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The Cervia Pinewood area is the last southern end of the old forest which extended, almost uninterrupted, all over the Adriatic coast from the Reno river towards south to the town of Cervia. The umbrella pine is the predominant tree species. Its umbrella crown distinguishes it from the maritime pine, more common in coast pinewoods. The Cervia Saltpans are a 827-hectare wetland formed in a depression uphill of the coastline.

 

Two channels connect the salt pans to the sea - canale del Pino and canale della Bova; this site hosts important colonies of nesting birds: waders, gulls and terns and, every year, it hosts winter and passage birds. North of here, the natural system surrounding the mouth of the Bevano torrent expands. This is the only intact natural mouth of the Adriatic sea and it presents marshland sites, hidden between the dunes and lower plains, the brackish ponds of Ortazzino and Ortazzo, the wonderful Classe Pinewood and 5 kilometres of beach and uncontaminated dunes where little terns, kentish plovers and oystercatchers nest.

S. Apollinare in Classe Basilica and Archaeological Park
Built in the Bizantine period, the Basilica was consecrated in 549 by the Bishop of Ravenna Massimiano.
The outside of the Basilica is built with long and narrow bricks, while the bell tower, of the 10th century, is cylindrical and is decorated with single-, two-, and three-light windows. The Basilica has a single nave and two aisles and, inside, there are 24 columns in greek marble topped with bizantine capitals.
The apse and the walls glitter with all the mosaics of the mid-6th century. In the central part of the apse there is the Transfiguration of Christ on the Tabor Mountain. In the lower part, at the centre of a green landscape recalling the pinewood close by, stands a preaching S. Apollinare. Between the windows there are figures representing the four founding bishops of the main basilicas of Ravenna: Ecclesio, Severo, Orso and Ursicino. Just up north of the Basilica there is the Archaeological Park of the ancient Porto di Classe.

Classe Pinewood, Cervia Pinewood, coast pinewoods
Last southern end of the ancient forest which extended almost uninterrupted on the Adriatic sea, from the Reno river southwards to the town of Cervia. The pinewood is still today a harmonious and beautiful environment. The predominant tree species here is the umbrella pine. Its "umbrella" crown distinguishes it from the martime pine with its "pyramid-shaped" crown, which is predominant in coast pinewoods. Other trees present are: downy oaks, holm oaks, flowering ashes, white poplars, elms and white willows.

Bevano Mouth
The mouth of the torrent is characterised by pronounced meanders with abundant and partly flooded tracts. The beach side of the mouth is one of the most uncontaminated coast environments (Ortazzo and Ortazzino oasis) which are left on the Adriatic coast.

Cervia Saltpans
Cervia saltpans are a naturalistic oasis of 827 hectars which present and preserve the flora and fauna typical of brackish wetlands. The history of Cervia is strictly linked to the production of salt. Originally called Ficocle, Cervia was built a few kilometres from the coast, amid valleys which were particularly suitable to capture the sea water necessary for the salt pans. Salt, the famous "white gold", was precious and essential to preserve and process foods. Because of this precious resource, in the past, Cervia was the object of disputes between the different Lords and States of the time. Next to the Saltpans there is the Park Visitor Centre.

Cervia Historical Centre
The town was rebuilt from scratch between 1697 and 1714 near the coast, based on an original urban plan. This is when the huge Salt storehouses were built on the sides of the Porto Canale; the storehouses could store over 10,000 tons of salt for stock, while waiting for the vessels to load it and take it to the respective destinations. The Salt storehouses, together with the S. Michele tower and the Darsena (dock), are one of the most evocative view of the historical centre.
Delimited by the houses of the saltworkers forming a square around it, the rectanguar-shaped centre -with inside a Cathedral, Town Hall, Theater and the houses of the dignitaries of the town- is today the original nucleus of the Salt city and fisherman's neighbourhood. Particularly interesting, froim an artistic standpoint, are the Chiesa del Suffragio (1722) and the Chiesa di S. Antonio (1704).

Sanctuary of the Madonna del Pino
The Sanctuary was built in 1487 in a late romanic style by the Carmelite fra Girolamo Lambertini; the door in Istria storn, decorating the small church, dates back to the 1557.

The coast
Along the coast there rise seaside resorts, fully integrated with the Park and the state-owned pinewoods in particular, where the cluster pine is predominant. From North to South you have: Lido di Dante, Lido di Classe, Lido di savio, Milano Marittima, Cervia, Pinarella and Tagliata.
These "green" man-sized areas are equipped with excellent services and offer all kinds of hosting facilities, with restaurants, hotels, camping (with areas for motorhomes) and holiday houses available all year.

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