Bagnacavallo and Russi: trip to discover two towns of Romagna
As we continue on from Lugo towards the sea, we come across Bagnacavallo. It is well worth stopping here, in this interesting urban settlement, as it is the best preserved of the whole of Bassa Romagnola. The town focuses on the characteristic Piazza Nuova (1759), with its ellipsoidal plan enclosed by a portico that once housed the workshops of butchers and fishmongers.
The Mediaeval quadrangular civic tower rises up from Piazza Libertà, whose first three floors were once used as a prison. Alongside, we have the Town Hall, which retains all its interior splendour. The portico continues on to the Goldoni Theatre built in 1839 and faithful to the original decorations and layout, although still in use today. The Collegiate of S. Michele Arcangelo (1622, but with origins that date back as far as 1170) is also worth a visit, as is the eighteenth century Palazzo delle Opere Pie. Just outside the centre, a straight road lined with trees takes you to s. Pietro in Sylvis, a Romanesque parish with a 7th century Basilica layout. On the left, standing alone, you can admire the bell tower.
Russi, near Lugo and just beyond Bagancavallo, is another interesting archaeological stopping place. Dating back to Augustus-Roman times (1st century B.C.), this villa was discovered in 1938. It is a clear example of the area’s land-owning family’s wealth, set out on two porticoes with a clear division between the working areas (warehouses, laboratories, etc.) and the owner's home, in which the beautiful black and white mosaic flooring can still be admired. Palazzo San Giacomo, the stopover house for the Rasponi family, is currently being restored, and signs of its original splendour can be seen alongside the 1757 church.