Join food historian Francine Segan and accomplished race car driver and sportscar historian Frank Celenza for a thrilling ride through Italy’s “Motor Valley.”
Birthplace of Enzo Ferrari and home to the world’s highest concentration of sportscar brands including Dallara, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Pagani and Ducati, Italy’s Emilia-Romagna is as well known for its fast cars as it is for its slow-cooked and savored food. Visitors can explore and discover the 11 car museums and four-day Motor Valley Fest.
Many of world’s most famed Italian foods come from Emilia-Romagna, a wondrous region in northern Italy known as the Food Valley, because its world-famous specialty edibles
such as Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, the thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma–an
Italian dry-cured ham served uncooked, Aceto Balsamico, made by cooking grape must from regionally grown wine into a syrup like vinegar that is robust in flavor and a great addition to so many dishes, and Lambrusco wine.
Moderna, one of the region’s gorgeous cities rich in art, music, fashion, and culture, is also home to Osteria Francescana, voted twice as the best restaurants in the world. But don’t expect to just walk it or even call in a day or two advance. Their first available table is seven months from now.
Owner and executive chef Massimo Bottura, born and raised in Modena, says he grew under the kitchen table at his grandmother Ancella’s knees.
“That is where appetite begins for me,” he says. “Inspiration comes from the world around me – from art, music, slow food and fast cars. Catch the flash in the dark because it only passes once. Expect the unexpected.”
Participants in this online interactive event will come away with a greater understanding of Italian culture and food traditions as well as the country’s important role in the world of car manufacturing and racing.
The event is Thursday, June 24 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET
Sign up here.
If you do get to Emilia-Romagna, here’s a curated itinerary courtesy of Emilia-Romagna Tourism.
An ancient route running through the length of Emilia-Romagna, Via Emilia, linking the coastal city of Rimini on the Adriatic Sea with Piacenza in the north, was completed in 187 BC by Roman Consul Marcus Aemilius Lepidus.
Along the way are 10 fine cities rich in art, architecture, history and culture, all deep in a landscape punctuated by medieval villages and noble fortresses.
Each of these cities is a stopping-off point on a slow-travel discovery of Emilia-Romagna, with myriad Unesco World Heritage sites, iconic locations in the history of cinema, 18 pilgrim trails, 17 natural parks, 20-plus amusement and adventure parks, 110km of fully serviced beaches, 24 thermal resorts and endless opportunities for sport, including a multitude of bike trails.
The region is also home to 44 food and wine products with the DOP/IGP guarantee of quality, and the great automotive brands that have made Emilia-Romagna famous all over the world.
Photos courtesy of Emilia-Romagna Tourism.