Castles and Vineyards in Emilia Romagna

Castles and Vineyards in Emilia Romagna (Near Bologna)

While visiting Bologna, I took a trip to the countryside of Emilia Romagna to taste wine, visit vineyards, and photograph medieval castles!

Our tiny car weaved through the country roads like a go cart on a race track. Elaine, our guide for the day, hails from New Jersey, but fell in love with an Italian and has called Italy her home for over ten years.

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the driving habits of the locals in Italy and it was soon clear to me how much of a local Elaine had become. I’m normally an anxious passenger, but I relinquished control and busied my mind by admiring the passing vineyards.

Vineyards in Ziano Piacentino - Emilia Romagna, Italy

Despite my love for Bologna, I longed to see the countryside of Emilia Romagna. Under the Tuscan Sun propelled the vineyards of Tuscany into the spotlight, but what about the other wine regions in Italy?

Medieval Church on Pietra Perduca in Trebbia Valley, Italy
As our car sped along the twisting roads, I felt at home, even though I was thousands of miles away from my country. The green mountains, sloping vineyards, fields of haystacks, and fluid rivers reminded me of my childhood and these wide-open spaces always feel familiar to me.

Vineyards in Val Tidone - Emilia Romagna, Italy
The province of Piacenza has hundreds of wineries and one of the highest densities of castles in Italy. I was sold on vineyards and wine, but castles too? I could barely contain my excitement as we left our apartment in Bologna that morning. The city of Piacenza is an easy train ride from the cities of Milan or Bologna, where travelers can then rent a car to explore the rest of the province.

Medieval Church on Pietra Perduca in Trebbia Valley, Italy


Castles and Vineyards in Emilia Romagna (Near Bologna)


Our first stop was Agriturismo Racemus in Ziano Piacentino, where we met a lovely couple who run the farmhouse and B&B, which is open to travelers wishing to taste homemade cuisine and wine. We spent the afternoon eating and drinking on their large covered porch, overlooking miles of vineyards. Laura was a gracious host, serving various fresh Italian dishes and copious amounts of wine from their own vineyard.

With full bellies and a bit of a buzz, we climbed back into Elaine’s car for another picturesque drive to our next location. It was time to visit a castle! At the top of a steep hill, our guide parked her car in front of the towering exterior walls of the Rocca D’ Olgisio.

Rocca D' Olgisio Castle in Piacenza, Italy

Rocca D' Olgisio Castle in Emilia Romagna, Italy

The Rocca D’ Olgisio is one of the oldest castles in Piacenza, dating back to at least 1037. The Bengalli Family has owned the castle since 1979 and built five gorgeous hotel rooms inside the fortress. Tom, the castle’s “guard” dog, greets the guests of the castle and had no problem posing for multiple photos.

Rocca D' Olgisio Castle in Emilia Romagna, Italy
My time in the Piacenza province was brief, but I still felt a sentimental connection to this area of Italy. Emilia Romagna is known as the land with a soul, which isn’t hard to believe once you’ve spent a little time immersing yourself in this remote area of the region.

Val Tidone, Italy

Where to Stay in Emilia Romagna

There are quite a few options in this area, ranging from hotels, Bed and Breakfasts and castles. A couple of my recommendations include:

Rocca D’ Olgisio, the castle I visited in Pianello Val Tidone. They offer five double rooms, starting at 50 Euros per person, all with an amazing view of the valleys below.

Podere Casale, a charming farmhouse with a pool in the hills of Ziano Piacentino. Room rates start at 50 Euros per person. (Note: The farmhouse is close from November to March for the winter season.)


Plan Your Trip to Emilia Romagna

After traveling consistently for over 10 years, we’ve come to trust and rely on a few websites to help us find the best deals on flights and accommodation.

Flights: Going is the first place we check when searching for cheap flights. If you sign up for their email alerts, you’ll receive flight deals at up to 90% off. I have traveled all over the world using their flight deals.

Accommodation: offers savings on hotels, apartments, and villas in 80,000 destinations worldwide. You can browse hotel reviews and find the guaranteed best price on hotels for all budgets.

Travel Insurance: We never travel without a travel insurance policy because it’s not worth the risk! We use and trust Visitors Coverage, which we’ve used for the past 8 years.


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  1. Vittorio Sozzi says:

    Glad you enjoyed the province where I live 🙂

  2. Sand in my Suitcase says:

    Wine and castles? What’s not to like!