Free download: bit.ly/cda_ebook

An eBook to highlight the jewels and the wonderful art located in Emilia Romagna, Italy The authors of “The Art Cities of Emilia Romagna” are travel bloggers who come from all corners of the globe. Each one took part in the “Blogville Emilia Romagna”, project, and this eBook is a collection of their travel stories, tips and advice. Written for travellers by travellers to help you get the most out of your trip to the Art Cities of Emilia Romagna.

Graziano Prantoni, President of “Product Grouping Cities of Art, Culture and Business of Emilia Romagna” says: “We made this free e-Book because we wanted to create a fresh and new guide for everyone who wants to experience our cities. We use the word “experience” because this is what every blogger wrote about in the different stories their own experiences. In addition to presenting the cities as traditional guide book does, the authors also showcase their own personal experiences – like connecting with locals and finding delicious restaurants and artisan shops – they had while visiting the region. Inside this ebook, you’ll find a plethora of great hints and travel tips that are perfect for anyone who wants to visit and experience Emilia Romagna like a local”.

The e-book will follow the ancient Roman road Via Emilia, the “artery” of Emilia Romagna, giving readers an insiders look at all these Emilia Romagna art cities have to offer when it comes to culture, history, motorsports, and wine and food. Starting in northern Emilia Romagna at Piacenza and the Po River, will take you through the region until your final stop at Rimini on the Adriatic Sea. One thing to remember along your journey through this rich cultural region is that the best sights and must-do activities included in this e-book are not only from the art cities but also in the surrounding areas.

Prantoni says: “In Parma, you will discover the home of Giuseppe Verdi, Parma Ham and Parmigiano Reggiano, a popular Italian cheese known throughout the world. In the area of Reggio Emilia, the third city that you will encounter on the road in this guide, you will find the home of the Italian Tricolour flag and Traditional Balsamic Vinegar. The e-book then takes you to Modena, which is home to famous car producer Ferrari and the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. The city is also known for the UNESCO World Heritage Ghirlandina Tower, Dome and Piazza Grande. Before entering Bologna you will have a stop at the Lamborghini and Ducati Motors factories, located in the heart of the Italian Motor Valley. Bologna is also the heart of the Via Emilia and one of Emilia Romagna’s best art cities. It’s famous for its leaning towers, it’s 40 km long Porticoes, musical heritage and traditional Italian pasta dishes, such as tagliatelle with ragu and tortellini in broth. Heading to the Adriatic Sea you will stop in Ferrara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features rich Renaissance architecture”.

Arriving on the coast, another UNESCO World Heritage Site of the region awaits you: Ravenna and its magnificent and magical mosaics. The next stop on the Via Emilia road is Faenza, known for the production of the top quality “faience” ceramics. Just a few kilometres away heading south on the Via Emilia lie the cities of Forli and Cesena, rich in art and culture. This is an important wine production area and Cesena also hosts one of the oldest libraries of the world, the Biblioteca Malatestiana. The last stop on this trip through the art cities of Emilia Romagna is Rimini, which is known for its ancient Roman centre and a 2,000 year old Roman bridge that is still used today. It is also in Rimini where the gateway to the ancient Roman roads Via Emilia and Via Flaminia starts at the Augustus Arch.

I hope you enjoy not only reading the eBook but also the journey through the different cities that make Emilia Romagna a region unlike any other in Italy. I hope to see you soon strolling through our Art Cities of Emilia Romagna “ (Graziano Prantoni).

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Some weeks ago I had the pleasure to visit again the enchanting Basilica of Sant’ Apollinare in Classe a few kilometers from the beautiful Ravenna. Sant’Apollinare is one of the most important monuments of Byzantine art.  When the UNESCO inscribed eight Ravenna sites on the World Heritage List, it cited this basilica as “an outstanding example of the early Christian basilica in its purity and simplicity of its design and use of space and in the sumptuous nature of its decoration”.

It was erected at the beginning of 6th century by order of Bishop Ursicinus. It was certainly located next to a Christian cemetery, and quite possibly on top of a pre-existing pagan one. The Basilica was consecrated on May 9, 549 by Bishop Maximian and dedicated to Saint Apollinaris, first bishop of Ravenna and Classe. The exterior has a large façade with two simple uprights and one mullioned window with three openings. The narthex and building to the right of the entry are later additions. The  round bell tower with mullioned windows was built in the IX Century.

The church has a nave and two aisles. An ancient altar in the mid of the nave covers the place of the saint’s martyrdom. The church ends with a polygonal apse, sided by two chapels with apses. In the naive we admire  24 columns of Greek marble with carved capitals. The faded frescos portraits some of the archbishops of Ravenna.

