Conference Secretariat:

Viale L. C. Farini 14
48121 Ravenna
Tel. +39 0544 219418
Fax +39 0544 39347


IES srl
Z.I. Settevene
Via Cassia km 36, 400
Nepi (VT) - 01036 Italy
Tel. +39 0761 527976
Fax +39 0761 527945

Around the City

The Marshlands

The marshlands that are an important part of the Ravenna landscape are considered the most important nature zone in northern Italy for the number of migratory birds that winter there. These marshlands differ substantially from those found in the Comacchio area, as they are partly freshened by the influx of the Reno river, and are fortified with artificial banks to promote the development of fisheries.
Among the most important:

  • the Valle di San Clemente di PrimÓro is undoubtedly the most complete and impressive of the Ravenna marshlands.
    It alone covers a thousand hectares and is actually the continuation towards the sea of the Comacchio marshlands; in 1981 it was declared by the Ramsar Convention to be a marshy area of international importance, along with the zone known as Pialassa Baiona.
    It consists of: a wooded section with pines and oaks alternating with farmland (planted with grape vines and meadows), a large fishing lagoon and industrial plantations of poplars.
    The fauna is well represented: coots, cranes, swamp hawks; in the woods: woodcocks and wood pigeons; pheasants in the farmed zones, lapwings and plovers in the meadows.
  • The Valle Furlana where great numbers and types of species spend the winter, constituting an authentic gene pool. Among these are the red-throated loon, the kingfisher, pink seagulls and black-footed partridges.
    The Valle delle Punte and the Valle delle Mandriole , once parts of the ancient flood tide lagoon, are now separated by the Lamone river that divides them into two radically different morphological structures:
  • The Valle delle Punte is a varied environment: it has ponds, canals, prairies, dense woods, cane fields; the vegetation consists of an incredible variety of rare plants (yellow iris, orchids). The predominant fauna is the egret.
  • The Valle delle Mandriole , an open environment with vast cane fields, is considered the ideal bird habitat for species like the swamp hawk.

Regional Park of the Po Delta

This is the largest of the Italian regional parks; it includes the southernmost sector of the enormous Po Delta, the most important marshlands of the lower Emilia-Romagna plain and the mouth of many of the rivers that originate in the Apennines.
This territory, despite the large-scale alterations wrought by man, has preserved much of its precious marshy environment, with pinewoods , woodlands, pristine beaches that are still intact.
The zone is densely inhabited by many varieties of fauna, particularly birds that build their nests and spend several months there during their migration.
There are also a number of important artistic and historical sites in the area including Comacchio, Pomposa, Sant' Apollinare in Classe.

Pialasse Ravennati

The process of transformation of the land into swamp by the Apennines' rivers and the Po has progressively let to the isolation of increasing areas of the sea shallows, creating many "lagoons" adjacent to the sea.
The flow of fresh water is counterbalanced by the tides that bring salt water in through the "channels" that open in the sandy strips.
It is a spectacular landscape, very impressive for the amplitude of the lagoon; the "Pialassa della Baiona" has been recognized as a "marshland of international importance" according to the terms of the convention of Ramsar for its function of safeguarding the aquatic fowl.

The Pinewoods

In 1905, Senator Luigi Rava drew up the "Law for protection of Ravenna's beachfront pinewoods"; the draft law consisted of just two articles, very brief but highly effective: by declaring them government property not for sale or development, the law activated policies of conservation, care and expansion of the pinewoods.
Undoubtedly, it was thanks to this law, far-sighted even for today, that although in many sections they are adjacent to important industrial and manufacturing zones, the pinewoods are still standing and have preserved their charm intact, standing out as the characterizing element of the landscape and as an important nature area.
Among the most celebrated are those of San Vitale and Classe, the existence of which can be attributed to the Roman settlers who brought the domestic pine tree to Romagna to supply the fleet based in Ravenna with lumber.
The San Vitale pinewood is interesting for different water-tables, giving rise to the development of many different species of bushes and shrubs; the underbrush is very extensive in this woodland.
Another peculiar feature is the presence of trees whose trunks emerge from the water.
The strip of floodland that runs through the wood is populated by ducks and egrets.

