 (8,666 sq mi), and about 4.4 million inhabitants.

Emilia-Romagna is one of the wealthiest and most developed regions in Europe, with the third highest GDP per capita in Italy.[3] Bologna, its capital, has one of Italy's highest quality of life indices[4] and advanced social services. Emilia-Romagna is also a cultural and tourist centre, being the home of the University of Bologna, one of the oldest universities in the world,[5] containing Romanesque and Renaissance cities (such as Modena, Parma and Ferrara), being a centre for food and automobile production (home of automotive companies such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Pagani, De Tomaso and Ducati) and having popular coastal resorts such as Rimini and Riccione.


The name Emilia-Romagna is a legacy of Ancient Rome. Emilia derives from the via Æmilia, the Roman road connecting Rome to northern Italy, completed in 187 BC and named after the consul Marcus Aemilius Lepidus.[6] Romagna derives from Romània, the name of the Eastern Roman Empire applied to Ravenna by the Lombards when the western Empire had ceased to exist and Ravenna was an outpost of the east (ca. 540 - 751).


Before the Romans took control of present-day Emilia-Romagna, it had been part of the Etruscan world and then that of the Gauls. During the first thousand years of Christianity trade flourished, as did culture and religion, thanks to the region's monasteries. Afterwards the University of Bologna—arguably the oldest university in Europe—and its bustling towns kept trade and intellectual life alive. Its unstable political history is exemplified in such figures as Matilda of Canossa and struggling seigniories such as the Este of Ferrara, the Malatesta of Rimini, the Popes of Rome, the Farnese of Parma and Piacenza, and the Duchy of Modena and Reggio. In the 16th century, most of these were seized by the Papal States, but the territories of Parma, Piacenza, and Modena remained independent until Emilia-Romagna became part of the Italian kingdom between 1859 and 1861.

After the referendum of 2006, seven municipalities of Montefeltro were detached from the Province of Pesaro and Urbino (Marche) to join that of Rimini on 15 August 2009.[7][8] The municipalities are Casteldelci, Maiolo, Novafeltria, Pennabilli, San Leo, Sant'Agata Feltria and Talamello.

On May 29, 2012 a powerful earthquake hit the area. It killed at least 17 people and caused churches and factories to collapse. Also 200 were injured. The 5.8 magnitude quake left 14,000 people homeless .[9]


Lagoons along the Po delta

The region of Emilia-Romagna consists of nine provinces and covers an area of 22,446 km2 (8,666 sq mi), ranking 6th in Italy. Nearly half of the region (48%) consists of plains while 27% is hilly and 25% mountainous. The region's section of the Apennines is marked by areas of flisch, badland erosion (calanques) and caves. The mountains stretch for more than 300 km (186.41 mi) from the north to the south-east, with only three peaks above 2,000 m - Monte Cimone (2,165 m), Monte Cusna (2,121 m) and Alpe di Succiso (2,017 m).

The plain was formed by the gradual retreat of the sea from the Po basin and by the detritus deposited by the rivers. Almost entirely marshland in ancient times, its history is characterised by the hard work of its people to reclaim and reshape the land in order to achieve a better standard of living.

The geology varies, with lagoons and saline areas in the north and many thermal springs throughout the rest of the region as a result of groundwater rising towards the surface at different periods of history. All the rivers rise locally in the Apennines except for the Po, which has its source in the Alps in Piedmont. The northern border of Emilia-Romagna follows the path of the river for 263 km (163.42 mi).

Vegetation in the region may be divided into belts: the common oak belt which is now covered (apart from the mesóla forest) with fruit orchards and fields of wheat and sugar beet, the pubescent and Adriatic oak belts on the lower slopes up to 900 m, the beech belt between 1,000 and 1,500 m and the final mountain heath belt.

