The Parish Church Route, silence and harmony that engage the soul

The Parish Church Route, silence and harmony that engage the soul

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Spiritual sites many centuries old

The ancient monasteries, thousand-year-old parish churches and monumental abbeys allow you to discover the historical roots of a land that was a crossroads for the encounter of different cultures. The different itineraries present can respond to the intimate desire for beauty and contemplation that humans have always felt. Enveloped in an evocative silence, imbued with an other-worldly atmosphere, and surrounded by enchanting rural landscapes that stretch to the horizon, these spiritual sites have a profound appeal on the soul and testify to an important aspect of these areas’ identity.

Numerous Romanesque parish churches dot the plains that stretch from the Via Emilia to the coast. They are set within the framework of the ancient Roman grid system and create a historical, artistic and anthropological itinerary of great interest. One of the best preserved is that of San Pietro in Sylvis in Bagnacavallo: built in the 7th century along the Via dei Romei, the thousand-year-old road that accompanies pilgrims towards Rome, it preserves 14th-century frescoes attributed to Pietro da Rimini. The Pieve di Campanile in Santa Maria in Fabriago in the municipality of Lugo has a splendid cylindrical tower that has dominated the surrounding countryside for over a thousand years. This charming church opens a window into the cultural and religious roots of Lower Romagna.

The architectural structure of the Pieve di Santo Stefano at Barbiano in Cotignola is particularly striking. This Romanesque church stands behind the neoclassical church of the same name and on the remains of a building dating back to 900 AD of which no evident traces now remain. In the territory of
Russi, the beautiful Pieve di Santo Stefano in Tegurio in Godo and the Pieve di San Pancrazio were both built in the 8th century.

The Pieve di Santo Stefano in Pisignano in the municipality of Cervia is a small gem of a church. Built in Deutero-Byzantine style, it is adorned with various works both inside and outside.

As you climb through the hills above Brisighella, you may come across the oldest parish church in the Lamone valley: set among olive trees, this is the Pieve di San Giovanni in Ottavo called also “del Tho”. Outstanding for its simplicity, this church now houses numerous archaeological finds discovered during recent excavations and restoration works. The Valsenio Abbey, just two kilometres from Casola Valsenio, was founded by Benedictine monks around the year 1000 and continues to dominate the entire landscape with its mighty mass.

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Food – Romagna’s typical cakes and puddings

The best-known cake in Romagna is the ciambella, a wide and flat cake. Made with a relatively hard dough, it was formerly served as part of the Easter breakfast. The cake is sprinkled with sugar crystals and has a citrus flavour with a hint of aniseed though there are different recipes as handed down from family to family over time. The misocchine cakes are also prepared according to a very old recipe that contains chestnut flour, salt, and water.

The Dolce di San Michele is typical of Bagnacavallo and is linked to the patron saint’s festival (29 September). A recipe for this pastry appears in a sixteenth-century text kept in the municipal library: the ingredients are custard cream, eggs, sugar, walnuts, almonds, and pine nuts. Autumn is also the time for Savor, an ancient jam of grape must and quince, while Sugal is a type of pudding made with grape must, flour and other simple ingredients.

In Fusignano, Corelli and Violini di Corelli are delicious artisan biscuits that pay tribute to the town’s famous fellow citizen, the composer and violinist Arcangelo Corelli.

Wine – Romagna Cagnina DOC

Cagnina is a wine drunk fresh from the harvest and is a symbol of the characteristic good cheer and conviviality you will find in Romagna. It is produced from the grapes of the Terrano grape and has been known since the Byzantine era when the first vines arrived from Istria during the importation of limestone used to build churches, baptisteries, and historical monuments in the Ravenna area. The name seems to derive from the slightly sour characteristics of this ancient grape that “bites” the palate.

Cagnina is purplish red with a vinous aroma and is sweet, slightly tannic, and slightly acidic in the mouth. Through the colder months, it ideally accompanies roasted chestnuts, cheeses, but also tarts, freshly baked cakes and traditional desserts from the Ravenna plain.

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