Posts Tagged ‘Emilia Romagna’

Golden Day 117: The Ravenna Seaside with Pierpaolo Zoffoli of the DiRavenna Project

unnamedI’m so grateful Pierpaolo Zoffoli of the DiRavenna project  is back to give us more of his advice for exploring the Ravenna coast. Here’s his insider’s tips for a Golden Day on the Seaside of Ravenna

 

 

 

 

barche-ravenna-720x480
Start out with an adventure! Take a boat trip to Spinaroni Island. This is an amazing tour in the Pialassa, the lagoon outside Ravenna, including a World War II itinerary, where you’ll learn about Partisan Brigades, those brave ones who formed an underground Italian resistance group, fighting Nazis and fascists. Click here for more info. (2 hour trip, 15 euros).

isoladeglispinaroni_top

Or, if you’d prefer to bike in the area, you can explore Ravenna’s wonderful Pine Forest=Classe di Pineta that’s also a paradise for birdwatching (flamingos, herons, shelducks, and many more!) Click here for guided bike tours…For more info (Length:2-1/2 hours, 10 euro for bike rental and guide).

mini-1

Spend the rest of the day in Marina di Ravenna, that has a harbor and lots of beach clubs…

10483112_634085613342534_4992989776136455495_n

A great place for lunch is Molo Tre Zero — with creative cuisine by Chef Luca, featuring the local seafood!

ristorante-spiaggia-marina-di-ravenna-06

Relax on a beach in the afternoon… …

1

For aperitivo and/or dinner, go to Mowa (Viale delle Nazioni 177, 0544530234 ), for great cocktails, pizza, and fresh seafood platters..

DCIM100MEDIA

crudo-7-1024x764 Here are some places to have fun after dark:

Taverna Bukowski for good music and a lively atmosphere…

51031814_Pw6GnBN8m_YV8Lm7zvgxnoB1xhOujQhPm7UlTpkWT7o

And Hana-Bi

hanabi

Which is also a great aperitivo stop…3

and they have great concerts, (outdoors May to September), featuring indie rock and experimental music.

2

Here are some good places to stay, back in the historical center of Ravenna:

Hotel Diana,(Via Girolamo Rossi 47), where you’ll find airy, modern décor, a great staff, and wonderful breakfast buffet.

1507907_582359508518963_1743965455_n

Or

B&B Capannetti (Vicolo Capannetti 19), a charming place with a garden. 

capannetti6

 

Grazie Pierapolo! Looks like a great place for a lively summer beach scene…

Golden Day 116: The Historical Center of Ravenna with the DiRavenna Project

10313341_1495213700708447_1663139561085139147_nIt was a delight to discover the DiRavenna project, created by a group of passionate bloggers, photographers, and videographers who tell stories about the amazing Emilia Romgna town that they live in. Ravenna is a stunning spot, that was capital of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century, and then a center of the Byzantine Empire in Italy from the 6th to the 8th centuries. What remains from that glorious time are beautiful mosaics, in 8 buildings that have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Ravenna historic center is largely pedestrian only, and a wonder to explore.


Monuments paléochrétiens de Ravenne

The DiRavenna project shows off the many treasures of Ravenna, beyond the major sites, with fascinating stories, such as a recent one called Storia di Un Menu di Pesce, telling in photos and videos how a fish dinner comes from the sea to the table.

I’m grateful to two DiRavenna project creators, Davide Bertozzi and Pierpaolo Zoffoli have joined in to give us advice for a Golden Day in Ravenna’s Historic Center: 

A great start to the day in Ravenna is a stop by the Caffe Letterario (Via Armando Diaz 26), a charming, friendly place, with delicious pastries, that’s a favorite for the locals in the center…
1

Or the Pasticceria Ferrari (Via M. Gordoni 11/13), for extraordinary sweets…

RAVENNAFERRARI


You’ll find the most impressive display of mosaics in the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (Via Giuliano Argentario 22), which looks plain on the outside, 

Placidiaesterno

 

and will dazzle you when you walk inside!

mausoleum_of_galla_placidia-good_shepherd1320160683985

GALLAPLACIDA GALLAPLACIDA2

 Right next to it is the amazing Basilica di San Vitale

3

And you can also enjoy the Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra–House of the Stone Carpets (Via Barbiani). It was a palace, discovered under the Church of Sant Euphemia, and opened to the public after renovation in 2002, where you’ll discover Roman mosaics.

9

For a traditional lunch, go to Ristorante La Gardela (Via Ponte Marino 3, 05442171470, closed Thursdays, reservations recommended for outside tables). Here you can order Ravenna’s signature pasta: Cappelletti or Passatelli in brodo – during winter….

14

Or for excellent fish, including crudo, go to L’Acciuga Osteria (Viale Francesco Baracca,0544212713).

 

417135_184141138363344_1291652413_n

 

Keep wandering around the Centro Storico, perhaps stopping at the Provincia Palace, from the early 20th century, that mixes Neoclassical style with touches of Byzantine, in its Rasponi Crypt, where you’ll find MORE beautiful mosaics!

65309965

And while you’re there enjoy the Giardini Pensili–Gardens on the Roof..

giardini-pensili_panorama_ravenna-592x392

 

Take a gelato break, right near the lively Piazza del Popolo, at Sorbetteria degli Esarchi (Via IV Novembre 11).

10

Or for the chic, all-natural-ingredients-gelato-experience, have something wonderful, (Pierpaolo recommends the Bianco con Zenzero), at Milk:

RavennaMILK

Don’t miss the Tomba di Dante (Via Dante Alighieri 9, free admission), where Italy’s beloved Renaissance poet is buried.