Government and politics[edit]

The Regional Government (Giunta Regionale) is presided by the President of the Region (Presidente della Regione), who is elected for a five-year term, and is composed by the President, the Ministers (Assessori), who are currently 12, including a Vice President and one Under-Secretary for in President's office.[10]

Emilia-Romagna, except for the province of Piacenza, was historically a stronghold of the Italian Communist Party, and now is a stronghold of center-left coalitions, forming with Tuscany, Umbria and Marche the famous Italian political "Red Quadrilateral". This is probably due to the strength of anti-fascist resistance around the time of World War II as well as because of a strong tradition of anti-clericalism dating from the 19th century, when part of Emilia-Romagna belonged of the Papal States (mostly Romagna and Bologna, in Emilia there were two independent states). At the April 2006 elections, Emilia-Romagna gave about 60% of its votes to Romano Prodi.

Administrative divisions[edit]

Emilia-Romagna is divided into nine provinces, but the breakdown will change in January 2014, when the number will be reduced down to four provinces and one metropolitan city.

Prior to 2014[edit]

Emilia-Romagna Provinces.png

ProvinceArea (km²)PopulationDensity (inh./km²)
Province of Bologna3,7024,377,487262.9
Province of Ferrara2,632357,471135.8
Province of Forlì-Cesena2,377387,200162.9
Province of Modena2,689686,104255.1
Province of Parma3,449431,419125.1
Province of Piacenza2,589284,885110.0
Province of Ravenna1,858383,945206.6
Province of Reggio Emilia2,293517,374225.6
Province of Rimini863325,219377.0

January 2014 and beyond[edit]

In a move designed to cut costs, the number of provinces will be cut from 9 to 5 administrative divisions:

Although Reggio Emilia and Piacenza were the "junior provinces" in the new larger provinces, it was these provinces that were named first in the initial new province names, despite central government advice that the new provinces should take their names from their capitals, which would be Modena and Parma, respectively.[11] However, the names were altered in the following month.[12] The reform, which would result in all the national territory reduced from 107 to 72 provinces, is not enacted into state law. The reform was extended by one year pending the decision of the Constitutional Court, in response to doubts of constitutionality raised by 60 Italian regions .[13]


Historical population
YearPop.  ±%  
2010 (Est.)4,429,000+11.2%
Source: ISTAT 2001

The population density, which was equal to 197 inhabitants per km2 in 2010, is just below the national average. The population of this region is traditionally well distributed, so there is not a dominant metropolis but an axis of medium size cities along the Via Emilia, where the majority of regional industrial production is concentrated. Also the coast of Romagna is densely populated thanks to the huge boom of the seaside tourism in the last decades. In the peripherical areas of the Apennine Mountains and the agricultural plains around Ferrara and Piacenza the population is less dense.

Emilia-Romagna has thirteen cities above 50,000 (based on 2006 estimates): Bologna (pop. 381,860 (metropolitan area est. 1,000,000)), Modena (pop. 185,228), Parma (pop. 187,159), Reggio Emilia (pop. 170,355), Ravenna (pop. 149,084), Rimini (pop. 138,060), Ferrara (pop. 131,907), Forlì (pop. 112,477), Piacenza (pop. 99,340), Cesena (pop. 93,857), Imola (pop. 66,340), Carpi (pop. 64,517) and Faenza (pop. 58,813).

Between 1876 and 1976 about 1.2 million people emigrated from Emilia-Romagna to other countries. As of 2008 there were 119,369 people from this region living outside Italy, particularly in Argentina, Switzerland, France, the United Kingdom and Brazil.[14] As of 2008, the Italian national institute of statistics (ISTAT) estimated that 365,687 foreign-born immigrants lived in Emilia-Romagna, equal to 8.5% of the total regional population.


Apart from Standard Italian, Emilian and Romagnolo, two closely related languages that comprise the Emiliano-Romagnolo language family, are the local languages of Emilia-Romagna. They are Romance languages spoken almost exclusively in the region and San Marino. They belong to the Northern Italian group within Romance languages (like Piedmontese, Lombard, Ligurian and Venetian), which is included in the wider group of western Romance languages (like French, Occitan, Catalan, or Spanish). They are considered minority languages, structurally separated from Italian by the Ethnologue and by the Red Book of Endangered Languages of UNESCO.


