Some splendid towns situated just a few kilometers from Ravenna
At about 30 km to the west of Ravenna stands Faenza, the home of ceramics the world over. And what greater proof could there be than that pottery is “faenza” in Spanish, “faience” in English and French, “Fayence” in German ” faentina” in Greeek and “fains” in Russian? Ceramics have been produced locally since the 15th century and the International Ceramics Museum, one of the largest ceramic collections in Italy testifies to this ancient tradition. Its exhibits feature examples of Italian Renaissance majolica, as well as oriental and preColumbian pieces. A section is devoted to contemporary ceramic art with pieces by Matisse, Chagall and Picasso. Discovering Faenza is a veritable feast for the eyes: you may step into any of the dozens of workshops where craftsmen still make and sell their decorated pottery or stroll in its streets lined with fine 18th century palazzi, and end up in the fine central square to admire the 15th-C. Cathedral built by the Florentine architect Giuliano da Maiano .
Near Faenza, on the road to Florence, stands Brisighella, a medieval village affording some of the finest panoramic views on the Appennines.
Nestling at the foot of three rocky peaks, crowned by three 15th century fortresses, Brisighella has lost none of the charm of the old medieval village it once was. Evoking that age are the main thoroughfare “Via degli Asini” a raised street flanked by porticoes, and the “Medieval Festival”, both sacred and profane, which is held in July of each year, when street entertainers, banquets and markets transport the village back through time.
- DELTA DEL PO’
The Po is Italy’s longest river, and towards its mouth the river banks offer beautifully subtle landscapes – rows of poplar trees across misty fields and long views over soft brown soils.
The Po Delta Reserve is known to naturalists as the “Italian Camargue”: an expanse of marshland and lagoons culminating in small fingers of land poking out into the Adriatic. These marshy reaches, protected by the European Ramsar Convention, are the habitat of thousands of breeding and migrating birds, i.e. large herons and small kingfishers, blackwinged stilts, little egrets and many species of ducks. Comacchio, the main town of the region is a small fishing town intersected by a network of canals, with a famous local attraction in its triple bridge or Trepponti, built in 1634, which crosses three of the canals. Its most famous catch is eels caught in its surrounding lagoons using methods like water gates that date back as far as Roman times.The best way to to see this area is by boat. Daily boat trips to some of the Delta’s more remote corners may be organized upon request.