Faenza - Ravenna Intorno

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Ravenna Intorno
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Between the upper plain of Ravenna and the open valley of the Apennines, lies Faenza, a beautiful city of art, famous during the Renaissance period for its ceramic works.


The name itself has become synonymous with majolica in many languages – including French (faïance) and English (faience)– evidence of the prominence throughout Europe of the Faenza area for this type of art and indeed it is still at the cutting edge of majolica production.

The historical production of Faenza majolica is recognised as one of the high points of artistic creativity with ceramics. Ceramic art lives today in Faenza in the splendid International Museum of Ceramics, where the most significant collections in existence are preserved including examples from every geographical area and every historical period, from old world amphorae to modern works by Chagall and Picasso, with a rich section dedicated to Faenza Ceramics from the Renaissance. In September and October, the international exhibitions dedicated to ceramic art, contemporary and antique, bring many artists, collectors and lovers of majolica to Faenza.

Moreover, dozens of Artisanal craftshops are active today where one can purchase unique crafts unavailable elsewhere.

The urban layout dates back to the original Roman orthogonal plan, which was, in large measure, preserved by the medieval and modern cities. The two large rectangular spaces beside the Piazza del Popolo and Piazza della Libertà host the most notable buildings in Faenza and the historical market takes place there on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.

Piazza del Popolo, bordered by two elegant arcaded porticoes, adjoins the Palazzo del Podestà and the Town Hall, both of medieval origin but transformed radically over time. On the eastern side of Piazza della Libertà stands an imposing Cathedral, one of the highest expressions of Renaissance art in Romagna, characterized by its unfinished façade. Inside many works of the Renaissance period are preserved, among which is the most celebrated piece, The Ark of San Savinio. In front of the Cathedral is the loggia called "Portico dei Signori and Orefici”, first built in the seventeenth century and partially revised in Art Nouveau style in the early years of last century, and the Fountain of the Square in Baroque style. Between the two squares, stands the Clock Tower, the result of the reconstruction of a seventeenth-century tower signalling the crossroads of the Cardo and the Decumano roads of the Ancient Roman Via Faventia.

Market: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday morning - Piazza del Popolo e Piazza dei Martiri della Libertà

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Among the many historic buildings in the centre are Palazzo Milzetti, the richest and most significant Neoclassical building in the region, and the Teatro Masini (1780-1787), one of the most beautiful theatres in Italy, which can be accessed through the frescoed vault of Molinella.


Those who want to see art collections of great interest may also visit the Pinacoteca Comunale, the Diocesan Museum, the Bendandi Museum and the Manfrediana Library.

Not only is Faenza a city of history, art, and architecture, but it is also a green city. Do not miss the view at the Botanical Garden - adjacent to the Civic Museum of Natural Sciences - which houses over 170 species of wild plants from Romagna, after which you can take a pleasant break at Bucci Park, with its 8 acres of undulating, green meadows and ponds.

Most spectacular among the traditional events is the Palio del Niballo, a magnificent tournament between five knights representing the local citizens, which, in June, envokes the troubles and struggles of Faenza in the Manfredi era.

The region of Faenza is reknowned for its traditional food and wine which can be appreciated in the cosy restaurants in the historic center or in the green hills around Faenza.

Around the city, we recommend a visit to the delightful Oriolo Tower, with its hexagonal tower with a "double point" built in 1476 by Manfredi or to the lush valleys of Samoggia and Lamone, elegant noble villas from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

For lovers of outdoor life, there are many possibilities for hiking in the nearby area of the Karst Parco della Vena del Gesso, where one can discover the extraordinary Karst morphologies of dolines, canyons, and swallows. Of great interest, also, are the tours to the Parco Carsico della Grotta Tanaccia and the Parco Naturale Carnè.