Florence is the perfect starting point for day trips around Tuscany and even to neighboring regions. Liguria to the North West and Emilia Romagna to the North East are full of interesting places to explore within a few hours of Florence. Take a day off from the bustling Firenze to discover the Cinque Terre on the Ligurian coast. Emilia Romagna will surprise you with its beautiful towns, delicious food and love of racing in Motor Valley.
Emilia Romagna, the food region
Emilia Romagna has genuine and family style food in its DNA. The region is famous for some key ingredients of Italian gastronomy: fresh pasta, Parmesan and balsamic vinegar. The two towns of Modena and Reggio Emilia are the official producers of balsamic vinegar. A bottle of original balsamic vinegar is very costly because it takes about twelve years to make! Hand made pasta and tortellini (tiny curled ravioli) are also a Modenese tradition. You will find traditional shops that only sell freshly made pasta in every town in Emilia Romagna. The town of Parma is where Parmesan takes it name. Another Italian product that takes a long time to make (between 12 and 36 months).
Motor Valley, where the fastest engines live
Motor Valley is an extensive area in Emilia Romagna that regroups some of the fastest car and motorcycle brands in the world as well as three racetracks. Speed junkies will feel at right at home in Motor Valley. You can visit the museums of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ducati to cite just a few. And why not also enter their factories to see these amazing models being built before your eyes? For a more hands on experience, take a safety driving course or go for a test drive on one of Motor Valley’s racetracks.
Cinque Terre, an Italian jewel
Cinque Terre are a collection of five fishing villages on the Ligurian coast. They are perched on rocky cliffs and interconnected with trails and one train track. Spend a day hopping from one village to the other. Though they have similar colourful houses, typical of Ligurian architecture, every little town has its own personality and is well worth a visit. In the summer get a rail pass that allows you to get on and off the train and quickly move from one Cinque Terre to the next.
Tuscany and its neighbouring regions have endless options to offer its visitors. Tourist often think of Italy as a land rich with history, art and architecture, forgetting how forward thinking and innovative it can be. Let yourself be surprised by the engineering marvels of Motor Valley. Eat yourself under the table in Emilia Romagna. And finally, get a chance to see the unforgettable beauty and simplicity of the Cinque Terre.