The Royal Caribbean Group (RCL) has been given the green light to revitalize the port of Ravenna (Porto Corsini) with a new cruise terminal on the Adriatic Sea. The terminal will begin to welcome up to 300,000 visitors per year in spring 2024 and will be able to accommodate two large cruise ships at the same time.
This approval positions this seaside town to serve not only as a port of call but also as a home port for the ships that will start and finish their itineraries there. The terminal will complement the Port Authority’s new coastal green space project, the Parc des dunes.
Ravenna: Beyond the port
Ravenna is an attractive tourist destination in itself. Located in the Emilia Romagna region in northeastern Italy, the city offers convenient access to the regional airports of Bologna, Forli and Rimini. The port is also a starting point offering a regular ferry service to Brindisi (Apulia), Catania (Sicily) and Greece.
Capital of the province of the same name, Ravenna is probably best known for its extraordinary art and architecture, including the stunning mosaics in the Basilica of San Vitale and the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo. The Neonian Baptistery, one of the city’s eight UNESCO monuments, is considered one of the most complete examples of an early Christian baptistery. The Ravenna Art Museum displays modern and contemporary ceramics.
The tomb of the great poet Dante Alighieri, considered the father of the Italian language, can be visited in the “Zona del Silenzio” in the city center. His memory is kept alive with the opening of the intimate Dante Museum and the creation of intriguing itineraries. Additionally, cultural events and exhibitions throughout the year celebrate the 700th anniversary, including readings from his Divine Comedy.
Ravenna’s coastline is dotted with beaches and nine resorts, and is just an hour’s train ride from another iconic coastal town, Rimini. Director and screenwriter Federico Fellini was born and died in Rimini and the city has recently revitalized the cultural attractions that showcase his life and work, including the new Fellini Museum.
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy visiting the Po Delta Park with its unique vegetation and wildlife.
Of course, the whole region of Emilia Romagna is a Mecca for culinary travelers: it is the epicenter of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Prosciutto di Parma, traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena and mortadella. However, Ravenna also offers an array of local specialties, such as piadina di Romagna, cappelletti or passatelli in broth and caramelized figs with Squacquerone cheese. Of course, everything can be accompanied by a Sangiovese Superiore wine. Many of these products can be enjoyed in a wide variety of restaurants or at Mercato Coperto, the city’s modern dining room.
Ravenna is also an ideal perch for those who want to explore the beautiful landscapes and small villages nearby, including Brisighella (known for its olive oils), Faenza (for its ceramics) and Cervia (for its salt marshes). Comacchio, a picturesque town with lagoons, is called “Little Venice” and is known for its tasty eels.
Speaking of Venice
The port of Venice has been a major hub for Mediterranean cruises. But for nearly a decade, concerned scientists and local officials have voiced concerns about port congestion and the damage large ships are causing to Venice’s fragile lagoon ecosystem. This new port will help relieve cruise ship traffic as Ravenna is only two hours south of Venice.
The entire Ravenna port construction project is based on principles of sustainability and a strong public-private partnership. The project is expected to generate new employment opportunities for 100 to 200 people per day and promote tourism throughout the region yet to be discovered.
“Royal Caribbean Group has decided to focus on the port of Ravenna, although in the midst of a pandemic, to open up a new range of options in the Adriatic and throughout the Mediterranean, for its traffic and for the cruise industry. in general, ”commented Daniele Ross, president of the Ravenna Port Authority, in a press release announcing the project. When completed, the new port will serve as a gateway for exploring Italy’s Emilia Romagna region, both before and after cruises.