Emilia-Romagna is located in northern central Italy bordering on Lombardy, the Veneto, Piedmont, Liguria, Tuscany, San Marino and the Marches. Its geography is quite varied with rolling hills extending from the western Colli Piacentini and Colli di Parma to the central Colli Bolognesi. In the south, lush emerald Apennine mountains border Tuscany and the Marches, offering delightful weekend get-aways, with hiking, biking, wild mushroom harvesting and scenes that remind you of Switzerland, complete with tinkling brass bells on grazing sheep. The verdant plains and lowlands stretch throughout, with the beneficent Po River providing a fertile delta for agriculture and our famous food products. From the Veneto to the Marches, the long eastern coastline bordering the Adriatic is especially popular with locals as well as tourists offering wide, beautiful beaches, lots of sunshine, soccer, water sports and great outdoor dining by the shore.

Driving along the main Autostrada west of Piacenza to Rimini, if you turn off and drive south just a few kilometers, you'll reach the Via Emilia built by the Romans over 2000 years ago. Offering a peaceful alternative for enjoying the aziende agricole with their contadini, you'll drive through the food zones of Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Aceto Balsamico, interspersed with grape vines, olive groves, fruit orchards and flowers blooming everywhere! After Sicily, Puglia and Sardegna, Emilia-Romagna is the fourth largest region in devoting land to agriculture, utilizing more than 1,210,000 hectares for orchards, vineyards, vegetable and grain crops, livestock and dairy farming. (1 hectare = 10,000 square meters or 2.47 acres)

Emilia-Romagna produces world-renowned food products that are becoming staples in the cook's kitchen. In our computer-driven world, it is remarkable how crucial our five senses remain in making the following specialties of our region combined with nature and the elements of air, water, fire, metal and earth. In our countryside excursions, you will visit privately with dedicated culinary artisans who have won gold medal-after-gold medal for these incredible food products. These award-winning producers have been an integral part of our cooking school for twenty years. Wait until you cook with these signature culinary specialties in class!

* D.O.P. is the abbreviation for Denominazione di Origine Protetta/Protected Denomination of Origin. Italian laws specify geographic areas, production methodology, length of aging and more that must be followed for each food product. Dedicated to maintaining excellence, consorzios determine if each food meets strict standards of quality after production and aging within the required provincial borders. Only when each product passes the examination will it receive the official stamp and guarantee of the consorzio assuring you of a genuine, delicious food product from our region.
* I. G. P. is the abbreviation for Indicazione Geografico Protetta/Protected Geographical Indication - Products can be made only within a specified geographic area according to strict standards.