Wheat fields in Province of Reggio Emilia

Emilia-Romagna today is considered one of the richest European regions and the third Italian region by GDP per capita.[3] These results have been achieved by developing a very well balanced economy that comprises Italy's biggest agricultural sector as well as a long-standing tradition in automobile, motor and mechanics manufacturing.

In spite of the depth and variety of industrial activities in the region, agriculture has not been eclipsed. Emilia-Romagna is among the leading regions in the country, with farming contributing 5.8% of the regional agricultural product. The agricultural sector has aimed for increased competitiveness by means of structural reorganisation and high-quality products, and this has led to the success of marketed brands. Cereals, potatoes, maize, tomatoes and onions are the most important products, along with fruit and grapes for the production of wine (of which the best known are Emilia's Lambrusco, Bologna's Pignoletto, Romagna's Sangiovese and white Albana). Cattle and hog breeding are also highly developed.

Farm cooperatives have been working along these lines in recent years. With their long tradition in the region there are now about 8,100 cooperatives, generally in the agricultural sector and mainly located in the provinces of Bologna (2,160) and Forlì-Cesena (1,300).[15]

Industry in the region presents a varied and complex picture and is located along the Via Emilia. The food industry (e.g. Barilla Group) is particularly concentrated in Parma, Modena and Bologna as well as the mechanical and automotive (e.g., Ferrari, Ducati, Lamborghini, De Tomaso, Maserati, Pagani, Sacmi[16]:66). The ceramic sector is concentrated in Faenza and Sassuolo. Tourism is increasingly important, especially along the Adriatic coastline and the cities of art. The regional economy is more geared to export markets than other regions in the country: the main exports are from mechanical engineering (53%), the extraction of non-metallic minerals (13%) and the clothing industry (10%).[15]

The region of Emilia-Romagna has a very good system of transport, with 574 km of motorways, 1,053 km of railways and airports in Bologna, Forlì, Parma and Rimini. The main motorway crosses the region from north-west (Piacenza) to the south-east (Adriatic coast), connecting the main cities of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna, and from here further to Ravenna, Rimini and the Adriatic coast.[15]



Emilia-Romagna is the main setting for Bernardo Bertolucci's epic 1900. Rimini gave birth to Federico Fellini, and Ferrara to Michelangelo Antonioni.

Cuisine and gastronomy[edit]

Emilia-Romagna is known for its egg and filled pasta made with soft wheat flour. Bologna is notable for pasta dishes like tortellini, lasagne, gramigna and tagliatelle which are found also in many other parts of the region in different declinations.

Parmesan cheese advertisement

Romagna subregion is known as well for pasta dishes like, garganelli, strozzapreti, spoglia lorda and tortelli alla lastra. In Emilia subregion, except Piacenza which is heavily influenced by the cuisines of Lombardy, rice is eaten to a lesser extent. Polenta, a maize-based dish, is common both in Emilia and Romagna. The celebrated balsamic vinegar is made only in the Emilian cities of Modena and Reggio Emilia, following legally binding traditional procedures.[17] Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan Cheese) is produced in Reggio Emilia, Parma, Modena and Bologna and is much used in cooking, whilst Grana Padano variety is produced in Piacenza. Although the Adriatic coast is a major fishing area (well known for its eels and clams), the region is more famous for its meat products, especially pork-based, that include: Parma's proscuitto, culatello and Felino salami, Piacenza's pancetta, coppa and salami, Bologna's mortadella and salame rosa, Modena's zampone, cotechino and capello di prete and Ferrara's salama da sugo. Reggio Emilia is famous for its fresh egg-made pasta cappelletti (similar to Bologna's tortellini but differing in size), the typical erbazzone a spinach and Parmigiano Reggiano salted cake and its Gnocco Fritto some kind of mixed flour stripes fried in boiling oil, enjoyed in combination with ham or salami. Piacenza and Ferrara are also known for some dishes prepared with horse and donkey meat. Regional desserts include zuppa inglese (custard-based dessert made with sponge cake and Alchermes liqueur) and panpepato (Christmas cake made with pepper, chocolate, spices, and almonds). An exhaustive list of the most important regional wines should include Sangiovese from Romagna, Lambrusco from Reggio Emilia or Modena, Cagnina di Romagna, Colli Piacentini and Trebbiano from Piacenza.


