The Pine forest of San Vitale is maybe one of the most characteristic natural landscapes in the area. With more than 10,000 hectares, it is a cornerstone of this territory as well as the green lung of the city.
The forest was created around year 1000 by the wise monks of San Vitale. It had to stop the advance of the sea sand and at the same time guarantee a fruitful harvest to the monastery. It later passed to the local noble families, and, after that, it was the bone of contention and victim of a wild deforestation. Over time this pine forest became a municipal property, becoming a huge public green area north of Ravenna.
It is marked by a great variety of plants, such as oaks, English oaks, holm oaks, ash trees and poplars, and a rich undergrowth of asparagine and hawthorn, a precious heart tonic. the Pine Forest of San Vitale is the delight of the so-called “pineroli” — the pine nut collectors.
For some decades now, the Pine Forest of San Vitale is part of the Regional Po Delta Park and it is expanding. Thanks to the operations of reforestation by the Municipal Administration and some local Farm Cooperatives, flora and fauna are finally regaining their spaces.
The whole area can be visited on foot or by bike departing from the forest huts Ca’ Vecia and Ca’ Nova. You may choose one of the many guided excursions organized by the Museum NatuRa of Natural Sciences “Alfredo Brandolini” in Sant’Alberto (RA), or explore the pine forest on a horse, contacting the stables and the farm holiday facilities in the area.