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.

The cheese-stuffed cappelletti pasta is a specialty that is pretty much a constant on Ravenna menus, served in broth, with stew or in other combinations such as the tasty asparagus and ham sauce of Al Rustichello (

Osteria dalla Zabariona ( 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 ( is a true 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 the center of Ravenna, Mercato Coperto ( is a great place to buy or try rare-breed Mora Romagnola charcuterie, cheeses, and a kaleidoscopic array of other items, including seafood.

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 ( and for a great wine list and a bistro-style menu, there’s BaldoVino ( 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 (, opposite the Basilica of San Vitale, the 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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