The mosaic decorations in the apse and on the triumphal arch are the most striking features of Sant’Apollinare in Classe. Inside a medallion, in the  upper section of the triumphal arch, we see Christ. At the sides, the winged symbols of the four Evangelists: the Eagle (John), the Winged Man (Matthew), the Lion (Mark), the Calf (Luke). The lower section shows precious gems from which twelve lambs (symbols of the Twelve Apostles) exit. The sides of the arch show two palms (they represent justice), the archangels Michael and Gabriel, the bust of St. Matthew and another unidentified saint. The decoration of the apse date to the 6th century. The Basilica’s walls are lined by numerous sarcophagi from different centuries.


 At Mirabilandia (Ravenna, Italy) the final event of the 9th edition of Italian School Journalism Award.

It’s always a great experience, for me, to participate to the selection commission of “GiornaliNoi”, the Italian School Journalism Award promoted by Mirabilandia – the Adriatic Riviera amusement park (Ravenna, Italy) – in association with Okay! monthly magazine. And it is always an interesting moment to attend the final event: the prizes ceremony with students, school magazines teams and educational institutions coming from various parts of Italy. Mirabilandia gave awards according school orders (primary, secondary and high schools) ; they were also awarded special prizes.

Giovanni Scafoglio, general manager of Mirabilandia special events, met students answering to questions about the Park history and activities. The event was attended by Barbara Malano (Educational Projects) and by the undersigned, as Okay! editor in chief. During the ceremony I presented the “Top themes 2011”, that is the arguments on which students wrote most during the year. At the top of the chart: reportages and articles about the 150th Anniversary of Italy Unification.

GiornaliNoi” – the first Italian School Press Prize – is at its Ninth edition. It continues to increase importance and interest among Italian schools. It is considered as a great opportunity to give voice to new generations. It is also a sort of challenge by which kids and young people try to create alternative medias and communications as regards the so-called “official information” (newspapers, magazines, reviews).

This year “GiornaliNoi” Award received more than 350 school journals, of all forms and types, all well written and well structured layouts as well as the topics and sections. I really appreciated the big leap in graphics and design; in some case, they have nothing to envy to the official press. As demonstrated by the rigour and seriousness of all the works I saw, the Miribilandia initiative dedicated to school journalism is a reflection of the new generations and the way that young people, along with teachers and their families, are involved in a reality – the medias world, the media literacy – that requires a greater knowledge and behavior in terms of tools and skills. The ability to observe and write does not fail. Italian school journals are showing us students who are passionate about ideas and projects for a better tomorrow.




 A Mirabilandia la premiazione del IX Premio di Giornalismo Scolastico promosso dal grande Parco della Riviera Adriatica.

 E’ sempre una bella esperienza, umana e professionale, partecipare alla selezione ed alla scelta delle testate scolastiche in gara a GiornaliNoi”, il Premio di Giornalismo Scolastico, promosso sul mensile Okay! da Mirabiandia, il grande Parco della Riviera adriatica. Ed è sempre interessante partecipare all’evento finale, con la premiazione di studenti ed istituti scolastici provenienti da varie parti d’Italia. Anche quest’anno la premiazione si è svolta nel clima clima scenografico di Halloween, evento al quale Mirabilandia ha dedicato aperture straordinarie di ottobre e di inizio novembre. Oltre ai premi divisi per categoria scolastica (scuole primarie, scuole secondarie di 1° grado, istituti comprensivi scolastici, scuole secondarie di 2° grado) sono stati conferiti 5 Premi speciali.

Giovanni Scafoglio, responsabile Eventi di Mirabilandia, ha risposto alle numerosissime domande sul Parco. All’evento hanno partecipato Barbara Malano (Progetti Didattici) ed il sottoscritto, in qualità di direttore di Okay!. Nel corso della manifestazione è stata svelata la classifica dei “temi top 2011”, che ha visto l’argomento del 150° dell’Unità d’Italia al primo posto delle rilevazioni effettute sui giornali scolastici.

GiornaliNoi”, il Premio di Giornalismo Scolastico, alla sua IX edizione continua ad essere sempre più al centro dell’interesse della scuola italiana. Ed ad essere sempre una occasione per dare voce alle nuove generazioni, sempre più intenzionate a “sfidare” le cosiddette testate fatte dai grandi. Quest’anno sono pervenute al Premio oltre 350 testate scolastiche, di ogni forma e tipo, tutte ben redatte ed impaginate oltre che ottimamente strutturate negli argomenti e nelle sezioni. Un grande salto di qualità anche nella grafica e nel design, con giornali che nulla hanno da invidiare ai periodici “ufficiali”.

Come dimostrano anche il rigore e la serietà dei temi affrontati, l’iniziativa che Mirabilandia dedica al giornalismo scolastico è un riflesso della realtà delle nuove generazioni e del cammino che i ragazzi, insieme ai docenti, alle scuole ed alle loro famiglie e comunità, stanno percorrendo in questi tempi che necessitano una sempre maggiore preparazione e conoscenza in fatto di strumenti della comunicazione. La capacità di osservare e di scrivere non manca. Dai giornali scolastici emerge una nuova generazioni di cronisti che si appassionano alle idee ed ai progetti per un domani migliore.