We drove the hour and a half north to Ravenna on Friday morning. The super strada goes through the rugged Apennine mountains. It is quite the feat of engineering soaring in the air above the old Roman road. It rained steadily but as we approached the coast it really picked up. Our GPS got us into a couple of sticky situations but we finally found the Hotel Diana. It is in the old town, the people were nice, it was not luxury but comfortable.
Off we went for a beer and then to get our ticket that includes the top four sights. It was raining steadily.
FIrst up was the Battistero degli Ortodossi (O Neoniano)
Then we visited Capella di Sant’ Angrea but no pictures were allowed. It was really a museum. After that we let our stomach do the walking to Ca’ de’ Vén, a ennotecca not far away. Did I mention it was raining?
Inside were a number of rooms all different, most in vaulted rooms, some with beautiful ceilings seen below. We sat at long tables.
I had the local spaghetti type pasta similar to the Umbrian Stringozzi but much fatter. It was served with new peas and sausage in a cream sauce. Quite light and perfect for a lunch when a dinner is planned for later.
Luther got the chicken and rabbit with potatoes on a hot stone. They really got the chicken perfect, the rabbit was a little dry but the potatoes were perfect! The meats were flavored with rosemary and garlic. Too much food he said.
We retreated in the rain for showers and to recharge for dinner at L’Acciuga Osteria. Named after anchovies. And they DID have anchovies which we felt compelled to order. They came in a tin! With bread and butter. It was good but it was….anchovies. (my sister would have loved them!) They were from Spain and very expensive. We split them. Wouldn’t re-order them.
Luther had the sea bass which he loved. It was topped with a squash blossom.
I had the shrimp with asparagus.
We had a lovely local red wine. It was a San Giovesi. Then we walked back to our hotel…in the rain.
We had a good sleep and breakfast – checked out and headed for the last of the four main tourist sights – the Basilica di Sant Apollinare Nuovo. It was built in the 400s. Yep. Old. In fact Ravenna has a fascinating history. Now Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Earlier it was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until that empire collapsed in 476. It was the port for the Roman Imperial fleet. Then it became the capital of the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths until it was re-conquered in 540 by the Eastern Roman Byzantine Empire. Afterwards, the city formed the center of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna until the invasion of the Franks in 751, after which it became the seat of the Kingdom of the Lombards. To cut it short it was also variously ruled by the French, the Venetians, Germans, the Pope, etc. etc. During World War II two troops of the British 27th Lancers entered and occupied Ravenna on 5 December 1944. The town suffered very little damage.
Here are some pictures of he Basilica di Sant Apollinare Nuovo.
Almost all of the churches we saw had magnificent mosaics. Beautiful. We headed back to Umbertide in another very difficult rain storm. It got so bad that the road was flooded with so many puddles we had to slow to a crawl – plus the road just outside of Ravenna and Forli was crumbling. Italians need to do something!
Near Umbertide the rain slowed and stopped. It was quite cool and cloudy though, much different than the recent weather.
Big day tomorrow… we pickup our Porsche Boxter which we ordered 5 months ago!