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Immerse yourself in nature

A journey through the pine forests of Emilia-Romagna

14 hours
Best Period
April, September

If you love pristine, green nature, prepare to be enchanted by the natural oases of Romagna. We recommend a day trip to discover the two great green lungs of the Romagna coast: two centuries-old pine forests located in the Emilia-Romagna Po Delta Park, which extends from the Natural Mesola Forest Reserve on the border with Veneto to the Pineta di Cervia pine forest.

In one day, you can explore the pine forest that Dante Alighieri mentions in the Divine Comedy when, together with Virgil, he enters the Earthly Paradise through a beautiful, inviting forest: the exact opposite of the dark forest in the first Canto of Inferno. This is the Pinewood of Classe, south of Ravenna, a place that still today enchants visitors with its precious ecosystem.

Further south, you can immerse yourself in the equally charming and fascinating Pinewood of Cervia pine forest, 200 hectares of woodland to explore at a leisurely pace, just a stone's throw from the Classe Salt Pans, the icon of this seaside resort on the border with Milano Marittima. Ready for a relaxing immersion in nature after exploring the artistic masterpieces of Ravenna? This is where it begins - the city in Emilia-Romagna that boasts eight UNESCO World Heritage monuments.

A plunge into the pine forest / Pineta di Classe

From the centre of Ravenna, you can reach the village of Classe in 10 minutes and continue for 4 kilometres to Parco 1 Maggio, from which you can access Pinewood of Classe. Along the way, we recommend stopping at the Old Port of Classe and admiring the wonderful early-Christian Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe.

From Parco 1 Maggio, you can walk or cycle among the Querce di Dante oak trees, along a 4-kilometre loop through the entire pine forest. Following the signs, you will soon reach the bridge over the Fosso Ghiaia canal and, shortly afterwards, you can turn right to find yourself facing, in quick succession, one of the majestic pine trees and the centuries-old oaks associated with the memory of Dante.

At the edge of the pine forest, turn left to reach the wetter areas, where the Bevano river and the two courses of the Bevanella and Acquara rivers run parallel. Turn left again, following the park boundary, to the lookout tower over the Ortazzo and Ortazzino oases. These areas host the greatest environmental diversity in the park, letting you see many birds up close, including the resident flamingos.

Following the path through the ancient pines, you will find yourself back at the starting point. A short distance away, you can stop by the Village Of Storks, an important White Stork repopulation project.

A plunge into the pine forest / Pineta di Cervia

Right after lunch, it’s time to take the Adriatic Highway southbound. In 15 minutes, you will reach the entrance to the Pinewood of Cervia, the second stop on our journey through the green lungs of Romagna.

There are several main access points to the pine forest, but we recommend the one on Via Stazzone, so that, before heading into the pine trees, you can tour the Butterfly House on Viale Jelenia Gora. This delightful botanical garden is home to over 60 species of butterflies from around the world, who live in a tropical climate all year long.

At the entrance to the Pineta di Cervia, you will find notice boards illustrating the routes available, the most interesting areas in this green oasis, and the areas equipped for taking a break or enjoying the small outdoor gyms available to visitors.

You can also explore this pine forest on foot or by bicycle. Up until the last century, this enchanted place was much more extensive, but two world wars and an overly aggressive agricultural policy mean only 200 hectares have survived, which are now protected. From the moment you enter, you will feel the love and attention that the municipal administration has been devoting to this pine forest for decades.

Dense trails allow you to explore the length and breadth of this green paradise from dawn to dusk. You can read a book under the centuries-old trees and stop by the open-air classroom to learn fascinating facts about the pine forest and the rich ecosystem it hosts.

If you want to observe the ancient pine trees from a unique vantage point, the CerviAvventura adventure park is nestled in the heart of the pine forest. This offers you the opportunity to walk along footbridges between the pine trees and enjoy a few hours of fun, while fully respecting the nature around you.

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