When In Emilia-Romagna

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Italy's Emilia-Romagna region is foodie heaven. But make sure you bypass the tourist-trap eateries of the cities and seek out the affordable gourmet bolt-holes of the locals. Here are our picks. (See 10 things to do in Rome.)

Ristorante La Vecchia: In the medieval town of Compiano, this gem, tel: (39-52) 582 5333, is famed for the regional cuisine of Chef Peppino Biolzi. Don't miss the pasta with nut sauce. (See the top 10 food trends of 2008.)

Osteria di Rubbiara: This busy restaurant, tel: (39-59) 549 019, is part of the Pedroni family's balsamic-vinegar vineyard in Modena. The hearty food is prepared by Signora Pedroni and her daughter.

Ristorante Casette in Canadà: Near Parma, this restaurant, tel: (39-52) 582 4228, features local game and lake fish. Meals are a steal at $30 a head or less.

Ristorante Al Cavallino Bianco: This character property, tel: (39-52) 496 136, lies between Modena and Milan. Chef Massimo Spigaroli's ricotta-and-bitter-greens tortelli are a must.

Ristorante Casimiro e Voi: Hidden away in the mountain hamlet of Borgo Casale, the Casimiro, tel: (39-52) 592 9032, takes some finding but is worth every wrong turn. Try the verdi of potato, duck sauce and pistachios.

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