Halfway between Venice and Florence, Ravenna - the city where Dante rests, the world capital of Mosaic, home of eight UNESCO sites, queen of color and light effects - lives in a subtle balance between Art, Culture, Sea, Nature and Industry.
The town is located on a wide territory that includes eight different seaside villages connected by an ancient pinewood, a part of the park of the Po Delta, the largest port canal in Italy, natural ecosystems unique in the world and a food culture appreciated everywhere (according to Forbes magazine Emilia Romagna cuisine is the best one in the world).
The pialassa, pine forests, pristine beaches, a rich fauna that crowds natural reserves, flamingos taking flight against a skyline of petrochemical factories, the fishing huts on the banks of the rivers and the marsh, enrich a unique landscape.
The city is a clean and tidy 'living room' with a pedestrian center made of streets paved with shining cobblestones, surrounded by elegant shops, workshops of mosaic artists , bars and restaurants.
In the dark corners of the center, antique crafts shops and traditional taverns mix with bars and underground clubs, hidden event to Ravenna people and surrounded by darkness and autumn fog, enlivening the city and enriching its cultural life that can already count on important festivals.
The city is being renewed. New squares arise where there were dusty old squares or parking lots before, Darsena is returning toRavenna which is regaining possession of it little by little.
The city Darsena - nest of futurist projects and today testimony of an industrial past that has not waned but has just moved - is the only direct view on water, this element present and hidden at the same time.
The rivers that flowed across the city were diverted centuries ago and the sluices, works of cutting-edge engineering, have altered the structure of the settlement.
The marsh was reclaimed and it's only thanks to nature reserves and humid climate that it remains trace of the past since even the ancient bridges lie hidden underground.
The ancient port of Classe, newly renovated with panels that reconstruct the surrounding reality of the past, stands as a testimony of how Nature first and the Man later have profoundly changed the landscape - not least with the digging of the Candiano canal which borders the city till the Darsena - and bears witness of the hard work and skills of the people of this land, an ancient greatness preserved and enhanced over the centuries but silent and partly isolated.
Ravenna inhabitants are atypical Romagna people, more introverted but nonetheless welcoming, pretentious and incisive, living the sea from May to September and the city in the rest of the year crowding its center every weekend.
Many festivals and cultural events mark the seasons in the city while the summer is rich of beach tennis matches and famous happy hours. Numerous events animate even the eight seaside villages of which the Queen, despite a slight reduction in the last few years, remains Marina di Ravenna with a very broad sandy beach for concerts, cocktails, dancing and sports activities, as well as the right amount of relaxation.
In late August the great Festa de l'Unità - more a people's than a political event - marks the end of summer and accompanies by dint of cappelletti the arrival of autumn.
Every season is good to discover a dynamic aspect of this land that even in the cold and dreary winter days can offer striking views and important events. Every moment spent in the streets of Ravenna tells of an ancient history, and weather walking or cycling you can discover and retrace the footsteps of the greats of the past.
Ravenna is a place of history and memory, an open-air museum, a city that grows and changes through seasons. Ravenna, stage for summer love and enchanted places, Ravenna mix of cultures, bridge between East and West, Ravenna capital and queen, waiting for curious visitors to welcome and embrace them, seeing them say goodbye but knowing that sooner or later they will come back.