450px-Ravenna_-_Tomba_di_Dante

When aperitivo time comes, slip into the cozy Alex & Paul wine bar (Via Alcide de Gasperi 11, 054434713)…

foto-2mod-720x320

Or the Tazza d’Oro that’s great for people watching–right in the Piazza del Popolo.

34244

Or check out the scene at the hip, intimate, Fargo (Vicolo Padenna,3332097141), named after the Coen brother’s movie, that has nice outside tables…

131354_WC1drQXHOjwxhTSwoRxhfwxHvWOkM2WH5FoJ0RxtqRU

Here are some great options for dinner:

Osteria del Tempo Perso, (Via Gamba 12, 0544215393, reservations essential), a small, romantic place, that serves excellent fish and has a great wine list…

RAVENNAOSTERIA

Or the traditional Ca’ de Ven (Via Corrado Ricci 24, 054430163, reservations recommended) where you can also enjoy local wines at the bar…

RAVENNARISTORANTE

Then at night enjoy a stroll in the Rocca Brancaleone (Via Rocca Brancaleone).

65310111


Stay over at Albergo Cappello (Via IV Novembre 41,0544219813) , a gorgeous former 16th century palace…

cappello-hotel-ravenna_STD


Grazie mille Davide and Pierpaolo for this beautiful advice! And I look forward to exploring Ravenna beyond the centro storico with your recommendations in our next post…

Golden Day 110: Delicious Modena in Emilia Romagna

We’re moving up to the northern region of Emilia Romagna: A gourmet mecca, that foodies believe has Italy’s finest cuisine.emilia

We’ll begin in the town of Modena, home to beloved Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.

balsamic vin.

For a Golden Day in Modena, begin in the Medieval town’s pedestrian only historic center,  which fans out from the Piazza Grande, the 12th century Romanesque Duomo and Tower–a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

800px-Modena_Piazza_Grande

Nearby, is the covered daily Mercato Albinelli, a football-field sized paradise of tidy stalls stocked with tempting greens, fruit, cured and fresh meats and baked goodies, graced by a lovely bronze statue in the center. Stop for a panini at Vino e Panini (Via Albinelli, #13).

398px-Fontana_La_portatrice_di_frutta_del_Mercato_coperto_di_via_Albinelli

Cobblestone streets in the Medieval historic center are lined with shops that sell luscious homemade chocolates, fresh pasta, and countless bottles of their “black gold” — balsamic vinegar.  A great stop to buy local products is Enogastronomia Giuseppe Giusti Srl(Via Farini, 75059222533)

MODENASHOP

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, slip into Pasticceria San Biagio( Via Emilia Centro,77059217284)  , that’s been famous for over a hundred years for its outstanding Marrons Glacèes and typical Modenese sweets such as the Barozzi Cake and the Amaretti of St. Geminiano.

30ad46d525ed6733a59e3ee34c5691b4

Barozzi Cake

dolci_amaretti_small

Amaretti of St. Geminiano

My most memorable time in Modena was a visit to tour the Acetaia di Giorgio. The acetaia is in the attic of the home of a charming couple–Giorgio Barbieri and his wife Giovanna. The moment Giorgio opened the door I was hit with the eye-watering aroma of fermenting vinegar!

1932591_481416391964461_656505551_o

“One conducts an acetaia, a person doesn’t own it… it’s a living thing,” Giorgio told me, as took me up three flights of stairs and showed me around his vinegar loft. At 6 feet 8 inches tall, the genteel, slim retired national volleyball player is a master conductor. Using a giant glass dropper, he meticulously decanted vinegar from one antique barrel to another, while explaining the vinegar-making process he learned from his grandmother, which involves judiciously transferring grape must from year to year to barrels made of different woods, so a variety of flavors is absorbed into the liquid.

935248_390868377685930_1561450427_n

Barbieri is one of fifty-five producers approved by a government run consortium to make what is considered  “real” balsamic, labeled Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena, and stamped DOP, which stands for Denomination of Protected Origin. A rigorous testing process must be undergone to meet the consortium’s standards. Barbieri’s vinegars, which he ages from twelve to twenty-five years, have always passed inspection.

577746_217317315041038_448967385_n

“I’ve never had real balsamic vinegar before,” I said, amazed, when I tasted a demitasse spoonful he offered me. The thick, syrupy condiment burst with a balance of sweet and sour flavors that didn’t come close to what’s called balsamic in the states. After seeing the meticulous production process, and the daily dedication this tradition takes, I’ll never balk at paying for the real thing again.

MAIN_ACETO-BALSAMICO-TRADIZIONALE-di-MODENA_2-746376

 

saladGiovanna made lunch in their downstairs dining room that opens to a garden. Aceto balsamico was featured in every delicious dish, including pumpkin tortellini with sage butter and an arugula and apple salad. This lunch remains up there with one of the best meals I’ve ever had in Italy!

20090203tortelliniwithbrownbutter

We had a light dinner that night at Trattoria del Giardinetto (Piazzale Boschetti 1, 059234448),  where you can enjoy such classics as Gnocco Fritto di Modena (fried pasta pillows) or housemade tigelle (small savory flatbreads) with cured meats.

gnocco-fritto-prosciutto-modena-30-mesi-cinta-senese-36-maiale-nero-di-parma-30-640x426

For Modena Tourist Info, click here. And you can also experience real balsamic in the town of Reggio Emilia, also consorzium controlled–Click here for info.

For more on the Modena Market, click here for Travels with Tricia’s beautiful Blog Post