The northern Italian region of Emilia Romagna has announced that the city of Ravenna will be home to Royal Caribbean’s new Italy port. Situated along the Adriatic coast, the port in Ravenna, once complete, will be able to serve over 300,000 passengers annually and provide access to neighboring cities like Bologna, Forli, Rimini, and Venice.

“It is a great privilege for our city to host such a strategic investment for the entire economy of Ravenna and the Emilia-Romagna region. The project will position Ravenna as a real home port, a starting and ending point of the cruise and not just a transit point,” says Michele de Pascale, Mayor of Ravenna. “When fully operational, it will be able to accommodate up to 300,000 passengers a year and this will present opportunities for the territory in terms of pre-and post-cruise stays, in collaboration with the regional airport system, in particular with the airports of Bologna, Forli and Rimini.”

Over the past year, Ravenna has been commemorating the 700th anniversary of the death of one of the country’s greatest poets, Dante Alighieri. New tourism projects were launched and the restoration of landmarks undertaken in honor of the celebrations, which will be held through December 2021.

In advance of the anniversary, Dante’s Tomb was restored to return it to its original façade, designed by local architect Camillo Morigia in the 18th century, along with new lighting. Restoration work was also done to the nearby Quadrarco di Braccioforte, also designed by Morigia, which owes its name to an ancient legend of two faithful men who would take the oath invoking the “strong-arm” of Christ.

A few steps from the Tomb are the Dante Museum and Dante’s House.

The Dante Museum, which was inaugurated on May 15, has been rearranged thanks to a project drawn up by a scientific committee with the primary aim of creating an innovative exhibition path for domestic and international visitors to admire the existing heritage—including the box of bones, the wooden ark that house the skeleton and more—tied to Dante’s life through a series of themed rooms.

Meanwhile, the Dante’s House (Casa Dante) project integrates the Museum with a dedicated exhibition area in cooperation with national and international museum institutions. The goal is to offer guests lab activities, a reading and resting space of silent reflection both in the courtyard and the garden, as well as a specialized bookshop and “Design Gallery.” This new gallery will include a bookshop and visitors’ center, with a key focus on the importance of industrial design and visual communication.

“We are in the most welcoming area on the planet, where hospitality represents an absolute value and Ravenna offers extraordinary opportunities to American cruise passengers who will disembark and explore Ravenna. In particular, I refer to our three main strengths: the city of art, with eight Unesco monuments, the tomb of Dante Alighieri and the extraordinary mosaic and museum heritage; the beach resort facilities with wide beaches, framed by beautiful pine forests and natural dunes, and services of unparalleled quality; and the unique natural richness of the Po Delta Park,” adds de Pascale. “To these three great qualities, I add a fourth very important one: mouthwatering food and wine traditions of fresh pasta, piadina and Sangiovese. Especially for American visitors, Ravenna is indeed an authentic, complete, and unmissable ‘Made in Italy’ experience.”

Views of the Basilica de San Vitale. (Photo courtesy of the city of Ravenna.)

Designated one of Emilia Romagna’s Art Cities, Ravenna is designated a UNESCO World Heritage City of Mosaics and is home to eight UNESCO Heritage monuments:

  • Basilica of San Vitale
  • Mausoleum of Galla Placidia
  • Neonian Baptistery
  • Chapel of Sant’Andrea or Archiepiscopal Chapel
  • Arian Baptistery
  • Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo
  • Mausoleum of Theodoric
  • Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe

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