The Pinewood of San Vitale is the largest and northernmost part of the green belt that used to separate the city of Ravenna from the sea. In the pinewood, wet lowlands alternate with higher areas derived from ancient ranges of sand dunes (the so-called "staggi"). Clearings open in the middle of a pine, ash, white poplar and oak forest, where many trees are immersed in water to the trunk.
The luxuriant undergrowth of the forest is rich in thorn trees, blackthorns, dogwoods, brooms, butcher’s brooms, asparagus, mushrooms, dog roses and other plant species.
The Pinewoods of Classe and San Vitale, included in the natural heritage of the Po Delta Park a few decades ago, have always belonged to the local cultural heritage and traditions, and are consequently protected by regulations. Today, the Local Authorities and some agricultural cooperatives are trying to face the depletion of their natural resources by realizing afforestation campaigns.
A number of marked trails and rest areas (Ca' Vecia and Ca' Nova) equipped with observation points are scattered throughout the pinewood. In particular, some of the paths start from the Centre for Enviromental Education of the Park located in Ca' Vecia car park and lead to the heart of the pine forest and to Pialassa Baiona. From this point, it is possible to go through the pinewood on foot or by bike and visit the tiny Church of Madonna del Pino, cross the bridges on Fossatone Canal, reach the wetlands and finally watch herons, coots and ducks.
Another way of visiting the forest is riding a horse. Ridings are organized by riding schools and farms of the pinewood and of the nearby countryside.
Information for guided tours:
NatuRa Museum, Sant'Alberto (Ra). Tel. (+39) 0544528710
Infopoint Casa Monti - Alfonsine (Ra). Tel. (+39) 0544.869808
IAT (Tourist Information Centre) Ravenna. Tel. (+39) 0544 35404 - 35755
How to get there
The Pinewood of San Vitale can be reached by driving 10 km northbound from Ravenna on the 309 Strada Statale Romea. We recommend you to leave your car in the big car park close to the Oasis of Punte Alberete or drive along the Fossatone canal until Cà Vecia car park.
Edited by the editorial team
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Last modified date: 10/12/2015