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Emilia Romagna - Things to do - Tourism

Apart from Bologna and the other major urban centres, tourism in Emilia-Romagna is principally directed to the Adriatic coast, where from the Comacchio Valleys to the Marches boundary lie some thirty famous and busy seaside resorts. The beaches of Romagna have, in fact, always attracted tourists from home and abroad, (especially the Germans and Northern Europeans).

Milano Marittima, Cervia, Cesenatico, Bellaria, Rimini, Riccione, Cattolica, the Lidi Ferraresi and Ravennati, the most important resorts are oriented to what cannot be called the `lite' and prefer to cater for the masses. This policy is facilitated by large sandy beaches, shallow waters stretching for a distance from the shore, a welcoming and vast hinterland and by the network of efficient family-run small and medium-sized hotels, where prices are very reasonable, and the service adequate and efficient. In addition all the centres have discotheques, night clubs, typical bars and restaurants and places of entertainment.

Cultural events include those organised by Riccione (literary awards), Cattolica, Rimini and Comacchio. The immediate hinterland offers important examples of art, especially in the famous Abbazia di Pomposa on the Strada Romea, the Byzantine Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe, near Ravenna and the small and picturesque Republic of San Marino, rich in history and traditions with restful landscapes. The visitor is advised to visit the Renaissance Tempio Malatestiano, by Leon Battista Alberti, in Rimini, and the interesting historical town centre.

The great Bosco della Mesola not far from the Po Delta, now a natural park, is a remarkable reminder of what the ancient forests on the plain must once have been, while enthusiastic photography of the amazingly interesting birdlife is a pastime to be indulged in the oasis of Punte Alberete or in the Comacchio Valleys.

There are many thermal spas in this region, generally with sulphurous, sodio-bromine-iodic and sodio-iodic springs including Salsomaggiore, in the Parma Apennines, famous for its mud therapy and hydromassage; nearby Tabiano Terme, specializing in the treatment of the respiratory system and metabolism disorders, Porretta Terme, in the upper Reno valley.

A relaxing holiday can also be enjoyed in the Apennine resorts, in an incredibly green untouched landscape. Here lie Pievepelago and Lizzano in Belvedere, and, in the same area, a number of localities with reasonably good winter sports facilities, such as Cerreto Laghi, in the Reggio Apennines, Corno delle Scale in the Bologna Apennines and notably the Monte Cimone area, near Sestola in Frignano.

The countryside is dotted with charming little towns and villages of artistic and environmental interest such as Castell'Arquato, Bobbio and Grazzano Visconti (exact reconstruction of a medieval village) in the province of Piacenza; Sassuolo, with the Palazzo degli Estensi, and Nonantola, with its famous abbey, in the Modena area; Lugo and Faenza, also famous for the International Ceramics Museum, in the province of Ravenna; Cento, between Bologna and Ferrara, with its rich Civic Art Gallery.

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