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Emilia-Romagna: Great food, stunning architecture – and some

Emilia-Romagna is the broad region that borders Liguria, Lombardy and Tuscany in the north-west of Italy and cuts over to the Adriatic coast between the Veneto and Le Marche. This agricultural heartland marks Italy's transition from the chilly Alps of the north to the warmth of the Mediterranean south, and you can see this in the rich and varied cuisine and landscapes. The fertile plains of the river Po – known as the Pianura Padana – make up the northern half of the region, while the forest-covered Apennine mountains cover most of the south. Emilia-Romagna is one of Italy's most prosperous areas and home to some of the country's most appealing cities, including Bologna, Parma, Modena and Ferrara. Even Italians from other regions admit that Emilia-Romagna has the best food, especially its ham and cheese – more lyrically known as prosciutto di Parma and parmigiano reggiano.

Emilia Romagna: they keep a welcome in these hillsides

She was born in Britain, but her roots are Italian. That's why top chef Angela Hartnett likes to regularly visit her grandmother's village in northern Italy. It's also home to some great food. Interview by Andy Lynes

Top that: Add some zing to your dishes with Skye Gyngell's

For me, cooking is all about taking really good ingredients and maximising their flavour. It's a case of doing as little as possible, just turning up the volume and letting the produce take centre-stage. I think of my own style of cooking as being low on technique but high on flavour.