It is a small undertaking: from Classe to Cervia, along a path that winds through fields, lagoon valleys, and pine forests.
Usually it is done by mountain bike, we instead have decided to do it on foot.
All you need is good company, a couple litres of water and comfortable walking shoes. Like a stop-over on the Camino de Santiago, or of the Via Francigena. But there is no need to go so far away.
We start from Ravenna, cross into the area of Cervia and then come back, this time by train though.
We leave early in the morning, from the parking lot in front of the Classis Museum of Ravenna.
We take the path beyond the railroad and head straight towards the pine forest. There are only fields around us, quiet and motionless. A few cyclists pass us, waving. Above us there is an immaculate sky and a glorious sun.
After little more than a half hour we reach the Pine Forest of Classe, and enter into the vegetation, enjoying its centuries-old coolness.
This ancient forest, which also cradled Dante Alighieri, will keep us company for almost the entirety of the first part of the journey.
Every now and then a stream of water appears in between the scrub, or a bend of that vast lagoon that unceasingly traces the coast of Ravenna.
We arrive at the height of Fosso Ghaia and Parco 1° Maggio. We cross the bridge that separates our itinerary from another, just as beautiful, that deviates to the East, towards the sea, and runs along the Bevano river up until its mouth. A wild and magic place, along which flocks of cyclists and hikers armed with walking sticks babble.
We head even further south and follow the pine forest along its edge, a few meters from the wet and brackish fields of Ortazzo and Ortazzino.
The landscape has changed again. Calm waters, small wild islands, a few little birdwatching towers. The sunflower fields and dense forest seem far away, and yet we left less than two hours ago.
After the pine forest, we then pass through the Bevanella and then the Bevano river, thanks to two splendid bridges.
The landscape changes again. A larger stream that curves slightly towards the North. The “Padelloni”, or the fishing huts, solemn and in good order dot the shore, waiting for a full net.
Not far away is the Cubo Magico Bevanella Visitor Centre which stands at the intersection between the stream with the Pergami Canal.
A dirt road begins here and crosses via dei Lombardi, the street that connects the town of Savio with Lido di Classe.
We are halfway through our journey. If you wanted to, from here you could walk straight to the town and take a train or bus to return to Ravenna. But fear has never gotten anyone anywhere. We therefore continue towards Cervia.
We walk along the canal and reach the mouth of the Savio river, then cross the bridge on via Bagnacavallo to enter Lido di Savio.
We stay in the town center for a bit and then go back into the countryside to get back on via Marina. In the distance we see a dark green wall of the Pine forest of Milano Marittima.
By now it’s noon and the sun makes its presence known. We joyfully welcome the shade provided by the tree tops that signal the end of the Comune’s territory.
We take a long path deep within the pines, almost a sort of tunnel in the impenetrable woods, dug out for humans in the heart of nature.
In some sections there are signs of whirlwinds that some time ago created some circular clearings and thin paths devoid of vegetation in the otherwise thick forest. The landscape is yet again unexpected. A scene of clear lines, a stark contrast. Man has tidied it and waits for nature to take its course.
We pass the golf courses and arrive in Cervia, following the canal that runs along via Jelenia Gora. Colorful little huts measure the length of the road at regular intervals. The early afternoon peace is interrupted every so often by the sound of water and some cicadas.
We detour South again into the pine forest and walk along Via Stazzone up until the cemetery. Shortly after we come face to face with the beautiful Cervia canal and see on our left the MUSA – Museum of Salt and the San Michele Tower.
We still have a little time left before the train departs. We venture into the sunny center of Cervia and allow ourselves to enjoy a piadina romagnola in Piazza Pisacane and rest our legs and back, after our walk that lasted more than 5 hours.
We take the train home tired but radiant. To our right is the intense green of the pine forest, a little further the sea, a thin blue line that flavours the air with a light taste of salt.
We get off at the train station of Classe, which is not very crowded on beach Sundays.
A different type of Sunday for us, but a very beautiful one.
A small journey to recount.