Since Dante’s time, a lot has changed in Ravenna and its surroundings. Nonetheless, a lot has remained the same.
The long and ever-changing shores, once the destination of Emperors are today a holiday destination. The pine forest behind protects the beach, whereas the valleys of land and brackish water are rich in fauna and flora.
Follow us in this three-day itinerary across Ravenna, to discover the amazing places that inspired the Supreme Poet... and much more.
The relationship between Dante and the sea emerges many times in his works. Even though he was born far from the coast, during his life he touched many shores, on his trips, battles, and legations.
The sea of Ravenna, just at the end of the pine forest, was a sweet companion to him, with its wild dunes, tranquillity, and the incredible multiplicity of plants and animals.
Today the 9 shores of Ravenna, in a 35 km-long stretch of coast, offer a great variety for your holidays and free time.
Sport, relaxation, excursions, birdwatching, educational activities, great accommodation facilities, pubs and restaurants, they all blend together and exist in the respect to nature and in the name of sustainability.
The symbol of this style of living the sea is the project of the ‘Maritime Park’: with kilometres of walkways behind the dunes, new street furniture, dedicated street signs, and particular attention to mobility, it redesigns the relationship between the city and the coast, urban and natural areas, unifying them in harmony, creating new open spaces, well-equipped and ready to use all year round.
Therefore, you just need to choose which shore to land on, and enjoy your perfect holiday:
And if you really want to know how Dante reached the sea of Ravenna, click here!
A “forest-dense, alive with green, divine” is described by Dante Alighieri in the XXVIII Canto of the Purgatory, The poet might have taken inspiration from the pine forest of Classe, a few km from Ravenna, for the description of the forest at the beginning of the canto.
The breeze flutters the branches, but the birds don’t stop to sing, just as happens “Along the shore of Classe, through the pines when Aeolus has set Sirocco loose".
Host of Guido da Polenta, between 1318 and 1321, Dante used to walk in the “dense” coastal woods, until almost losing direction. Away from the sun rays, while finishing his masterpiece, he would contemplate the varied and flourishing nature all around.
Today Dante’s oak trees still exist, along the 4 km ring that from Parco Primo Maggio (Fosso Ghiaia) walks into the pine forest of Classe. Accessible by foot, by horse, or by bike, following this track you will reach the heart of the forest, passing through dry areas rich in oaks and domestic pines and wet areas populated by English oaks and oak trees.
Starting from this circuit, you can visit all the pine forest. Northwards, up to the town of Classe, a little village that unfolds around the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare of Classe, rich of Byzantine mosaics. Southwards, until Savio and the lake of the Ghiarine. In the East, the pine forest touches the coastal dunes and the mouth of the Bevano river, a unique and unblemished natural reserve, traversing the natural reserves of Ortazzo and the Ortazzino, magical places with incredible biodiversity.
You can access these itineraries only by joining an organized visit, guided by environmental experts.
Click here to discover the map of the available itineraries.
Imagine Dante arriving in Romagna. From Tuscany, through the Apennines and cross the woods of the Casentino, passing by sweet hills and lagoons, he reached the sea. It was a slow trip full of hopes, in search of a new hometown, which he found.
Today that trip has become an itinerary rich with cultural and naturalistic suggestions and has taken the evocative name of “Dante’s Walk” (Il Cammino di Dante®).
It’s a circular walk, 400 km long, that symbolically unites Ravenna and Firenze, highlighting the suggestions and the places that the Supreme Poet saw and visited after his exile, and that he mentions all over his Comedy.
The warmth and hospitality of the Tuscan and Romagna people will accompany you in a slow and fascinating experience, on the tracks along the mountain ridge already used in the early Middle Ages (Le Vie di Dante).
From the Tomb of Dante to Dante’s Home Museum and back, going through some of the most beautiful villages in Italy, seeing green forests, centuries-old hermitages, Roman tracks, picturesque castles, shelters, waterfalls and ancient bridges (and very little pavement, just the 3% of the path!).
The walk has been embellished by artistic and cultural installations, inspired by the Supreme Poet and his works. It’s a trip to the astounding landscapes of Romagna and Casentino, where you can still sense the Zeitgeist, without pomp, low-cost), entering a dimension with a medieval flavour, between efforts and beauty, body and soul.
The entire project includes 21 daily stops. Here we want to tease you, presenting the first and the last stop, both within the Municipality of Ravenna.
Ravenna-Pontevico marks the beginning of the walk. After a visit to Dante’s Tomb and Dante’s Museum, you leave the city centre, towards the countryside and the river Fiumi Uniti. Then, continue in direction of Pontevico, which is the destination of the first day. On the horizon, still in the territory of Ravenna, you will spot the tower of Oriolo dei Fichi, the medieval village of Brisighella, the valley of the Lamone and then…
The last stop starts from Ponte Nuovo and takes you to the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe, and then, passing through the pine forest, you will reach the beach. From Lido di Dante continue along the beach, coasting the Fiumi Uniti you will finally reach the city of Ravenna again.
“Dante’s Walk” (Il Cammino di Dante®) is not just a trekking experience but it is a philosophic trip across the landscapes that aroused the curiosity and the wonder of the poet, the desire to understand the human soul and the world, through the fantastic staging of real and fundamental places of his life and his writings.