The territory of Ravenna, though highly anthropized, has unique and charming natural environments. Most of them are protected areas or nature reserves included in the Po Delta regional park, where many interesting animal and plant species grow inside diverse habitats such as valleys, salt pans, lagoons and forests.
The extraordinary wetlands of Punte Alberete and Pialassa Baiona are the evidence of ancient marshes that once surrounded Ravenna. In these areas, the quiet flooded forests and the rustling reed bushes represent a shelter for rare birds. The winding mouth of Bevano stream, flowing freely among living sand dunes continuously forming and reshaping, is the only uncontaminated mouth in the northern Adriatic region.
Now belonging to the city of Ravenna, in the past the Pinewoods of San Vitale and Classe were property of the two main Benedictine monasteries of Ravenna. Their green umbrella pines, the scented blooms of their hawthorns and the still waters mirroring heron wings are still permeated with the original charm of the pinewood that Dante and Botticelli, Boccaccio and Byron, Oscar Wilde and D’Annunzio had perceived.
The numerous and big parks of Ravenna are equipped with many facilities, especially for children: some examples are the Public Gardens, home to the Astronomical Observatory, the Park of Theoderich, surrounding the Mausoleum of the great king of the Ostrogoths, the Rasponi Garden and its forgotten herbs and finally the Park of Rocca Brancaleone, where various tree species flourish.
The equipped sandy beaches of Ravenna – stretching between sea, pinewoods and lagoons over a 35 km coastline – offer multiple and varied holiday options.
Just a few kilometres off the coast is Paguro Platform, a protected area of great scientific interest, a refuge for marine fauna and flora, as well as a diver’s paradise. In the hinterland rises the NatuRa Museum (Alfredo Brandolini Natural Science Museum of Ravenna), housed in the restored Palazzone in Sant’Alberto, containing wide collections of local fauna and special sections dedicated to the history of the pinewoods in Ravenna.