Ravenna – The rest of the center

Ravenna – The rest of the center

Street of Rome, built-up with monotonous, official palaces, it crosses the modern center of Ravenna and accumulates a large part of the road traffic, squeezing through the streets in a horrendous one-way system. In the middle of the street on the right side rises the Basilica of Sant 'Apollinare Nuovo (codz. 8.00-12.00 i 14.00-19.00) - called Nuovo to distinguish the church of the same invocation in Classe (look down) - another building from the 6th century, erected by Theodoric and furnished with two mosaics among the most impressive in Ravenna; cover the entire length of the nave on both sides. Both represent ceremonial processions of martyrs - women on one side, on the other, men - carrying gifts for Christ and Mary seated on thrones at the end of the avenue of date palms. Some elements of the mosaic concern Ravenna itself: you can distinguish the port of Classe and the palace of Theodoric in the background. Jako Got, Theodoric belonged to the Arian faction of Christianity, who did not recognize the absolute divinity of Christ; This heresy was thus eradicated by Constantinople for theological reasons, and political. Theodoric was removed from the mosaics, and the church's patron was changed to St.. Martin, known from anti-heretical campaigns.

Walking north along via di Roma, in five minutes you reach the Arian Baptistery (codz. 8.30-12.30 i 14.30-19.00) commemorating this fight, at least in name, and the beautiful plafond mosaic shows the twelve apostles and the baptism of Christ. Via Diaz leads from here to Piazza del Popolo, center of Ravenna, founded by the Venetians in the 15th century. A few blocks south of the square is Tomba di Dante, club miasta, a small gray building erected in the 18th century. on the site of an earlier 15th-century tomb. Dante came to Ravenna, when he was banished from Florence and the Da Polenta family - in power at the time - sheltered him, so that he can complete the Divine Comedy. He died in 1381 r. and was buried in the adjacent Church of San Francesco, the building has been rebuilt many times, fragments of which date back to the 14th century.

Walking from here a few minutes, wokół Cathedral Square, we find buildings, which are of interest only as a team. Sama Cathedral, and its cylindrical tower, was originally established in the 5th century, but as a result of the earthquake of 1733 r. it was completely destroyed, and shortly thereafter rebuilt in an unremarkable style. It is not worth staying with it any longer, but the Museo Arcivescovile is interesting (pn.-sb. 9.00-12.00 i 14.30-17.00 or 18.00) in the Bishop's Palace, with fragments of mosaics from all over the city and with the palatial Oratorio Sant'Andrea (VI w.), decorated with mosaics depicting birds in the meadow above Christ in armor, a coat and gilded leather skirt of a Roman centurion. There are also fragments of the original cathedral: ornate alexandrian ivory throne, which in the 6th century. belonged to Bishop Maximian, and a circular marble calendar from the same period, used to calculate the date of Easter and holiday derivatives according to the nine-year cycle of the Julian calendar.

Neighboring Neo-Baptistery (codz. 9.00-12.00 i 14.30-18.00, nd. 9.00-12.00) it was converted from a Roman bath. The original floor of the ground floor has collapsed into the marshy ground and three meters below the ground you can still see the remains of the previous building. The choice of building has its own logic: in those days, baptism was performed by total immersion in water, and the mélange of styles is completely successful - marble inlays go well with the mosaics of the prophets on the side arches. The dome is made of hollow terracotta tubes and is decorated with mosaics depicting the baptism of Christ and portraits of the twelve apostles.

Gastronomy and entertainment

The best dining options in Ravenna are near the Cathedral Square, towards Piazza San Francesco. That’ Come, at via C. Ricci, is a paneled enoteca with a huge selection of Emilia-Romagna wines, plus food. Further towards the square, Da Renato is on Via Mentana, and around the corner, and via R. Gessi, Guidarello, both specializing in traditional dishes, and in the fall in mushroom dishes. There are also canteens at the train station and via G. Oberdan 8, and the Pizza Altero branch in via Camillo B Cavour. Apart from food, there is nothing special to do in the city. ECO news magazine 7 includes a cinema program, concerts and clubs over a fairly large area, including the surrounding Adriatic bathing areas.

Ravenna area: Church of Sant'Apollinare in Classe

Remains of the old port of Classe (pn.-pt. 9.00-12.00; one stop south of Ravenna by train or one stop by bus no 4) they are very modest - buildings were looted for building material and the ancient port completely disappeared into the sludge of the Uniti River. However, one building has survived - the Church of Sant'Apollinare in Classe, which was saved as the burial place of the patron saint of Ravenna. It is a typical basilica of quite large size, with a perfectly proportioned façade, behind which there is an interior with beautiful mosaics. Distinguished by the exquisite Transfiguration of Christ in the apse, flanked by Constantine IV who gives the privilege to the Church of Ravenna and Saint Apollinaris praying against the backdrop of a naturalistic landscape.

It is a strange monument, and its world atmosphere is not in keeping with the highway that runs next to it. The nearby Pineta di Classe is a long strip of shady pine trees that runs along the coast; Pineta San Vitale runs north. In summer, it is not allowed there due to the risk of fire; during the rest of the year it is a popular cycle route, although the dense clouds of smog above the treetops spoil the Arcadian atmosphere. From here, it is easy to reach the Ravenna beach resorts of MARINA ROMEA by bus, MARINA DI RAVENNA i PUNTA MARINA. However, it is an unpleasant stretch of the coast and it is better to avoid it.

Coast from Ravenna to Rimini

From Ravenna, an unhurried train goes to Rimini, passing a number of bathing areas along the way, which after some time merge into one. It is not a very attractive part of Italy and even those interested in sea bathing should go straight to Rimini. If you insist, However, in spite of the problems with algae, I would be a bit tired here (look down), perhaps the best place is CERVIA, former fishing village, which turned into something like a bathing beach only about thirty years ago. On the first Sunday after Ascension, the bishop of the city sails out to sea, accompanied by a flotilla of small boats, to marry Cervia to the sea, throwing a ring into the water. This tradition, of course, continues to the delight of tourists, but the original idea was to pay tribute to the abundance of the sea, of which nature cruelly mocked itself with the abundance of algae.

Lying down 8 km south of CESENATICO also owed its existence to the fishing industry, but it has developed into a large bathing area with restaurants flanking the harbor canal, designed in 1502 r. by Leonardo da Vinci for Cesare Borgia. Many boats are still fishing vessels, but the harbor area is quite tinsel, nightlife is also flourishing. There is a floating Museo Marittima on the canal, with a collection of old fishing and trading boats, but otherwise there are no attractions here, unless someone likes to bake in the sun.


From 1988 r. the coast between Ravenna and Rimini is almost an ecological disaster zone, and the tourism industry has suffered enormous damage from the algae stock, which flowed from the Venetian lagoon and poured out onto rotting beaches, slimy pulp. The shoal was created as a result of pollution, possibly due to the mixing of nitrogen and phosphorus in artificial fertilizers, washed by the Pad with detergents and industrial wastewater. Mussels and crustaceans have been decimated, and the negative effects, tourism is a serious threat to the local economy. Few vacationers are ready to share a bath with a layer several meters deep, and even the authorities admit, bathing is inadvisable.

Taken in 1989 r. the actions were unsuccessful and nothing happened to change the situation, because no one knows for sure, what is the cause of the problem. Turnover has already decreased by 40 percent and, compared to previous seasons, beaches, tennis courts, campsites and hotels are deserted. Hoteliers and restaurateurs, who helped convert a 6-kilometer stretch of coast into a commercial holiday resort, have reasons to be depressed. They admit, that nothing else is here, so why come, since it is impossible to swim?

W 1989 r. the government has allocated millions of dollars to clean the waters, and plans are in place to build a floating barrier, keeping the shoal away from the beaches, and installing water purification and anti-pollution facilities. Building a swimming pool has also been suggested. The real issue is the question, whether Rome will stop the so far completely unbridled industrial development in the North, which is the sacred cow of Italy's economic boom.

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