Overlooking the so-called Zone of Silence, PALAZZO DELLA PROVINCIA is one of the most imposing public buildings of Ravenna.
The current building, which has undergone several changes over the centuries, was built on the remains of a 17th-century residence owned by counts Testi Rasponi.
During the 19th century, the building was used as a hotel (Hotel Byron) for a while. It then became the headquarters of Federazione delle Cooperative and was thus burned down by fascists in 1922.
The reconstruction plan dates back to 1925 and was realised by Giulio Ulisse Arata, well-known architect trained during the Art Nouveau period.
The “new” building designed by Arata had to be in harmony with the Basilica of San Francesco and the surrounding structures, combining neo-romantic style elements with early medieval and byzantine architectural elements.
After the completion of the reconstruction, the structure has been the headquarters of the Province of Ravenna since 1928.
The inner court, made up of various gardens (also hanging ones), hosts one of the most charming corners of the city: the Rasponi Crypt.
It is a precious chapel dating back to the 18th century that never hosted mortal remains. Today, it is home to art exhibitions and hosts important mosaics coming from the area of Classe (see focus).
The rest of the garden revolves around a neo-gothic tower and is enriched by a lovely fountain and a viewpoint on Piazza San Francesco.