Casatella and squacquerone, soft cheeses made from cow’s milk, pecorino or pecorino misto (made from sheep’s milk) often accompany hot piadina.


‘Zuppa Inglese’, sponge-cakes, (a type of English trifle made with cream, sponge cake soaked in a cherry liqueur and with added bits of chocolate), ravioli (biscuits filled with jam and covered with a few drops of cherry liqueur, and to which a folk festival is dedicated in the nearby town of Fontanelice), and the ciambella (a dry cake which can be dipped in sweet wine) are some of the characteristic desserts.


Saba, a type of sweetener or jam made from the crushed grapes, is a very old farmer’s product. Sfrappole is the sweet associated with the period of Carnival. These long type of wide noodles, are fried in lard and then sprinkled with icing sugar. The nearby town of Castel S. Pietro, famous for the production of honey and its by-products, dedicate a folk festival to this delicacy.


Imola and its surroundings have a long history as being an important agricultural area. Many different varieties of fruits grow here: the Val Santerno apricot, the Romagna peach, the nectarine peach, the famous giant strawberries of Imola.


The chestnuts IGP (Geographic Indication of Production which indicates the groves between 200-800meters) are cultivated along the hills of Castel del Rio, a few kilometres from Imola. Compared to other chestnuts these are much sweeter and bigger and are used in a vast assortment of recipes both sweet and salty. Another product from the woods is the porcino mushroom, to which two folk festivals are dedicated.


The traditional meats of Romagna are barbecued over a hot fire. Tasty meats such as ribs, bacon, pork sausages, and especially mutton chops, are first marinated in oil, rosemary, salt pepper for about an hour before cooking. Roasted meats aren’t to be forgotten, such as the succulent guinea hen, rabbit and chicken.


Typical and genuine are the cold cuts, in particular ciccioli, salsiccia matta (pork interiors seasoned with garlic), salami, and coppa di testa.


Pasta is made from a mixture of flour and eggs, which is then rolled out with the rolling pin into a large flat circle. This dough is the basis for the majority of the pastas such as cappelletti (filled with meat and cheese) then cooked in capon broth, tortelli (filled with ricotta cheese and parsley) usually served with melted butter and sage, strichetti (bow-ties), and the famous garganelli (hand-made macaroni).


The typical sauce used is the delicious ragù (meat sauce) made with either peas or sausage. Passatelli in brodo is a different type of mixture. These small cylinders (made from eggs, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and nutmeg) are passed through a special utensil and cooked in boiling broth for a few minutes.

Piadina & Co.

Piadina is the symbol of the region of Romagna. Piè, as it is called in dialect, is a type of flat bread made from flour, water salt and lard. Traditionally it was cooked on a hot terracotta slab. The piadina of Imola is slightly smaller and thicker than the one of the coastal areas. It is usually served with various cold cuts, soft cow cheese and rucola.


Cassone is a stuffed piadine with various fillings. Another product characteristic of this region is the crescente, a soft flat bread enriched with small pieces of bacon or rosemary. Finally we shouldn’t forget to mention the streghette, small crunchy rectangles made from flour, salt and lard. These are often served with white-wine aperitifs.


Barbecued vegetables are usually served with the meats: tomatoes, aubergines, peppers and onions. These are the same ingredients that make up the friggione, a slowly simmered type of vegetable goulash.
Fresh vegetables are often served raw and are accompanied by a pinzimonio sauce (oil, salt and pepper) as an appetiser.


The scalogno, a type of green onion (with the taste that is a mixture between the onion and garlic), has a variety of recipes or is served pickled in oil.


The production of wine is the king of the table, infact the wines of “Colli d’Imola” have the honour of bearing the tittle of D.O.C. These vineyards produce such white wines as Chardonnay, Pignoletto, Trebbiano, Sauvignon and the famous Albana DOGC and red wines as Barbera, Cabernet and Sangiovese. Sangiovese, the most typical wine of this area, get its name from the Latin “Sanguis Jovis”, which literally means the blood of Zeus. The famous Chianti of the Tuscany region is produced from a cut of the Sangiovese grapes.


The Sangiovese from Imola is dry and fruity and has a dark ruby colour. It accompanies roasted and grilled meats and cold cuts perfectly. During the first week of the Baccanale there is a special international exhibit dedicated to this wine.


For wine lovers we suggest a visit to the Enoteca Regionale, which is situated in the fascinating cellars of the Fortress of Dozza. Here visitors will find the permanent exposition of 500 DOC and DOCG wines representing the 160 associated producers.