The Cervia Saltpan

Historical notes:
The origins of the saltpan are very ancient, possibly Greek or even Etruscan. They cover an area of 827 hectares three kilometres from the sea, bordered and defended by the canal that surrounds them for a length of fourteen kilometres.
A continuous influx of sea water is provided by the Milano Marittima canal; rainwater is drained off through the Porto-Canale canal. The saltpan is government property and the zone is included within the perimeter of the regional Po Delta park.
The political and economic history of Cervia has revolved for over a thousand years around its saltpan. At the present time, it employs sixty workers in its production plant.
Since their origins, saltpans have always constituted an extraordinary ecosystem, now protected by many laws designed to safeguard their unquestionable environmental function.
Visitors can tour the ancient "Camillone" salt pit and watch the harvesting of the salt according to the old methods used until 1959; after that time salt was extracted using a harvesting system similar to the methods used in France, with mechanical equipment.
The average annual production of salt is 28,000 tons.

The great saltpan of Cervia, characterized by silvery ponds in the winter and blinding white heaps of salt in the late summer, has always been frequented by the many migratory species in transit over the Italian peninsula at all times of the year.
In the winter, the fresher ponds in the northern sector of the saltpan are crowded with many species of birds typical of briny lagoons, while in the spring they fill up with stilt birds of every size and species.
Among the many species of birds it is possible to observe the rare sea partridge, the avocet and the lapwing.
An interministry decree declared the saltpans a "natural animal reproduction reserve" in 1979.

The Beaches of Ravenna
Extending over 35 kilometres, the Adriatic coast near Ravenna boasts some of the most popular beach resorts in Italy: between the sea and the pinewoods, the beaches belong to the municipalities of Ravenna and Cervia. In addition to the long beachfronts, they are characterized by the quality of the services they offer and by a hotel organization that receives hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. There are numerous opportunities for relaxation and enjoyment offered by the beach resorts where tourism is the main source of income.

  • Casalborsetti
    At the far end of the province of Ravenna, just before the Reno river marks its border with nearby Comacchio and Ferrara, Casalborsetti has preserved the characteristics of the ancient fishing village it once was.
  • Marina Romea
    This is one of the favourites of visitors who enjoy taking long walks in the pinewoods; a few nice hotels, a peaceful atmosphere, the sports facilities and the sea make Marina Romea one of the most elegant seaside resorts.
  • Marina di Ravenna
    This is the "historical" site along the Ravenna coastline: hotel and restaurant traditions go back more than a hundred years. It is the favourite of lovers of seafood and offers many attractions for vacationers. The boat harbour has a capacity of about 800 boats.
  • Punta Marina
    Located in an enormous pinewood, with broad sandy beaches equipped with all the comforts, Punta Marina is also the site of a thermal spa equipped for the therapeutic use of sea water.
  • Lido Adriano
    This is one of the resorts preferred by young people for their holidays, thanks largely to the numerous campsites and the vicinity to Ravenna (just 10 km); the town glitters with shops and amusements, and is also the site of an international school of mosaic .
  • Lido di Dante
    The smallest of Ravenna's beach resorts, it is a paradise for campers and those who like to spend their vacations in a flat immersed in the woods near the beach.
  • Lido di Classe
    A few kilometres from the basilica of Sant' Apollinare in Classe, this modern resort has excellently equipped beaches. It is located near the mouth of the Bevano, an extraordinary nature area with pinewoods and open beaches.
  • Lido di Savio
    Lido di Savio has more hotels than any beach resort in the municipality of Ravenna, as well as sports facilities for tennis, equitation and boating.
  • Cervia/Milano Marittima
    A major beach resort with broad, sandy beaches, salt marshes and spas; with about 500 hotel complexes, 5000 flats and a dozen campsites, spas, an 18-hole golf course, cinemas and a sailing school, it is undoubtedly the best equipped tourist resort on the Adriatic coast of Ravenna.
    In the evening, the pine-bordered streets are lit up by the glittering shops and night spots. All this makes Cervia/Milano Marittima one of the most popular tourist resorts in Europe.