Ravenna and Romagna together towards 2019

A bid written by 2000 hands.
We are proud of the remarkable coming together of arts
organisations in our Region to support the creation of the bid. Cultural and Artistic organisations
have thrown themselves into the bidding process, generously providing ideas,
projects and enthusiasm. As such they have contributed to a Programme which reflects
their strengths, concerns, ambitions and creativity. Through the establishment of Creative
Councils in each of the supporting cities, we built a synchronised creative network which
has proved to be an outstanding model for a participative planning process. We intend
to build on this process in the proposed governance arrangements for the Ra2019 organisation
should we succeed in our bid.

Rimini, Forlì, Cesena, Faenza, Cervia, Russi and the Union of Municipalities of Bassa
Romagna have all undertaken an unprecedented, shared planning process which has created
new innovative instruments  and new synergies (Test Runs 2019, the first playbill of events in Romagna in sync with the bid) and tried out co-planned events (from
the wonderful experience of Romagna Express in 2012 to the events of 2014 such as the
walks La Romagna in Cammino verso il 2019/ You’ll never walk alone and What if?,
preview of the more important projects that each city has planned for the 2019 programming).
The sharing that has taken shape in the bidding programme, in which each city is on
the one hand leading a project that involves the other areas and on the other hand, is contributing
to the other cities’ planning. The result is a mosaic of many areas’ declinations,
interests, and callings under the common auspices of 2019.

The city of Ravenna

Ravenna is a city capable of maintaining a complex identity through a number of concurrent vocations deriving from its ancient past: the historic buildings, the port canal which penetrates to the heart of the city, the surrounding countryside, the sea with its beaches which are now a place of leisure, the sand dunes and pinewoods. All these features create an articulated picture in which every part has a history, a function and a raison d’être  in the present and also a future.

The presence of water has influenced the growth of Ravenna. It determined the choice of the site where the city was to rise at the confluence of two rivers and their river mouth into a number of lagoons extending along the Adriatic coast. The ancient port of Classe, slowly abandoned by the sea over the centuries contributed to making Ravenna a capital. The road layout and the old city centre took shape around the waterways, producing a weft of sinuous parallel roads alongside river courses and canals. Water, in its various changing forms, has been a decisive factor in the destiny of Ravenna and its inhabitants, its future, its role and functions and its usual culture, so much so that its history could be described as a perennial confrontation. Ravenna, protected by its waters, with its bell-towers one after another, mausoleums and monastic cloisters, is a Roman, Gothic, Byzantine and also medieval, Venetian and finally contemporary city, civil And hospitable, with literary and musical interest.  

Ravenna is by tradition the gateway to the East. The presence of the ancient port of Classe, its past as capital in the West, having ties however with Byzantium, have created over time its vocation as a meeting point between different peoples and continents. The sea, which was once close by and which has slowly receded over the centuries, is a constant reminder of the need for dialogue and integration. In brief, history and geography have made Ravenna symbolic of the part of Europe open to encounters with other cultures of the Mediterranean. The very presence in Ravenna of Dante Alighieri, universal poet and corner-stone of European cultural identity, has made the city a trustee of the deepest values that permeate the spirit of Europe. Modern times then established in Ravenna solid tradition of solidarity, public spirit, a passion for democracy and pressure for European integration.
It is not by chance that Ravenna has been awarded the European Citizenship Award on a number of occasions for having registered the highest turnout of voters in the election of the European Parliament.

For further information:

Official site - tourism office of the commune of Ravenna