A stay in Lugo, Ravenna: what to see and what to visit
The churches of Carmine and Suffragio, the Collegiate of San Francesco, dating back to Mediaeval times but restored in the eighteenth century, the Palazzo della Congregazione, and the churches of the Madonna delle Grazie and Ascensione. With regards to civil architecture, the Pavaglione, a local dialect term for pavilion is without a doubt one of Lugo’s most famous symbols: we have news of the construction of the first loggia in 1585, using materials recovered from the fortress bastions. It was ordered by the duke Alfonso I d’Este, to allow for a sheltered path from the new site of the fortress to the side entrance of the church del Carmine, reconstructed towards the mid-1700s. It stands 132 metres long and 84 metres wide, and can hold up to 8000 people, enclosing Piazza della Fiera, as the name suggests (Piazza of the Fair), each year home to the characteristic fair, held in September.
The imposing fortress rises up in the central piazza, still preserving the 14th century cylindrical hemmed edge look-out tower, and, in the courtyard, a real 15th century well, with the arms of Borso d’Este. Today it is home to the town hall, and a little museum devoted to Francesco Baracca, a Lugo hero who died in his thirties, but already having been decorated several times for his work in the air force during the First World War. In addition to photographs, canvases, dedications made by admirers and all sorts of artefacts, the room also houses pieces of engine and, above all, the little cloth and string aeroplane, hung from the ceiling. Legend has it that he landed to shake the hand of the enemy he had just beaten down, or even flew over the borders to deliver love letters found in the pockets of the enemy he had defeated. He was born in Lugo, in the road that bears his name.
A further symbol of Lugo is the Rossini theatre, built in 1758 and opened three years later with the work Catone in Utica by Metastasio, still used for events and concerts. An interesting muscial and artistic summer season is also held in the Pavaglione courtyard.
It would appear that no. 58 Corso Matteotti, in the district that was once a ghetto, is home to a fifteenth century house that would appear to have belonged to the Este dukes and the Barbiano counts.