[roh-mahn-yuh; It. raw-mah-nyah]
Romagna, historic region, N central Italy, bordering on the Adriatic Sea in the east, now included in the regions of Emilia-Romagna, Marche, and Tuscany. Although its boundaries varied at different times, the Romagna is now understood to occupy Forlì and Ravenna provs. and parts of Arezzo and Pesaro e Urbino provs. The independent republic of San Marino is an enclave within the Romagna. The region was the center of Byzantine domination in Italy (540-751). Ravenna was the seat of the Byzantine exarchs; Rimini was a city of the Pentapolis. Despite the donations of Pepin the Short (754) and of Charlemagne (774), which gave the exarchate and the Pentapolis to the pope, later emperors continued to claim the territory. Otto IV recognized (1209) the papal rights, but effective papal rule was prevented at first by the free communes and later by the petty tyrants who ruled the cities. Cesare Borgia, made duke of Romagna (1501) by Pope Alexander VI, tried unsuccessfully to make the Romagna the nucleus of his own state. Shortly thereafter, Pope Julius II effectively incorporated the Romagna into the Papal States. Papal rule, interrupted (1797-1814) by French occupation, ended in 1860, when the Romagna was annexed by the kingdom of Sardinia.

Autonomous region (pop., 2001 prelim.: 3,960,549), northern Italy. It covers an area of 8,542 sq mi (22,123 sq km); its chief city and capital is Bologna. Located on the Adriatic Sea, Emilia-Romagna includes the Po River to the north and the Apennines to the west and south. It takes its name from the Roman Aemilian Way, built circa 187 BC. The region formerly comprised the duchies of Parma and Modena and papal Romagna. Emilia-Romagna became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861; the present political region was created in 1948. The fertile Emilian Plain in the north makes Emilia-Romagna one of the leading agricultural regions of Italy. It has a large food-processing industry, and livestock and dairy farming are extensive.

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Emilia-Romagna is one of the 20 Regions of Italy. The capital is Bologna. It has an area of 20,124 km² and about 4.2 million inhabitants.


Emilia-Romagna is an administrative region of Northern Italy comprising the two historic regions of Emilia and Romagna. It forms a rough triangle, bounded on the East by the Adriatic Sea, on the North by the Po river and on the South by the Apennine range; these two linear features, with the Via Aemilia, and the A1 highway and the railway that run close and parallel to it, give an unusually regular structure to the whole region except for the easternmost part. About a half of the region is constituted by Padan Plain, an extremely fertile alluvial plain crossed by the river Po. The rest of the territory is occupied by the hills and mountains of Tuscan-Emilian Apennines.

Emilia-Romagna is divided into nine provinces:


The name Emilia-Romagna has roots in the Ancient Rome legacy in these lands. Emilia refers to via Æmilia, an important Roman way connecting Rome to the northern part of Italy. Romagna is a corruption of Romània; when Ravenna was the capital of the Italian portion of the Byzantine Empire, the Lombards extended the official name of the Empire to the lands around Ravenna. Emilia-Romagna was part of the Etruscan world and in following was passed on to the Gauls and then the Romans, who built it the Aemilian Way, for which the region was named. The coastal area of Emilia, which was ruled under the Byzantines from 540 to 751, became known as the separate region of Romagna. In the Middle Ages, the history of both Emilia and Romagna was the history of its individual cities. In the 16th century, most of these were included into the Papal States, but the territory of Parma, Piacenza, and Modena remained independent until Emilia-Romagna was included into the Italian kingdom in 1859-1861.


Emilia Romagna is considered as one of the richest European regions by GDP per capita and lowest unemployment rate of 2.9% which corresponds to full occupation regime. According to the statistics of Unioncamera, Bologna and Modena are third and fourth richest Italian cities after Milano and Biella. Bologna was also classified as the city with highest living standards in Italy for 2007. According to Eurostat, Emilia Romagna is 23rd for GDP per capita and third in Italy after the province of Bolzano-Bozen and Lombardy. Agriculture is a very important economic activity: cereals, potatoes, maize, tomatoes and onions are the most important, along with fruit and grapes for the production of wine (of which the most famous are perhaps Lambrusco, Sangiovese, Pignoletto and Albana). Cattle and hog breeding are also highly developed.

The industry of Emilia-Romagna is also healthy, especially the food industry (e.g., Parmalat, Barilla Group), particularly concentrated in Parma and Bologna, mechanical and automotive (e.g., Ferrari, Ducati, Lamborghini, Maserati Pagani), ceramic, concentrated in Faenza and Sassuolo, and tourism especially along the Adriatic coastline. Today the tertiary sector is bearing, with a strong concentration of insurance companies and banks. The region is also characterised by a unique economic attitude: its tens of thousands of cooperatives. In Emilia-Romagna, two out of three people belong to a co-op. Bologna alone hosts 8,000, including the one-million member left-wing Legacoop and the 250,000-strong Catholic Confcooperative. The nature of the region's economy is considered responsible for the high standard of living enjoyed by the inhabitants.


Emilia-Romagna, except the province of Piacenza, was historically a stronghold of the Italian Communist Party, and now is a stronghold of the center-left coalition The Union, forming with Tuscany, Umbria and Marche the famous Italian political "Red Quadrilateral". Probably this is because of a strong tradition of anti-clericalism dating from the 19th century, when part of Emilia-Romagna belonged of the Papal States (mostly Romagna and Bologna, in Emilia there were two independent states). At the April 2006 elections, Emilia-Romagna gave about 60% of its votes to Romano Prodi.


The population of this region is traditionally well distributed, so do not exist a real dominant metropolis but an axis of medium size cities along the Via Emilia, where is concentrated the majority of regional industrial production. In the Appennine Mountains and in the agricultural plains around Ferrara and Piacenza the population is less dense because of the lower stage of economic development.

As of 2006, the Italian national institute of statistics ISTAT estimated that 288,844 foreign-born immigrants live in Emilia-Romagna, equal to 6.8% of the total regional population.

Towns of Emilia-Romagna with a population of 50,000 or more:

Comune Population (2006 est.)
Bologna 374,425
Modena 180,638
Parma 177,069
Reggio Emilia 167,013
Ravenna 149,084
Rimini 138,060
Ferrara 131,907
Forlì 112,477
Piacenza 99,340
Cesena 93,857
Imola 66,340
Carpi 64,517
Faenza 54,749

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