Ravenna is a province in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, with a population of 387,096 in 2020.
- 1 Ravenna the provincial capital has many fine early Christian mosaics.
- 2 Bagnacavallo has a unique circular piazza.
- 3 Lugo has the Este castle.
- 4 Faenza is famous for its ceramics and gives its name to faience, tin-glazed pottery.
- 5 Casola Valsenio has a notable abbey, fortress and gardens.
- 6 Cervia is a beach resort.
Ravenna like the other provinces along this broad valley was captured in the second century BC by the Romans, who founded a port on the Adriatic. After the fall of Rome and a spell under barbarian rule it came under the Byzantine empire from 540 AD, acquiring its remarkable early Christian mosaics. It was a papal territory for over 1000 years (with several interruptions) until it joined the modern state of Italy.
The province has traditional industry based on agriculture and ceramics, while Ravenna port has become heavily industrial with shipping, chemicals, gas and offshore engineering. Leisure visitors will prefer to explore the many historic town centres, get into the hills or relax on the Adriatic beaches.
Consider flying into Milan, which has a better range of flights and good onward transport.
Regional trains run hourly from Bologna to Imola, Lugo, Bagnacavallo, Russi, Godo and Ravenna (70 min) and continue down the coast to Cervia and Rimini (another hour). Faenza is the direct line from Bologna to Imola, Forli, Cesena and Rimini.
Fast trains from Milan towards the south usually don't stop in the province, so change at Bologna or Rimini.
Highway A14 Adriatica courses down the valley from Bologna through Faenza to Forli and Rimini. A spur highway leaves east of Imola for Ravenna.
A55 runs south from Ravenna to rejoin A14 (for Rimini and the south) near Cesena: stay on A55 to cross the hills to Tuscany, Umbria and Rome.
Train is a good option between those towns on the railway. You'll need a car for anywhere else.
- Ravenna's early Christian mosaics are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See fine examples in San Vitale, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Neonian Baptistery, Sant'Apollinare Nuovo and Sant'Apollinare in Classe; see also the Mausoleum of Theodoric.
- Bagnacavallo's parish church of San Pietro in Sylvis has 14th century frescoes.
- Faenza has the Museum of Ceramics and a Renaissance cathedral.
- Go to the beach at Cervia.
Traditional Romagna cuisine uses stuffed pasta: orecchioni , large meat tortelli; gussoni , panzerotti stuffed with vegetables; Romagna-style broth with tomato; passatelli , breadcrumbs vermicelli, cheese, egg; frittelloni , spinach tortelli with raisins and cheese, fried and sweetened. The piada or piadina can replace bread, and generally replaces it accompanied by cold cuts.
The DOC wines of Ravenna are designated as "Romagna". They are Albana di Romagna, Trebbiano di Romagna, Pagadebit di Romagna, all white in a dry, sweet, sparkling version; Trebbiano is also found sparkling. The reds are Cagnina di Romagna, sweet, and Sangiovese di Romagna, even superior.
Standard advice about traffic safety, care of valuables, and steering clear of drunks.
- A string of provincial capitals line the valley: Bologna, Modena, Reggio Emilia, Parma and Piacenza.
- North takes you to Ferrara then over the Po to Padua.
- Rimini is another of the many beach resorts down the Adriatic coast.