Emilia, whose name comes from the ancient via Consolare Emilia built between 189-187 BC by the Roman consul Marco Emilio Lepido, includes the provinces of Piacenza, Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Ferrara and Bologna. The entire region brims over with cultural vitality, offering a wealth of galleries, museums, libraries and important theatre, music and art festivals. The region went through a cultural heyday when Parma and Piacenza were a duchy (1545 to 1859), as the palaces of Compiano, Bardi, Torrechiara, the medieval towns and villages and the castles such as Castell’Arquato, Vigoleno, Fontanellato and Tabiano testify to this day. A visit to the Parma area, whose most famous son is Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901), is an absolute must for art lovers. Parma itself captivates its guests with its Romanesque Cathedral, the Antelami’s Baptistery and the National Gallery housing one of Italy’s most outstanding art collections. Another essential destination is Bologna, with its intact historical centre full of countless architectural jewels and museums of all different types, with its typical magnificent red buildings and pillared entrances dotted throughout the whole city, surrounded by art and craft shops and workshops, earthy bars and cafés and markets.