In November, a visit to the Ravenna Festival 2022 for the Autumn Trilogy
28 October 2022
1. The protagonists? Mozart and Da Ponte
The programme of the Ravenna Festival 2022 features three masterpieces by Mozart and Da Ponte. They will be the absolute protagonists of this edition, which over the years has paid tribute to other great opera composers.
This year's dates are 31 October and 4 November with The Marriage of Figaro, 1 and 5 November with Don Giovanni, and 2 and 6 November with Così fan tutte.
All three operas, which will alternate night after night for a week, are the result of the collaboration between the great Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the Italian librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte.
2. The organisation of the Trilogy made by Ravenna Festival
The organiser of the Autumn Trilogy is the Ravenna Festival, which since 1990 has combined its love for opera with that for Dante Alighieri, who spent his final years in the city.
For decades, the festival has brought the best music of all eras and the greatest opera performers to the city, thanks to the direction of Cristina Mazzavillani Muti and the collaboration with the great conductor Riccardo Muti.
3. The festival setting: the theatre dedicated to Alighieri
All performances will be held at the Alighieri Theatre, a jewel worth discovering by arriving early for the shows scheduled for 8.30 pm.
It is located in Piazzetta degli Svizzeri, in the heart of the city, and was designed by the Venetian architects Tomaso and Giovan Battista Meduna, who had just finished restoring the Fenice in Venice. Construction began in 1840 and the theatre was inaugurated in 1852.
Since then it has hosted major names in international music, such as Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and Maria Callas.
The façade is in neoclassical style with a staircase, a portico with columns, small balconies and alcoves. The splendid atrium with a coffered ceiling opens up to the grand staircase leading to the boxes and stalls. The semi-elliptical hall is richly decorated with paintings and gilding by the Venetian artists Giuseppe Voltan, Giuseppe Lorenzo Gatteri, Pietro Garbato and Carlo Franco.
4. 4 reasons to explore Ravenna during the Autumn Trilogy
Ravenna is a very pleasant city to discover in autumn, walking among the magnificent UNESCO heritage monuments or following in the footsteps of Dante, who completed his Divine Comedy here. Not to mention a gourmet stop to sample the good food of Romagna. This is not mere hyperbole: piadina crudo (flat bread) and squacquerone cheese eaten here has a different flavour.
5. The mosaics of the old town centre
Capital of the Western Roman Empire, chosen also by the Theodoric Goths and then by the Byzantines, Ravenna retains splendid traces of its past, to be discovered while strolling through the historic centre. Start with the magnificent mosaics of the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia built by Emperor Honorius in 402 for his sister. Continue on to the spectacular Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo and the Mausoleum that housed the remains of King Theodoric.
And don't miss a visit to the Basilica of San Vitale, a Byzantine masterpiece.
6. Dante's places in Ravenna
The Supreme Poet spent the last years of his life in Ravenna, hosted by his friend Guido Novello da Polenta. A visit to Dante's Tomb is practically a must: it is a small temple in neoclassical style in the Basilica of San Francesco, and every year the monument is the destination of a pilgrimage. Not far away is the Dante Museum, which tells the story of his life and works. If you have children of high school age, plan a visit, and during literature class they will thank you.
7. A walk by the sea
The sea in autumn can be very charming, and a walk along the Ravenna coastline is an experience not to be missed, especially on a sunny day when there is neither the summer crowds nor the scorching heat, but a comfortable temperature and an unexpectedly wild landscape. A real treat for the mind.
8. Immersion in nature
A few kilometres north of the city is the Punte Alberete Oasis with the San Vitale pine forest, and the immense Po Delta Park where you can enjoy long walks amidst nature.
On the opposite side of the city is the Pineta in Classe, a large green space.
Cycle along the Ortazzo, the Ortazzino, the mouth of the Bevano and the basilica Sant'Apollinare in Classe. Be sure to remember your water bottle.
The Ravenna Festival 2022 turns out to be not an excuse, but a good reason to visit the secret treasures of the Romagna city and let yourself be enchanted by its strength made up of history and lightness.