Ravarino is located about 20 km northeast of Modena.
A Roman camp was later built there as well. The first mention of the town appears in a document dated to 1002. Beginning in the Middle Ages and continuing until feudal rights were suppressed during the Napoleonic era (1796), Ravarino was a fiefdom of the powerful Rangoni family of Modena.
On embankments along the right bank of the Panaro River near Ravarino stand historical villas that once belonged to Modena’s aristocracy. They served both as residences during the summer and as outposts for monitoring the property and its agricultural production.
Why it's worth a trip
Ravarino lies in the heart of the production area for Sorbara Lambrusco and was, for many centuries, a fiefdom of the Rangoni family. In the form of buildings and other monuments, the Rangonis’ presence left important marks on the territory. A grouping of historic villas along the Panaro River “riviera” is another aspect of the area’s charm.
Sites you won't want to miss
The Church of St. John the Baptist (San Giovanni Battista), rebuilt in 1862 on the foundation of an ancient building dating to 1100, features a remarkable balcony with an organ and a 15th-century baptismal font.
The Donna Clarina Palazzo includes a characteristic internal courtyard, a proprietor’s house at the center, and workshops on the sides where stables and servants’ quarters once stood. A beautiful 15th-century tower looms over the building’s left flank.
Bonasi Benucci Villa
The majestic group of buildings that make up the Bonasi Benucci Villa, built during the first half of the 1800s, are located on the right bank of the Panaro River in the area known as “the riviera.” Its elegant and aristocratic villas were once accessible by river. The May 2012 earthquake damaged the Villa as well as a number of other historical buildings and churches that remain closed today.
June in Ravarino
A month of events, culinary presentations, and concerts.
Good things to eat
All of the Modena area’s characteristic local foods and products are available here, including Modena’s traditional balsamic vinegar, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Sorbara Lambrusco, zampone and cotechino (dishes made from a mixture of ground pork flavored with herbs and spices and stuffed into the hollowed-out trotter or lower-leg of a hog), prosciutto from Modena, and such traditional offerings as fresh egg pasta.
Sorbara Lambrusco is the best known of the family of PDO (protected designation of origin) lambruscos. Sorbara Lambrusco is produced throughout the area, including in the towns of San Prospero, Bastiglia, Bomporto, Nonantola, and Ravarino, but Sorbara, outside Bomporto, is its center.
Castelcrescente Villa lies in the countryside between Stuffione and Rami di Ravarino. The villa was built between the 19th and 20th centuries by Marquis Aldobrandino Rangoni and was named for the nearby village of Castel Crescente. The Rangoni family was granted Castel Crescente by Duke Borso d’Este in 1453. Today, the villa is privately owned and serves as a venue for events.
The Church of the Beata Vergine delle Grazie (the Blessed Lady of the Graces) houses remarkable 18th-century paintings and an organ by Agostino Traeri. The church is currently being restored.
Nonantola and its spectacular Abbey are not far from Ravarino, nor are the “Lambrusco Valley” and the towns of Sorbara, famous for its PDO (protected designation of origin) Sorbara Lambrusco, and Sant’Agata Bolognese in Bologna Province. Many automobile aficionados visit Sant’Agata Bolognese because the Lamborghini factory and museum (the latter of which is now known as the MUDETEC, or Museum of Technologies) are located there.
When to visit
The area’s mild climate makes Spring and Autumn the best time for a visit.