Since golf calls for intense concentration and physical effort, a great way to show up relaxed to your next game is to first spend some time in one of Emilia-Romagna’s villages.
The region is full of peaceful oases nestled in the green countryside. Each village invites you to stroll down its history-filled streets. Thirteen of Emilia-Romagna’s villages are on the list of the Borghi Più Belli d’Italia [Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages], most of them in the hilly inland area, where many of the golf clubs are located, too.
The Romagna area harbours five of these, not far from the Rimini and Forlì-Cesena courses. Setting out from Rimini, you’ll come across villages sheltered by the rolling hills that reign over the valley with their fortresses, like Montefiore Conca, San Leo, Verucchio and Montegridolfo, bordering the Marche region. San Giovanni in Marignano completes the circle, a village renowned for wine and for being the “granary of the Malatestas”.
From the Forlì-Cesena area, you’ll quickly get to Brisighella, famous for the Via degli Asini portico-covered road, home of the PDO extra-virgin olive oil of the same name.
Dozza, the town of Painted Walls and home to the Regional Enoteca of Emilia-Romagna, is only a quick drive from Bologna’s golf club. Further north are Fiumalbo, lying at the foot of Monte Cimone, the highest mountain in the region, and Gualtieri, a 16th century urban masterpiece.
Between Parma and Piacenza you’ll find four villages on the Castles of the Duchy list: Castell’Arquato with its Rocca Viscontea [The Visconti Fortress], Bobbio and its devil’s bridge, Compiano with its castle and Vigoleno, a perfectly preserved village from the Middle Ages.
If you’d prefer a golf course near the sea, you can visit the many seaside villages on the Romagnola and Ferrarese Riviera. Comacchio, a little Venice, Cervia, the salt city, and Cesenatico, with its charming canal port, are just some of the typical Adriatic villages rich in history and seafaring tradition.