Ravenna is located in the north-east of the Italian peninsula, just a few kilometres from the Adriatic Sea. Its province covers the southern part of Romagna and extends from the sea to the gently rolling foothills of the Apennines. Its easily accessed by road or rail and as its a smaller city, its easy to drive around. Those doing a wine and food tour of Italy may be a little dissapointed by the amount of local product, but there is no shortage of trattoria and great aperitivo menus in the old city to taste the local produce.
Ravenna, the city of mosaics, has been recognised as a world heritage by UNESCO with eight historic buildings on the World Heritage List.
It is a treasure chest of art, history and culture of the highest order with ancient origins and a glorious past; it was a capital three times: of the Western Roman Empire, of Theodoric King of the Goths, and of the emperor of Byzantium. It houses the mortal remains of Dante Alighieri and keeps his memory alive with important events.
I rated the B & B I stayed in, Chez Papa, as the best of my stays across Emilia Romagna. Highly recommended, stunning. For some other of my favorite experiences across Emilia Romagna read my Best of travel blog. Ravenna features.
Beyond the wonderful cultural heritage and landscape Ravenna is a city full of ancient culinary specialties and welcoming hospitality.
For those on a Food Tour try these local products. Soups and broth occupy a prominent position in the local menu: tagliatelle, lasagne, strozzapreti with the traditional meat sauce; golden coloured passatelli, fragrant of parmesan and nutmeg; cappelletti exquisitely stuffed with cheese, with meat sauce or broth. All pasta dishes of Romagna menu are made with homemade pasta, and therefore are famous and much requested. Further traditional dishes are pork meat, mainly grilled on wood embers, often accompanied by the “oil dip” (a mixture of raw and fresh vegetables, to dip in salt and oil).
In coastal towns (but in the city too) you can taste the many varieties of fish and shellfish of the Adriatic sea, as the “risotto alla marinara”, tagliolini with fresh seafood and spaghetti with clam sauce, before tasty grilled dishes.
A warm and fragrant Piadina is served with both fish and meat dishes, often accompanied by the unforgettable soft cheese “squaquerone”.(caramelised figs with soft squaquerone cheese was my favorite dish in Ravenna )
Local wines, such as Sangiovese, Trebbiano and Pagadebit, perfectly martch the food traditions, accompanied by the genuine and traditional sweets, as biscuits, tortelli stuffed with jam, cakes and pies, perfect to be dipped in sweet wines like the whine Albana, or as the red Cagnina.
Words from Emilia Romagna Turismo. All images by Bruce White the Wine and Food Traveller