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Route

Sites of the Supreme Poet

Touring Ravenna: discovering Dante

Typology
cycling route
Duration
72 hours
Difficulty
Easy
Best Period

Summer

Ravenna and Dante Alighieri shared a deep bond throughout the life of this “Supreme Poet”, from his frequent visits that brought him so much inspiration as he wrote the Divine Comedy to his final years spent in the city at the court of Guido Novello da Polenta.

Dante's name echoes throughout many of the most iconic places in and around Ravenna, from the Lido di Dante beach to the oak trees in the Dante’s Oak Trees national forest that grow in the Pineta di Classe protected area, which left him speechless, not to mention Dante's Tomb in the heart of the city and the small museum dedicated to him.
When visiting Ravenna, it is impossible not to come across magnificent sites that preserve Dante's memory, among dips in the sea and strolls among the centuries-old pine trees and the grand monuments of Ravenna.

So, how about following us on a three-day itinerary - Dante, the sea and nature -  that will give you the opportunity to experience and discover Ravenna, for a little holiday among art, culture, sun, sea and the never-ending fun that is always guaranteed along the Riviera Romagnola? 

Dante, the sea and nature / Ravenna

Our tour begins in the capital, which is also the first stop along the charming cultural and nature trail Il Cammino di Dante® (Dante’s Walk), which in 21 days allows you to retrace the Supreme Poet's journey from his beloved Florence to Ravenna. This long route, promoted by a non-profit association, aims to raise awareness of the culture surrounding Dante, beginning with Dante's Tomb in Ravenna, reaching the Tuscan capital through the Apennines and returning to Romagna via the Casentino, along a total distance of 400 kilometres.

https://www.camminodante.com/il-cammino-di-dante-chi-siamo

This three-day itinerary is sure to spark your curiosity, with a small taste of this long journey between two of Italy's most beautiful regions.
We will depart from the place where Dante was buried in 1321 after a lavish funeral celebrated in what is now the Basilica of San Francesco, which, at the time, was the church of San Pier Maggiore.

Dante's Tomb stands in the heart of medieval Ravenna. It is a small, neoclassical temple built behind the Basilica of San Francesco between 1780 and 1781, designed by architect Camillo Morigia. Originally, the eternal resting place of the Father of the Italian Language was supposed to be a simple chapel, but a little over a century after his death, the governor of Ravenna decided to give greater prominence to the tomb of the Supreme Poet, commissioning sculptor Pietro Lombardo to create a marble bas-relief of Dante's portrait. 

The elements created in 1483 were later incorporated into the present mausoleum, still visible today to visitors who travel to Ravenna to pay homage to Dante. The inscription Dantis Poetae Sepulcrum decorates the monument's façade.

A few steps from the tomb is the Dante Museum, a journey through nine rooms retracing Alighieri's life and works through documents, plaques and interactive elements introduced during the most recent renovation. 

Scholars believe Dante was inspired by the splendid mosaics of Ravenna in his descriptions of certain places and characters in The Divine Comedy.
We therefore recommend visiting the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo to admire the extraordinary mosaic that, among depictions of the New Testament, also presents the procession of virgins and saints described in Canto XXIX of Purgatorio, in anticipation of the arrival in the Earthly Paradise of Dante’s beloved Beatrice.

Dante, the sea and nature / Classe

Leaving the city centre, we head south, to just outside Ravenna. Our destination on this second stage is the village of Classe. There are two key reasons for this: the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe, one of Ravenna’s many UNESCO World Heritage sites, and the Pineta di Classe protected area, a green paradise much loved by Dante.

Anyone passing through should undoubtedly visit the Basilica in the heart of Classe. It is the largest example of an early-Christian basilica in the world and the polychrome mosaics that adorn it are well worth admiring before proceeding south to the large pine forest.

This green lung of Ravenna is accessible from Parco I Maggio, at which point you have various options. You can explore the park, perhaps by bicycle, following a 4-kilometre loop trail that will take you to all the most fascinating places in the pine forest, or you can explore the Querce di Dante, a large oak grove that once accompanied the Poet on his meditative walks. The lush nature that characterises this beautiful and hospitable pine forest is mentioned by Dante in the Divine Comedy, as it accompanies visitors to the entrance of the Earthly Paradise.

If you have the will and the determination, you can follow the route to the wettest areas and those with the greatest environmental diversity: the Ortazzo and Ortazzino oases.

Dante, the sea and nature / Marina di Ravenna

You cannot visit the sites of Dante in Ravenna without treating yourself to a day enjoying the renowned coastline. This is where our 3-day itinerary comes to an end, strolling among the 9 beaches of Ravenna that alternate along the 35 kilometres of coastline that were very dear to the heart of our Supreme Poet, among the wild dunes, the tranquillity, and the incredible variety of plants and animals.

Whatever your ideal seaside holiday, you are sure to find a beach in Marina di Ravenna that is perfect for you.

  • Casalborsetti: Ravenna’s northernmost seaside resort. On the banks of the canal to the right of the Reno River, it offers spacious beaches and small equipped facilities, as well as a large camper van area 100 metres from the sea and a beach especially for four-legged friends.
  • Marina Romea: the most elegant beach in Ravenna, surrounded by centuries-old pine trees and ideal for tourists looking for a day at the beach alongside a hint of greenery.
  • Porto Corsini: the oldest of Ravenna’s beaches, this is perfect for water sports. It also boasts a lush pine forest behind the dunes, offering shelter from the sun between swims.
  • Marina di Ravenna: the trendiest seaside resort, with a popular marina, state-of-the-art establishments and a nightlife that will keep you up until dawn.
  • Punta Marina Terme: ideal for visitors wanting to indulge in some rest and relaxation at the spa on the beach. It also hosts an establishment that allows people with very severe physical disabilities to swim in the sea.
  • Lido Adriano: the most popular during summer thanks to its expansive golden beach, many well-equipped establishments and a jam-packed calendar of events from morning to night.
  • Lido di Dante: a small paradise for anyone seeking tranquillity far from the masses. Pristine beaches, plenty of pitches for motorhomes and a few bathing facilities.
  • Lido di Classe: closely linked to the nearby pine forest, here you can find equipped beaches, spacious free beaches and an excellent beach for four-legged friends.
  • Lido di Savio: close to Milano Marittima, this beach is a popular destination for those seeking fun and nightlife.