Ravenna, the most important centre of Romagna, is only eight kilometers from the Adriatic Sea and the nine Ravenna beaches, and it is included in the list of Italian World Heritage sites by Unesco for its extraordinary early Christian monuments.
The city boasts a long history, which saw it becoming the seat of a large Roman military fleet and, then, in 402, the capital of the Western Roman Empire at the behest of Honorius. It is from this period that Ravenna experienced a golden age from an architectural and artistic point of view, and growing again after becoming the capital of the Ostrogothic kingdom founded by Theodoric the Great.
Thanks to the latter, in fact, the city saw the rise of the royal palace, Arian and Orthodox churches, the baptistery, the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare and its mausoleum. In the Byzantine period, however, the imposing Basilica of San Vitale and the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe were built.
Ravenna, discovering the ancient historical centre
In the heart of Ravenna there is the ancient Piazza del Popolo, dating back to the thirteenth century and the period in which the Da Polenta lords came to power, and overlooked by the Palazzo del Rettore, the Palazzo “Merlato”, or the Town Hall, the Palazzo dei Rasponi del Sale. A short distance away, you can visit the Tomb of Dante Alighieri, built to a design by Camillo Morigia in 1781, where the great poet rests in a Roman sarcophagus enriched by a fifteenth-century bas-relief by Pietro Lombardo.
Not far away, the Po Delta Regional Park of Emilia Romagna extends, which includes large marshy areas, rich in birdlife and biodiversity. Ravenna is also known for its beaches, which here are called ” shores “, and are divided into “Lidi Nord” and “Lidi Sud”. In the northern area there is the Oasis of Punte Alberete, while to the south stands the Pineta di Classe. The “Lidos”, with a development of 35 kilometers and excellent bathing establishments, are the ideal place to practice water sports and go to clubs or go on naturalistic excursions.
What to eat in Ravenna
The gastronomic tradition of Ravenna is particularly rich and includes, among others, the “cappelletti al ragù”, egg pasta cut into squares, stuffed with cheese and closed in such a way as to take the shape of a hat, which are prepared with different condiments or with broth.
“Mutton chop” is also delicious, marinated with salt, garlic and rosemary and then cooked on the grill. Not to be missed is the “Crescione”, a typical street food with a crescent shape that is stuffed in various ways: with herbs, tomato and mozzarella, or pumpkin and potatoes.
Also exquisite is the “piadina with squacquerone and figs”, a dessert that combines the typical cream cheese and the sweetness of fruit. Also try the “Caterine”, traditional biscuits – covered with chocolate, sugar and icing – which are prepared on the day of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, on the 25th November.
What to do in Ravenna
Ravenna is a particularly lively city also from a cultural and entertainment point of view, which comes alive on the occasion of the Ravenna Festival – between June and July – dedicated to music, dance and opera, and of Ravenna Jazz – in May – an event now become traditional. Furthermore, during the summer, the Spiagge Soul is held, a widespread festival that involves all the Ravenna “Lidos” attracting artists of international level.
For families there are numerous Family hotels, which ensure the possibility of beach holidays with children and, also, access to Mirabilandia, the large theme and water park located near the Pineta di Classe.
Mirabilandia, everything you need to know about the largest amusement park in Europe
With twenty years of experience behind it, located a few steps from Ravenna and Rimini along the Statale 16 Adriatica near Savio, Mirabilandia is a sort of city in itself, entirely dedicated to leisure and entertainment, so much so that it has deserved over time even the recognition of a real locality in the municipal area of Ravenna.
“Sierra thundering”, mammoth roller coaster with a very rare wooden structure, Mirabilandia is in the “Top 15” of the most beautiful amusement parks in the world and is characterized by the extraordinary environmental context, rich in green spaces and lakes, in which it develops, near the secular Pineta di Classe and in front of the Standiana basin usually frequented by famous rowers such as the Olympic champion Sefi Idem.
Everyone will find something to have fun in Mirabilandia, which between the thematic and aquatic areas of Mirabilandia Beach ranges from the most peaceful and “harmless” fun attractions to those capable of stopping the breath in the throat even for the bravest. Among attractions for everyone, dedicated to the little ones or “extreme”, there really is something for everyone! Good fun!
Cover Image: Non solo turisti