Food and Wine - Ravenna
Green, light blue, gold

These are the colours of the province of Ravenna.

Light blue to indicate one of the treasures of the area: water, that of the calm Adriatic Sea, the pure water of the spa springs and the precious water of the rivers which make the land so fertile.

Green is the colour of the landscape, which varies so much within the space of just a few kilometres. From the coastal strip, made up of pinewood forests, dunes, salty lagoons, that distinguishes the southern part of the Po Delta Park, one passes onto the plain, marked by vegetable gardens, vineyards and orchards surrounding small artistic towns. Then one moves further inland towards the first line of hills, dotted here and there with Medieval villages, to the outcrops and ravines, and to the woodlands of the rougher terrain.

Finally comes the gold of rare treasures - first and foremost Ravenna, whose mosaics have trapped the light of ancient Byzantium, and Faenza, another town synonymous with art, that of the majolica ware which has made it famous throughout the world.
...delight the palate
Split between sea and land, Ravenna cuisine consists of succulent grilled mutton and pork chops, tasty fish "rustide", home-made cappelletti and tagliatelle, tagliolini and fish fries, always-present piadina with dressed-pork products, and fresh cheeses, including pecorino. To enhance the flavour of the cheeses, these are best accompanied by woodland or pinewood honey. Woodlands and pinewoods also provide excellent truffles. Among the most excellent products is the "sweet" salt of Cervia, extracted using a traditional century-old system; the extra-virgin olive oil of Brisighella, a true delight for the palate; the Igp shallot of Riolo Terme to be enjoyed raw or under oil and fried; the aromatic herbs of the Garden of Casola Valsenio, where forgotten fruits such as cornelian cherries, jujubes, "volpine" pears, rose apples and cane apples can be found. The list of wines leaves little to be desired, starting with Albana Docg, most appreciated in dessert-wine version, and then the controlled denomination of origin wines: Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Cagnina and Pagadebit. Other fine regional products include grappa and distilled liqueurs, vegetables and peaches, apricots, pears, cherries and sweet nectarines.

...delight the eye
Very much alive in Ravenna is mosaic art, taught in prestigious schools. The city's mosaic artists present original modern pieces or reproductions of old mosaics; another prized product is Byzantine embroidery, with the workshops of master embroiderers also to be found at Russi and Brisighella. At Cervia, salt is packed in jute bags, in ceramic pots or in the fir-tree baskets that reproduce the containers used by the salt-pan workers when the salt was extracted manually. In the numerous craft workshops of Faenza, traditional and contemporary ceramics can be bought or courses can be attended to learn the art of clay-working. At Villanova di Bagnacavallo wetland herbs and local woods are worked. Hand-printed fabrics are made both on the plain and in the hills which feature traditional rust-coloured designs which are part of the traditional decorative arts of Romagna.

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