Italy 2003 pt. 5 – First steps in Ravenna (ENG)

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(Other parts of the report from Italy: first, second, third, fourth.)

Next trip, this time to the north to Bellaria-Igea Marina, was to Ravenna, the capital of the following: Western Roman Empire in the years 402-476, the Kingdom of Ostrogoths, Ravenna Exarchate (Byzantine province on the Apennine Peninsula) in the years 540-751, and part of the Papal States in the years 765-1859. Ravenna was originally a seaside town, but as centuries passed, alluvial sediments would cut it off from the sea if it were not for the construction of an 11-kilometer long canal (the longest in Italy) at the beginning of the 18th century. Ravenna is a city with a stunning number of historic churches.

The first one we saw was the Basilica di Santa Maria in Porto. It is a minor basilica built in the 16th century.

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Source: own. Photo licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

The façade in its current form was built in 1784 by Camillo Morigia, to whom we owe the contemporary appearance of the Dante’s tomb and the clock tower – both of which we saw later.

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Italy 2003 pt. 3 – San Leo (ENG)

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(Other parts of the report from Italy: first, second, fourth, fifth.)

After visiting Rimini, the next trip was to the castle in San Leo, on the mountainous border of the Emilia-Romagna and Marche regions.

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Italy 2003 pt. 2 – Rimini (ENG)

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(Other parts of the report from Italy: first, third, fourth, fifth.)

Rimini (formerly called Ariminum) is located just a few kilometers from Bellaria-Igea Marina. Despite the earthquake in 1672 and World War II bombings, many monuments from earlier eras are preserved there.

We started the tour from one of the two main markets of the city, Piazza Tre Martiri (Three Martyrs Square), named after three guerrilla men named Luigi Nicolò, Adelio Pagliarani and Mario Capelli, hanged by Nazi German occupiers on August 16, 1944. As you will soon see, this square was also a place of other dramatic events.

On the square there is the 16th-century Torre dell’Orologio (clock tower), with the eighteenth-century calendar with the signs of the Zodiac and the phases of the moon. On the lowest level there is a portico which middle, blind arch commemorates the inhabitants of Rimini who died during World War II. I saw similar monuments in various cities of Italy and France, which I think proves false the popular statement that national martyrdom is a unique Polish feature.

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Italy 2003 pt. 1 – Arrival (ENG)

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(Other parts of the report from Italy: second, third, fourth, fifth.)

A two-week trip to Bellaria took place in July 2003. It was my second travel abroad and the first visit in Italy and San Marino (in case of San Marino – the only one so far). It was also the second and so far the last long foreign travel without using of air transport, but only by car. During this trip I had the opportunity to pay in euro for the first time – this currency was then in use only for several months. This was also the first trip during which we had a digital camera, and this is why this report appears in the first order (no reference to Star Wars intended!).

The first day of the trip took over a 600-kilometer road to the place of the overnight accommodation – Mikulov in the Czech Republic near the border with Austria (and the European Union, which neither Poland nor the Czech Republic were yet members). The next day we drove through a number of well-known cities, but we did not stop in any of them, which in retrospect I regret – although otherwise we would not be able to travel about 900 km from Mikulov to Bellaria in one day.

We entered Austria early in the morning and traveled through Vienna and then Klagenfurt. Later we saw the picturesque Alps.

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