With its stuffed pasta, the different kinds of street food, the fish of the Adriatic Sea and the wines of the hills, Ravenna plays its role in the fame of the Italian and Emilia-Romagna cuisine.
Here’s a three-day itinerary to discover Ravenna and its territory through its typical dishes.
The sfogline (pasta makers) mix eggs and flour as they chat – but always paying attention to their ancient and precise movements. The rolling pin rolls on a rough and golden surface. Parmesan and nutmeg wait to be put into the small hats of pasta.
Along the streets of the city centre – narrow and winding as the canals of the past – it is still possible to see how the most traditional local dish is made. Of course, we are talking about cappelletti.
200 grams per person, with broth or with meat ragù, you can find them in almost every restaurant of the old city, three times the capital of kingdoms and empires.
Either around Piazza del Popolo or along the streets that lead to the ancient Roman and Medieval gates of the old city, you’ll never have to walk more than 100 steps between a good plate of cappelletti and the other.
This is undoubtedly a good way to fill your stomach while you’re around visiting the eight Unesco World Heritage Monuments in Ravenna.
Ancient and modern docks, centuries-old buildings hosting fashionable apartments and pubs, containers becoming restaurants. Pool of new languages; melting pot of local and exotic tastes; new yet eternal place; the Darsena area of Ravenna brings its double nature also to the table.
You will find originally reimagined fish and meat, traditional dishes, local craft beers, handmade ice cream and broader Italian cuisine dishes.
Get inspired by unusual culinary combinations right where the water meets the city, among contemporary mosaics, imposing street art works and eternal words that great personalities have dedicated to Ravenna.
You will have no trouble finding them – little wooden buildings with a peaked roof. They are mainly white, sometimes with red or green stripes. They are nestled in many corners of the city, from the old town to the sea, from the seaside towns to the country.
As real landmarks of taste and a reference point for every pilgrim looking for something to eat, piadina kiosks mark the border between Romagna and the rest of the world.
In Ravenna, the piada is the thickest of the region and goes well with every combination. The traditional recipe requires lard in the dough, but you can find vegetarian or vegan versions almost everywhere. With cold cuts, vegetables, sweet or savoury creams, a filled “crescione” or small and eaten as a dessert, the piadina is something you cannot miss. Little money and no regrets!
Fried “naked men” (juvenile fish of the Adriatic Sea) sprout up from the pans of the restaurants in the Marina di Ravenna area.
Along the canal, the tables teem with fish soups, clam risottos and marinated sardines. In Punta Marina Terme, prawn and cuttlefish skewers, seafood spaghetti and grilled catch of the day are all the rage.
The northern seaside towns (Casalborsetti, Marina Romea and Porto Corsini) and the southern ones (Lido Adriano, Lido di Dante and Lido di Savio) are full of mussels and crustaceans prepared in countless ways.
The Adriatic is a very generous sea, and its products are safeguarded thanks to a more and more sustainable and controlled fishing activity, so that the beneficial effects on the bodies and minds of who eats its products are lengthened.
Sangiovese, Albana, Trebbiano, Pagadebit and Cagnina. These are only a few evocative names – flagships of the ancient wine tradition of Ravenna.
They are produced in various versions, different alcoholic strengths and grafts, thus giving rise to bright colours and intense bouquets. Since they are made near the sea, the saline breeze gives them their typical minerality.
The various winemakers allow visitors to enjoy tastings all year round – what a better occasion to discover some stunning historical villages! One of these ones is Brisighella, declared “one of Italy’s most beautiful villages” and perched on the hills of Ravenna, just outside Parco del Carnè.
The medieval streets, Rocca Manfrediana and Rocca Veneziana castles, the hiking trails leading to Vena del Gesso (lit. chalk vein) are worth a day tour full of nature, history and unique tastes.