The most popular sport in Emilia-Romagna is by far football. Several famous clubs from Emilia-Romagna compete at a high level on the national stage. Bologna and Parma both compete in the top-flight of Italian football - in Serie A. Bologna have won seven scudetti and two Coppa Italia trophies, while Parma have won four European cups (two Europa Leagues, one Cup Winners Cup, one Supercup) and three Coppa Italia. Three sides compete at the next level down in Serie B: Cesena, Modena and Sassuolo.


Emilia Romagna gave birth to one of the most important composers of music history, Giuseppe Verdi. The most popular song of this region is the regional anthem "Romagna mia", written in 1954 by Secondo Casadei.

Cultural heritage monuments in Emilia-Romagna[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Eurostat - Tables, Graphs and Maps Interface (TGM) table". Epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu. 2013-10-17. Retrieved 2013-11-28. 
  2. ^ "EUROPA - Press Releases - Regional GDP per inhabitant in 2008 GDP per inhabitant ranged from 28% of the EU27 average in Severozapaden in Bulgaria to 343% in Inner London". Europa.eu. Retrieved 2013-11-28. 
  3. ^ a b http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/PGP_PRD_CAT_PREREL/PGE_CAT_PREREL_YEAR_2008/PGE_CAT_PREREL_YEAR_2008_MONTH_02/1-12022008-EN-AP.PDF
  4. ^ "Qualita' della vita: il dossier". Il Sole 24 ORE. Retrieved 2013-11-28. 
  5. ^ "Università di Bologna (oldest university in the world)". 44.49658200;11.35316800: Virtual Globetrotting. 2006-10-21. Retrieved 2013-11-28. 
  6. ^ Livy Ab Urbe Condita XXXIX 1; Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum 617
  7. ^ (Italian) Article about the legislation
  8. ^ (Italian) Article on "il Resto del Carlino"
  9. ^ "Dailystar, 17 dead and 200 injured in latest killer quake in northern Italy, , May 30, 2012 12:40 AM, By Colleen Barry". Dailystar.com.lb. 2012-05-30. Retrieved 2013-11-28. 
  10. ^ "Giunta - ERMES Regione Emilia-Romagna". Regione.emilia-romagna.it. Retrieved 2009-03-13. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Provincia PiPa, verso il nuovo nome il rifiuto è bipartisan | Gazzetta di Parma". Gazzettadiparma.it. Retrieved 2013-11-28. 
  12. ^ "Attendere prego". Gazzettaufficiale.it. Retrieved 2013-11-28. 
  13. ^ "Legislatura 16ª - Aula - Resoconto stenografico della seduta n. 856 del 19/12/2012". senato.it. 2012-12-19. Retrieved 2013-11-28. 
  14. ^ "Museo Nazionale Emigrazione Italiana". Museonazionaleemigrazione.it. Retrieved 2013-11-28. 
  15. ^ a b c "Eurostat". Circa.europa.eu. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  16. ^ Fiorenza Belussi; G. Gottardi; Enzo Rullani (30 September 2003). The Technological Evolution of Industrial Districts. Springer. p. 348. ISBN 978-1-4020-7555-1. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  17. ^ Piras, 187.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°30′38″N 10°57′25″E / 44.51056°N 10.95694°E / 44.51056; 10.95694