Cesena, which is only about 10 miles from the Adriatic Sea and at the foot of the Apennines, was also a Roman settlement and dates back about 100 years before the founding of Forli. Its castle dates from 1380 and its Gothic cathedral from about 1500, and it also has several monasteries including one which is now a gallery.
Some of the ancient walls remain, and the Church and Monastery of Osservanza dates from 1460 is well worth a visit. The Capuchin Monastery is still a place of peace and contemplation standing above the city.
Like most cities in Italy, Cesena enjoys its festivals. The festival of St John in June each year honours its patron saint, and events devoted to agriculture, gastronomy, music and sport also give the city plenty of character.
Ravenna is truly a city that sums up all things Italian – a beautiful, historic and cultural centre which at the same time manages to have lots of fun. Situated in the north of Romagna and linked to the nearby Adriatic Sea by a canal, it was once capital of the Western Roman Empire and an important centre of early Christianity.
Roman, Gothic and Byzantine rulers have all left their mark, and from the Piazza del Popolo you can set out to discover a manageable and very likeable city where you won’t be overcome by tourist hordes. Among the many museums is San Vitale, a 6th Century Byzantine basilica with fine mosaics. Also look out for Spirito Santo church with its 16th Century portico, and the Venetian Brancaleone Castle, dating from 1457. Above all don’t miss Dante’s Tomb, resting place of one of Italy’s greatest poets who wrote The Divine Comedy.
Ravenna has some wonderful places to eat, and special events which include the Festival of Music in June/July. Being close to the sea (Marina di Ravenna and Punta Marina being the nearest resorts), it’s a good choice for families, and Ravenna also boasts a major entertainment park, Mirabilandia, open in summer with 44 attractions to choose from. It’s a complete day out – or more – for all the family.