Is it possible that good food cannot be found where there is art, intelligence and entertainment? The answer is certainly 'no' if one looks at Emilia Romagna, a region that incarnates the Italian national identity in all its immense declinations. It was Verdi, a native of the province of Parma, who first showed Italy its character: in the unrestrainable passion (il Trovatore), in the predominance of the private on the public (l'Aida), in hate and vengeance (il Rigoletto), in offended honour (Otello), in the strong and tragic sense of sexuality (la Traviata) are to be found all the distinctive traits of the population of the Belpaese.
Italy and Emilia, though, also represent the magic of fairy tales, the strength of fantasy, the sensuality of imagination: Federico Fellini inherited them from his Rimini and handed them out with geniality and humour in his films. The ambivalent spirit of the region - light and ironical that of Emilia, bloody and histrionic that of Romagna - is moreover impressed in every detail of the local culture, even in the gastronomy, which of all the local arts is not the lesser.
Cheerful and generous is Sangiovese, one of the 20 Doc quality wines, it goes well with the fantastic pasta dishes of the Romagna cuisine, based on passatelli in broth, tagliatelle, cappelletti and strozzapreti, which in their name already indicate the anarchical and anticlerical tastes of the Emilia-Romagna populations. Moreover, recalling history, when Caesar crossed the Rubicone, he probably toasted this decision with the dry wine of the same name, which is only one of the 11 certified wines of the region. The cold meats and salami have an exceptional testimonial in the President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, a native of this area and a unrestrained admirer of the Bologna Mortadella, which has gained its seal of quality together with Zibello Culatello, Salame, Piacenza Coppa and Pancetta, Parma Prosciutto, Modena Zampone and Cotechino.
And regarding Modena, fans of Ferrari, if you find yourselves in the neighbourhood, don't forget to taste its ham (Pdo), maybe served with a few flakes of Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano, toasting to Emilia Romagna, a region that, with its 52 certified products, already occupies the pole position in the hearts of gourmets.