The uncrowded Italian city with culture, unbeatable food – and a beach to boot

A taste of Emilia-Romagna

This part of Emilia-Romagna is famous for its warm and generous hospitality and, as is the case throughout the region, the food is fantastic.

Cheese-filled cappelletti pasta is a specialty that’s pretty much a constant on Ravenna menus, served in broth, with ragù or in other combinations such as the savory asparagus and ham sauce at Al Rustichello ( rustichelloravenna.it).

Osteria dalla Zabariona (osteriadallazabariona.com) is the place for authentic old-fashioned flavors such as roast eel, local beef or fish soup and a good choice of Emilia-Romagna wines, while Ca ‘ de Vèn (cadeven.it) is a real Ravenna institution appreciated by residents and visitors for its historic interior, its typical wines such as well-structured Sangiovese and white Albana, and its delicious traditional dishes; try the ubiquitous piadina flatbread, perhaps with tangy squacquerone soft cheese, for an informal meal.

The beautifully restructured historic food market in central Ravenna, Mercato Coperto (mercatocopertodiravenna.it) is a good place to buy or try Mora Romagnola rare breed charcuterie, cheeses and a kaleidoscopic range of other items, including fruit of sea.

Although locals usually head to the coast for a feast of fish, there are a few good seafood-themed restaurants in town. Try Il Mare di Felice (ilmaredifelice.com) and for an excellent range of wines and a bistro-style menu there is BaldoVino (facebook.com/enotecabaldovino) a wine bar with a charming interior and a small patio garden.


How to get there

Ravenna is an hour by train from Bologna, which has the nearest main airport, and buses run between Ravenna station and the beach eight kilometers away. The pedestrianized center is easy to explore on foot, although most local residents cycle and there are bike-sharing schemes; parking is plentiful on the outskirts.

Where to stay

The center of Ravenna offers top quality B&Bs such as Le Case di San Vitale (lecasedisanvitale.it), opposite the Basilica of San Vitale, M Club and Santa Maria Foris. Palazzo Bezzi is a good choice for a hotel with more facilities, including a small gym and spa, and convenient parking.

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