Emilia-Romagna is an administrative region of Northern Italy comprising the two historic regions of Emilia and Romagna. It forms a rough triangle, bounded on the East by the Adriatic Sea, on the North by the Po river and on the South by the Appennine range. With 4,030,000 inhabitants in 22,123 sq. km (8545 sq. mi) as of the 2003 census, it is a densely populated region (especially in the plain half). Emilia-Romagna is one of the richest regions of Italy, and its cuisine one of the most characteristic.
Agriculture is the most important economic activity: grain, potatoes, maize, tomatoes and onions are the most important, along with fruit and grapes for the production of wine (of which the most famous is perhaps Lambrusco). Cattle and hog breeding are also highly developed.
The industry of Emilia-Romagna is also healthy, especially the food industry and tourism along the Adriatic coastline.
The principal city is Bologna, an historic, cultural and entertainment center of national importance. Other important cities include Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Rimini, Ferrara, Forlė , Cesena and Ravenna. Most of these towns were founded by the Romans as waystations along the Via Aemilia, a strikingly rectilinear road through the plain that gave its name to the subregion of Emilia.