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We started from here inciting the unorganized crowd that invaded the streets. Years of exuberant youth, revolt, fight, protest, the desire for a better world – fairer and more peaceful – at that time and for several years thereafter was our bread and butter.
I don't think that the world noticed us or that it changed in any way thanks to our shouts.
We are the only custodians of direct and concrete effects, We and the square that first welcomed us and that we have learned to love and admire.
A bowl that descends from a pedestrian street of the city center characterized by Renaissance architecture on one side and fascist buildings on the other.
The square is surrounded by the arcades of the Palace of Province, A.Oriani library – once a hotel that hosted Lord George Byron- , the Quadrarco di Braccioforte and it is closed by the elegant church of San Francesco.
Here in the so-called Dante zone, Ravenna unveils itself showing its intimate and essential soul, a candid, less noble and tougher beauty.
The city that was no longer a Capital was redescovering or perhaps seeking a new essence. These streets tell about a path of humble reconstruction, enhanced by a square that is a crucial passage of contemporary stories.
Here, where the red brick fills the view, a few steps from where Dante rests, recent history has marked time and seasons: in the 90s it was symbol of youth witout a smile and a burt out exhistance, in more recent times it was the sitting room of the outcasts of the world.
Every city has places that mark time, symbols of beauty and showcase of gray, so Ravenna has its Piazza San Francesco, where people want to be today to straighten the route when the ship loses it.
In a very recent past that we could call present the square has been cleaned up and renovated, it is becoming more and more a space for events and markets - one for all the Biomarchè - and it has seen the opening of a sumptuous Sicilian pastry shop.
Palumbo pastry shop is located under the arcades of the Palace of Province, that today hosts the Tourist Office, and offers lunch or a breakfast - not exactly cheap - in a parlor of the city.
Reading a newspaper, biting a Iris or a fresh Sicilian Cannolo, sipping coffee and looking up to the church of San Francesco and the small courtyard near Dante's tomb, all that awakens the heart of every person who suddenly feels immersed in a disorienting beauty.
Piazza San Francesco has become a place of peace in which to hide from the frenzy of contemporary life and regain possession of your candid soul.
How to get there
By car: Piazza San Francesco is in a pedestrian zone. The closest parking lot is in Largo Firenze
By bus: almost all the bus lines stop near the square in Piazza Caduti per la Libertà
On foot: Piazza San francesco is about 15 minutes far from the railway station