Ravenna is not only a city of culture, art and history.
In fact, there are plenty of activities that the city centre and its surroundings offer to satisfy the needs of everyone, also as regards physical activity: among municipal parks, green areas in the city (and beyond) and bathing areas, there are many places where it is possible to take in the urban and rural landscape while keeping fit.
Among the perfect places for jogging or brisk walking are certainly the following:
The Darsena di Città (located between via Trieste, the mobile bridge, via delle Industrie and the Railway Station) is an artificial basin built at the end of the twentieth century for industrial and commercial reasons that connects the city centre to the sea through the Canale Candiano.
Today this area is undergoing a profound urban redevelopment programme called “Darsena di Città” (City Dock) which is designed to create a single territorial system capable of upgrading the role of Ravenna as a “gateway to the sea” through reconversion and reclamation.
The project is a fundamental part of the General Regulatory Plan of 1993, which is already being implemented and which envisages the experimentation and implementation of innovative urban planning measures over a period of thirty years.
The objectives include, for example, the creation of large green areas and the redevelopment of the railway station. All the activities envisaged in the plan are aimed at recovering and relaunching the area in terms of residential, commercial and service sectors.
Among the most successful redevelopments already completed is the Darsena Pop Up – a place where sports, commercial, research and leisure activities coexist in a single hub.
The walkway along the canal, inaugurated in 2020, is where you can take a walk in the shade of the trees, enjoy the view in one of the rest areas with benches and follow the literary stops where you can read quotations from well-known authors inspired by Ravenna.
Finally, the new subway linking the Darsena to Piazzale Farini, must certainly get a mention, where it is possible to admire the remains of the wall that formed the ancient wharf. In recent years, in the area alongside these works, new shops and restaurants have sprung up, contributing to the development of Ravenna’s Darsena.
The Ravenna Hippodrome is located in the Darsena district and is part of a larger sports complex. It was built between 1928 and 1931 on the site where Piazza D’Armi used to be. Its new location prompted the creation of public gardens on the site of the former nineteenth century hippodrome.
The multi-sports field and the new hippodrome were inaugurated in 1932 and, from that moment on, the local population nicknamed it “E’ Tond” or “the round”, by virtue of its shape.
As well as hosting equestrian sporting competitions, the centre is also used for athletics and football matches, and has been the scene of various events, including the Ravenna leg of the Giro d’Italia in 1955 and the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1986.
The track is 805 metres long and about 19 metres wide, the stables are equipped with 180 boxes, while the public is housed in a grandstand with a capacity of about 800 seats.
Baronio Park is a new and important part of the city’s parkland. Built on a large open area near the historic centre, it covers about 17 hectares and is the largest urban wood in Ravenna. Thanks to its favourable position, it acts as a meeting point between the historic centre and the residential area, making it a real gateway to the city.
It is also characterised by the presence of a track – named after the footballer Gionata Mingozzi – where you can run while enjoying the view of a small lake where ducks often gather.
The creation of a new urban green lung was strongly desired both to enhance the landscape and improve the quality of life, and to give the citizens a real centre for community gatherings and social integration.
The woodland, which extends all around the park, encircling it, is only broken by access points which are there to accompany visitors, immersing them straight away in the greenery. About 4,000 tree species make up the fabric of the park, with a prevalence of oaks, maples, ash trees, poplars, elms, apple trees and flowering cherries.
Other ideal places for jogging or walking are:
- Parco Teodorico: a large expanse of green next to the mausoleum bearing the same name, where it is possible to exercise in the midst of vegetation, art and with the chance to take in some magnificent views, designed by the architect Boris Podrecca.
- Public Gardens: a small green lung in the city centre of Ravenna, formerly the city hippodrome, where it is possible to find shelter from the sun thanks to the trees that grow in the manner of the classic Italian garden.
- Pinewoods: there are numerous pinewoods near Ravenna where you can exercise in the peace of unspoilt nature. The closest one is the Marina di Ravenna pinewood, where you can run while exploring German bunkers from the Second World War.
- The seafront: what could be better than running while listening to the sound of the waves? Here you can also run along the shoreline, wonderful and quiet in winter, crowded and colourful in summer.