Although there are three cities in Emilia-Romagna designated as World Heritage Sites, there are actually five in total that have been recognised by UNESCO.
There’s Bologna, well known for its historic buildings, including one of the oldest universities in the world, its UNESCO recognition comes, in part, because the university was the first in Italy to offer a music degree. Along with institutions like the city’s opera house and the International Music Library, as well as regular concerts of diverse genres, Bologna has shown itself worthy to be declared a UNESCO Creative City of Music.
(Incidentally, there’s a very good chance that the 42 kilometres of porticoes that stretch around the city will be named as a World Heritage Site in their own right very soon.)
And then there’s Parma, a city that stands out for its cuisine in a region that’s already dubbed ‘the Food Valley of Italy’. It’s been named a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. I would love to think it’s just for the cheese or the ham (or all the delicious dishes made with those ingredients) but the title is also because of the sustainable way food is produced and the focus on healthy eating.
But, right now, I want to focus on the three World Heritage Sites found in the cities of Emilia-Romagna, and I’m going to start with my favourite one – Ravenna.