Art & CultureArt & Culture

Humans of Emilia-Romagna

by /// July 7, 2022
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes



Emilia-Romagna is made by its people – those who love, work and contribute to society in the way they best know of.

The below is a collection of 20 profiles and videos of those who make Emilia-Romagna one of the most pleasant Italian regions to visit – our own version of the famous Humans of New York project.

The Saltpan Worker at Saline di Cervia

Oscar is one of the salt miners of the Cervia salt pans. He worked in saline with industrial extraction all his life. Then, when he retired, he decided together some colleagues to take care of Salina Camillone, the last, small salt pan in which the extraction of salt is still done manually, like one time. La Salina Camillone is an integral part of the Cervia Salt Museum and produces a “sweet” salt that has been a Slow Food Presidium since 2004.

The Miller of the Mengozzi mill in Fiumicello

Maurizio is the miller of the Mulino di Fiumicello, a fraction of Premilcuore. This water mill preserved and guarded by the Mengozzi family (owner for generations) is still used today for to show the new generations how to grind wheat and chestnuts. The Mill is located along a Nature Trail, a short path suitable for everyone located right at the gates of the scenic National Park Casentinesi Forests.

The Creator of the Rimini Film Archive

Miro is the creator of the Cineteca di Rimini, a reality aimed at enhancing the local film culture. The activity of the Cineteca is closely linked to the figure of great Maestro Federico Fellini, born in Rimini in January 1920. There are many corners of the city that still speak of the master of cinema, from Cinema Fulgor – where a child Fellini saw the first film of his life – to the Grand Hotel – where he stayed at when he became a famous director, to the murals in Borgo San Giuliano.

The Builder of the Ocarina of Budrio

Fabio is the last remaining craftsman to build the Budrio Ocarina by hand, a terracotta musical instrument invented in this little town near Bologna in 1853 by Giuseppe Donati. The ocarina is a globular shaped flute elongated ovoid, which looks like a small headless goose, hence the name. Fabio still continues, with passion and careful attention to the purity of sound, the tradition started by Donati and today his ocarinas are used by the “Gruppo Ocarinistico Budriese” for performances in Italy and around the world.

The Oenologist of the Regional Enoteca

Giordano is an oenologist and president of the Emilia Romagna Regional Enoteca, hosted in the basement of the Rocca Sforzesca di Dozza, a graceful painted village that rises on the hills of Bologna, also famous for the murals that colour its streets. The objective of the Regional Enoteca has been, since 1970, the promotion and enhancement of regional wine heritage, heritage that is revealed in the unique characteristics of these wines, born in the valleys of Emilia-Romagna.

The Cheese Master of Parmigiano Reggiano

Oriano is one of the expert cheesemakers who produce Parmigiano Reggiano every day, a famous DOP product of Emilia-Romagna exported all over the world. The creation of the forms of Parmigiano Reggiano is an exciting, team-based work on the quality of raw materials (fresh milk and rennet) and on the experience of the cheesemakers, that know perfectly and strictly control the different stages of production e seasoning of the “King of cheeses”, phases that still take place today like a thousand years ago.

The Restorer of Vintage Cars

Franco is a Modenese restorer of vintage cars: a life dedicated to “recovery old things”, right in the heart of the Italian Motor Valley. The story of his life was born from a childhood dream, the creation of his own workshop, and continues with the fulfilment of his greatest desire: to work with Ferrari. A deep one determination and, above all, an infinite passion that have found fertile ground in Emilia-Romagna, home of the biggest car and motor brands in the world.

The Fisherman of the Comacchio Valleys

Carletto is a fisherman from the Comacchio Valleys, a huge expanse of water brackish that is created where the river Po flows into the Adriatic Sea, forming a suggestive and special lagoon territory where numerous species of birds live, including flamingos. Among the most characteristic fish of the Comacchio Valleys are eels, which are fished according to an ancient tradition today told by the museum of the Manifattura dei Marinati, in the centre of the seaside village of Comacchio, called “the little Venice” because of its canals and suggestive bridges.

The Guide of the Castles of the Duchy

Giulia is the tourist guide of the Castle of Rivalta, a manner that stands on the banks of the Trebbia river and is one of the most spectacular Castles of the Duchy of Parma, Piacenza and Pontremoli. She carries her work with passion thanks to the desire to pass on to future generations the heritage and cultural identity of Emilia-Romagna, a land where the most famous emperors and empresses reigned, from Matilda di Canossa, who had the centre of the his reign precisely in Canossa, in the Reggio area, to Maria Luigia of Austria, Napoleon’s second wife and mother of Bonaparte’s only legitimate son, who then moved to Parma as Duchess of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla.

