It´s still running through downtown Bologna – while you stroll along Via Rizzoli, you are walking on the ancient Roman “via Emilia”, completed in 187 B.C. To tell the truth: you don´t actually walk on it, you walk several meters above the old cobblestone Roman road, which was built to connect the harbour town Rimini with Piacenza.
You´ve never heard of Piacenza? No wonder! Piacenza is a rather unknown city in the Po river plain, not known for its architecture but rather for its food. This area, called the “Pianura Padana” in Italian , is by far the largest fertile plain in the mountainous peninsula. It gave the Romans the opportunity to expand the population enormously by using the good land for agriculture.
Via Emilia still connects the Foodie towns of Piacenza, Parma, Modena and Bologna
Roman settlements along the road became rich and famous – Parma, Modena and Bologna stand for Parma Ham, Parma cheese, Balsamic vinegar, Mortadella and Tortellini – the region of Emilia-Romagna is known as Italy´s pantry and its capital, Bologna, has became a mecca for foodies from all over the world. I take my hat off to those Romans, who envisioned this development 2000 years ago!