Sant'Agata sul Santerno - Ravenna Intorno

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Sant'Agata sul Santerno


The history of Sant’Agata, one of the smallest towns of Ravenna plain, is closely related to the history of its river Santerno and to the strategic role played by this waterway in past centuries.


The most ancient information date back to the VIII century and they relate to S. Agatha, one of the seven parishes of magnum forestum, the low territory which extended to north of Faenza to the limit of swamps. It was perhaps a donation done by the Lombard Liutprando to the Bishop of Faenza.

Besides the rural parish, Sant’Agata had a Castle which was built thanks to Federico Barabarossa’s will, according to good authorities. Due to its strategic position nearby the river and at the crossing of roads connecting Ravenna, Ferrara and Bologna, the castle had been contended by Romagna and Ferrara lords and Papal States for a long time.

Of the original structure of the building only one of the two entrance donjons survived. Today, it is possible to admire its new city ‘function’ as Torre dell’orologio (bell tower). The ancient tower, called today Porta (gate), houses the original ‘bell of reason’ (1487) and, once you walk through it, it allows you to reach the square Piazza Garibaldi overlooked by two historically and architecturally important buildings.

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Frontally, it is possible to admire the neoclassical Chiesa Arcipretale. Inaugurated in 1881, it was built on the basement of a Renaissance church. The exterior wall of the current sacristy houses a fifteenth-century terracotta cornice: this is what remains of the façade of the previous church which was perhaps planned by Bramantino. Inside the church, it is also possible to admire interesting paintings of local artists like D. Tasselli of Lugo (XII century) and Orfeo Orfei of Massalombarda (XIX century).

On the left side of the Porta there is the Palazzo Comunale which still has its oblique walls (‘retaining walls’), an unmistakable medieval stamp. Experts suppose this building might be coeval with the Castle which was an integral part of it according to the nineteenth-century Napoleonic cadastre.

We also recommend the Palazzo dei Contadini, an early twentieth-century building which houses today the "a polyvalent cultural centre" and the Villa Patronale. This villa was built at the end of the last century on the basement of an eighteenth-century farmhouse which belonged to the Professor Gregorio Ricci Curbastro of Lugo, a mathematician of world renown.

In summer, the festival Estate in Piazza brightens up the delightful old town with events and local street markets on the last two Fridays of July and August.