Hidden gems in Ravenna

Discover some of the best-hidden gems in Ravenna (Italy), the ancient Byzantine capital famous all over the World for its UNESCO Monuments

Every year, millions of foreign tourists arrive in Italy to discover its rich artistic and cultural heritage, and to be amazed by the places that made our beautiful country famous all over the world.Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan and Naples are the most popular places for the majority of foreign travellers. However, people often forget that the entire Italian Peninsula hides treasures that are undoubtedly worth a visit, perhaps because they are not the classical – and maybe even predictable – tourist destinations.

If you are eager to discover new places and extraordinary experiences, we are sure that a visit to Ravenna is cut out for you.

Ravenna lies in Emilia-Romagna, one of the richest and most beautiful regions in Italy. Only 90 km from Bologna and not far from Florence (170 km), Venice (144 km) and San Marino (84 km), you’ll find Ravenna a city of art with over 2000 years of history.

In the three-time capital city (of the Roman Empire, of the Ostrogothic Kingdom and of the Byzantine Empire), its historical centre consists of narrow alleys with cafés, ice-cream shops and restaurants that blend in with the pastel-colored noble palaces, churches, mausoleums and ancient baptisteries.

Over the centuries, poets, scholars and prominent travellers such as Dante Alighieri, George Byron, Carl Gustav Jung, Cole Porter, Gustav Klimt, arrived in Ravenna, singing its praises and turning it into the city of inspiration. Today, more than ever, its everlasting charm oozes from every corner.

1. The most beautiful mosaics in the world

For more than 1500 years, Ravenna has been keeping a priceless treasure made of precious tesserae dating back to the late Roman and Byzantine time (5th – 6th Century AD). UNESCO has acknowledged eight of its monuments as World Heritage. A visit to its churches and baptisteries is enough to understand why. Nowadays, the great tradition of the mosaic in Ravenna continues thanks to the work of many mosaicists, artists, and restorers who contribute to the perpetuation of this ancient art.

2. Dante rests here

Everyone thinks that the Father of the Italian language is buried in Florence, inside the Italian Pantheon, the Basilica of Santa Croce. The truth is that the body and spirit of Dante Alighieri have been resting in Ravenna since 1321, in the town where he spent the last part of his life when he was exiled from Florence.  In Ravenna, he wrote the Paradiso and finished the Purgatorio of his Comedy. In the so-called “Zona del Silenzio” (Area of Silence), nestled in the heart of the city centre, the monumental tomb, the dedicated museum, along with the church of San Francesco and the Old Franciscan Cloisters pay homage to his memory.

 

3. Enjoy the sea

There’s something enchanting on the beaches of Ravenna. Maybe it’s the century-old pine forests that you have to walk through to reach the sea, or maybe the sandy dunes that frame the horizon, or the beach resorts that enthusiastically welcome the tourists with a concert, an aperitif or simply offering a dinner with your feet in the sand. In any case, there is no doubt: the beaches of Ravenna are irresistibly charming. Nine sandy beaches dot the coastline of Ravenna, from Casal Borsetti to Lido di Savio: 35 km of fun, relaxation and sports for anyone.

 

4. The Camargue of Italy

Inside the great area of the Po Delta Park, flocks of flamingos have found their steady home in the grasslands, lagoons, salt pans and marshlands that show up between Comacchio and Cervia. Thousands of hectares of sweet and salt water welcome a great variety of protected species that every year make a stop here during their endless migration from the hot and cold areas of the Earth.
It’s a unique landscape that resembles the French Camargue, in a perfect balance between environment and nature.

 

5. A dreamy hinterland

Passing the fertile lands that surround Ravenna, expansive fields of wheat and fruit trees are interrupted from time to time by small residential areas. On this pastel coloured vast expanses, you can see little country churches, fortresses, old mills and country houses that break the horizon. You’ll see Bagnacavallo, with its peculiar elliptical-shaped piazza; Lugo; Faenza, the city of ceramics and further north, at the foot of the Apennines, the beautiful medieval hamlet of Brisighella, one of the most charming in Italy.

6. The icing on the cake: the right place for foodies

The art of good eating here has deep roots: the simple and genuine products have the power to conquer even the finest and pickiest palates. Everything comes from an old farmer cooking tradition where nothing gets waisted and left to chance. Every lunch or dinner becomes a convivial experience that tickles your senses and delights your stomach. Undisputed masters of the local cuisine are the piadina with cold cuts or cheese, and the legendary cappelletto, a type of filled pasta that reigns supreme, served with broth or ragu.

Come visit us and discover these hidden gems of Ravenna!

%d bloggers like this: