Beware of confusing them, as the inhabitants will never forgive you for it. The Emilia area is the land of tortellini and cold cuts, of Bologna and its singer-songwriters, Lambrusco and Giuseppe Verdi, Ferrari and Maserati. Romagna, on the other hand, evokes the mosaics of Ravenna, Rimini's endless beaches, Sangiovese wine, the ceramics of Faenza, and ballroom dancing in town square celebrations. Certainly a common denominator throughout the entire territory is the innate sense of hospitality, combined with the sunny disposition of the people. And as for golf, with the enormous variety to choose from, you will surely never be bored.
Emilia Romagna is a lively land where agricultural traditions are cherished, where festivals and reenactments pay tribute to the timeless crafts of wheat threshing, the corn harvest, cooking Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan cheese), polenta preparation, breakmaking and grape pressing. It is a love for the past that coexists perfectly with the modernity of entertainment, mega-discotechs and waterparks such as Aquafan and Mirabilandia, both of which attract thousands of funloving youths every summer, not to mention tranquil families who take advantage of the finest services that hospitality has to offer.
Golf lovers have every reason to book a holiday in Emilia Romagna: no less than twenty-five golf clubs more or less distributed all over the area with 9 and 18-hole courses. A large circuit winding through an interesting variety of morphological features, just steps away from magnificent art cities, nature reserves, hills studded with fortresses and castles, spa facilities and beaches. Get to know this land through the thousands of events it offers during the year, with the advantage of adding art, culture and shopping excursions. Playing golf in the area between Piacenza and Rimini is undoubtedly an easy way of unwinding, all the while enjoying the colors and pleasures of this region.
In the article dedicated to prosciutto, we spoke of the golf clubs in Bologna, Modena and Matilde di Canossa. The pleasure of golf courses close to the beaches such as the Adriatic Golf Club Cervia cannot be overstated with its 27 holes, lying on 100 hectares of completely level land in a pristine natural environment 500 meters from the sea: the first 9 holes are nestled in a lush pinewood between Cervia and Milano Marittima, the second 9 feature fairways that are more open and above all are furrowed by significant American-style water hazards: the most recent course has the feel of Scottish links. Or perhaps the Riviera Golf in the Rimini countryside is more to your liking which opened its futuristic design property in 2002, with clubhouse, a spectacular 82-meter pool, spa and hotel with 32 suites designed by 14 different architects, topped off by a delightful 9-hole course. Eight years later, the course was completed with an 18-hole project designed by Canadian architect Graham Cook, integrated by a 9-hole pitch&putt course for newcomers to the game.
Experience the flavor and gentleness of the inland areas at the San Valentino Golf Club in the Reggio Emilia province towards the south where the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines begin. There you will find a par-72 course surrounded by nature that boasts a nature trail with a gym in the woods and a romantic lake, while the Salsomaggiore Golf & Thermae with its 18-hole course inaugurated in 1994 follows the contours of the gentle hills. The course winds through slopes and valleys overlooked by the clubhouse from which you can enjoy an extraordinary view. The colors of the leaves in the woods in autumn with hues ranging from yellow and orange to red are a spectacle of stirring beauty. Or perhaps, after a match, you would prefer relaxing in one of the facilities of this spa city with waters renowned all over the world for their regenerative properties.
You will also find hot springs at Golf Club Le Fonti in Castel San Pietro Terme, a young golf club, opened in 1999, which boasts the organization of important professional events in its golden roll, ranging from the Qualifying School of the Ladies European Tour in 2006 and 2007, three stops on the Men's Alps Tour between 2009 and 2011, to the Federgolf National Championship in 2016. It is a lively and welcoming golf course, whose heart and soul, Chairman Ivan Serrantoni, is also the architect behind the 18-hole course which winds through an almost completely flat terrain with very wide fairways and few trees. These are characteristics which might deceive players into considering it an easy course. However, the long distances and many hazards, including but not limited to water, always waiting in ambush, make finishing with a good score nothing to take for granted.
A match at the Golf Club Molino del Pero on the Apennine hills of Bologna is a unique pleasure to be savored. Following the course of the Savena River, the natural surroundings are gentle and inviting with summer temperatures that are alleviated by the 300 meters of altitude. The club atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, with a clubhouse that was the result of a successful renovation of one of the old 19th century mills (hence the club's name) that spring up along the river.
The Rimini-Verucchio Golf Club is located about fifteen kilometers from the city of Rimini and the Romagnola Riviera, on the Sangiovese wine route, not far from San Marino and Mount Carpegna, both visible from the golf course. Gently rolling, a few water hazards, various doglegs and many bunkers defending the greens: these are the technical characteristics of a golf course that was inaugurated in its current situation in 1997. It is surrounded by fruit orchards and vineyards that produce Sangiovese, Trebbiano and Albana grapes just waiting to be transformed into outstanding wine bearing the labels of the Tenuta della Garisenda, the name of the wine-cellar belonging to the historic Amalia estate which serves as backdrop to the course. Cheers!