Last week we went on a little trip to Northern Italy to visit Ravenna, Forli and Rimini and explore just what the Northern region of Italy has to offer tourists. A short flight over the Alps from London Gatwick and we'd touched down in Bologna airport, from which we headed to Ravenna stopping off for a light lunch on the way. We say light lunch, technically it was a three course meal but given the other lunches we had this was most definitely light.
Once checked-in at Ravenna we headed out to explore the historical city centre, first stop gelato, well it was 32 degrees! The small town with it's pretty cobbled streets and open plazas is an easy place to while away an afternoon exploring and if history and mosaics are your thing you'll also find churches filled with impressive mosaics from different periods.
That night we had dinner La cucina dell'Acciuga, a popular seafood restaurant with nautical decor where we ate a varied selection of different fishy dishes from octopus and squid to fresh sea bass generously topped with a mound of truffles.
The next day it was up and off to school, mosaic school where we learnt how to make our very own mosaic - It's hard than it looks folks! Then it was on to Faenza, another historical city where everyone cycles the streets, old and new with a pace of life we could get used to...
Lunch was at a charming restaurant with a huge deli shop at the front, La Baita Osteria where we tasted olive oils from around the region before moving on to the local wines. Here we indulged in beautiful cold meats, tagliatelle ragu (just don't call it bolognese), spinach and ricotta ravioli and rabbit. Dinner was at Casa Artusi cookery school, named after Pellegrino Artusi who wrote “The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well” a compilation of recipes from different Italian homes during the 1800s. The book is more of an insight into the Italian way of life than just a simple recipe book with family recipes collected from all around the country. Just like mamma used to make!
Our last day was spent around Rimini and after exploring the picture perfect town we headed to San Leo a beautiful village in the countryside which has been known to inspire painters throughout history. After another huge lunch - seriously these guys know how to eat - we headed up to investigate the impressive castle and torture equipment that lies within.
That night we went to “Artisti in Piazza”, a festival of street art located in a medieval town that rises on two beautiful hills in the greenest heart of Italy. Slightly surreal but this place rocked, the atmosphere was jumping, the Aperol Spritz were in full flow, there was plenty of different acts to choose from and the partying went on all night!
A little hazy from the night before the next morning was spent catching a few rays on Rimini beach before heading back home feeling pretty satisfied having eaten 9 pasta courses in three days. When in Emilia-Romagna...
We were guests of the tourist board.