The Sfoglina

Iside is a sfoglina (home-made pasta maker), one of the women who represents the human heritage of Emilia-Romagna. For eighty years – she started making dough as a child, when, as a daughter of peasants, she helped her mother in the kitchen – she has put her knowledge and her experience available to the community and its family: because in Emilia-Romagna, the Food Valley of Italy, affection is also shown through the kitchen; not there is nothing more beautiful than sitting around a table with your loved ones and enjoying a plate of fresh homemade pasta, with love: seeing is believing!

The President of the Cetacea Foundation

Sauro is the President of the Cetacea Foundation of Riccione, a reality that deals with environmental conservation through the protection of sea turtles.
The Cetacea Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1988 with the commitment to protect the marine ecosystem and which -thanks to the contribution of biologists, veterinarians, naturalists and volunteers- manages the Center for the recovery, treatment and rehabilitation of sea turtles of the Adriatic.

The "Valle dei Cavalieri" Cooperative

Oreste is the vice-president of the “Valle dei Cavalieri” Cooperative, an Emilian reality appreciated all over the world, founded to give new life to Succiso, a small village nestled in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines National Park.
Like other villages in the Apennines, Succiso was risking depopulation but, thanks to the work of Oreste and the others, today it’s a lively place, which has a lot to offer to its visitors.

The Captain of the Riverboat

“A small world with a great heritage, where you can find anything: exquisite music, fine cuisine”: this is Emilia’s territory along the River Po told by Giuliano, the captain who for 25 years has been sailing the Italian longest river with the Stradivari riverboat.

The Terracotta Pans Maker

Hidden among the green hills surrounding the village of Montetiffi, in the hinterland of Cesena, there’s an artisan workshop that still produces the traditional terracotta pans for cooking the piadina romagnola. It’s the workshop of Rosella and her husband Maurizio, who are carrying on this ancient craft.

The Grand Master of the Traditional Balsamic Coterie

In Spilamberto, in the hinterland of Modena, there’s a place that preserves a millenary knowledge: the production process of Traditional Balsamic VinegarMaurizio, Grand Master of the Traditional Balsamic Coterie, takes us to discover the Museum and what this product means for the local tradition: a piece of the heart of Modena that goes around the world.

The Craft Ceramist

A kind of art born in Faenza (RA) and known throughout the world – to the point that in the french language the term faïence is used to indicate majolica. Faenza artisan pottery has a history that began 700 years ago and is alive today more than ever, thanks to the work of family-run workshops such as Davide’s.

The Master Luthier

Bruno is a Master Luthier who keeps alive an ancient Bolognese tradition with his work.
Perhaps not everyone knows that in Bologna, recognized by UNESCO as Creative City of Music, there’s an art that has been handed down for over 5 centuries: the construction of stringed musical instruments, such as violins, violas and cellos.

The Soprano Singer

One of the most illustrious realities of the Parma area is Classical Music; it’s here that, today as in the past, the alchemy between emotion, technique and communication gives birth to a music that is universal and timeless. Representing this territorial vocation is Tania, a soprano singer born, raised and graduated in Parma.

The Restorer of Cultural Heritage

In the basement of Farnese Palace in Piacenza there’s one of the most prestigious Carriage Museums in Italy. Taking care of these objects, year after year, there’s Arianna, restorer of cultural heritage: an artisanal work that rises from the love for art, an emotion that all art lovers can understand.

The Guide of the Ridracoli Dam

The Casentinesi Forests are a natural paradise full of wild places and multiple possibilities to discover them: let’s discover the park with Sara, a passionate guide of the Ridracoli Dam.

And to top it off…

We’re pleased to announce that on October 3rd 2021 Humans of Emilia-Romagna has been awarded Best Tourist Film 2021 at the International Tour Film Festival!

The unreleased short film born from the #HumansofEmiliaRomagna project won the 1st prize “for the humanity that, from the title, the short film emanates between the beauties of the Emilia-Romagna region, while maintaining its intent: tourism promotion”.

Here it is:


Elisa Mazzini

Social Media Manager for @inEmiliaRomagna and full-time mom.

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