Art & CultureArt & Culture

Emilia-Romagna Low Cost: 5 free (or almost free) things to do

by /// August 31, 2021
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes



Beyond the typical tourist itineraries, Emilia-Romagna is a land rich in surprises and possible suggestions that are hard to describe if not experienced first-hand and seen with your own eyes.

You don’t need to pay a ticket to see beauty, sometimes a piece of advice from a friend or a local who knows the territory and truly loves it are enough, and they certainly don’t stretch out at the first request for help.

In this case, if you haven’t much money but you just don’t want to give up visiting our region, read this article, because this mini-guide is what you need.

Ravenna and the Basilica of San Francesco

The Crypt of Basilica di San Francesco (Ravenna)

The Crypt of Basilica di San Francesco (Ravenna) | Photo © Nicola Strocchi

Piazza San Francesco, in the centre of Ravenna, hides many treasures. One of them definitely is the basilica that gives the name to the piazza. In the 14th century, the basilica was one of the favourite places of no less than the Supreme Poet Dante Alighieri.

The admission is free, and with just a €1-fee, you can see the amazing submerged crypt. It is a work of art suspended in time, decorated with an ancient mosaic floor completely underwater, and the water level rises and lowers according to rain.

A little advice! Sharp your eyes: you will see a number of goldfish happily swims.

Take a picture from above in Piazza Maggiore

Piazza Maggiore (Bologna)

Piazza Maggiore (Bologna) | Photo ©

Beating the heart of Bologna, Piazza Maggiore is a gigantic square surrounded by some of the buildings that made the history of this old medieval municipality.

There is San Petronio with its unfinished façade, Palazzo Dei Banchi, Palazzo Dei Notai, and Palazzo d’Accursio, the headquarters of the Municipality.

If you go to the last floor of Palazzo d’Accursio, you can enjoy from the big windows at the end of the room, next to the entrance of the city museum Municipal Art Collections, the majestic view of the historical piazza.

In Tresigallo, suspended above shapes and dreams

Cinema Sogni, Tresigallo (Ferrara)

Cinema Sogni, Tresigallo (Ferrara) | Photo ©

You almost feel to be in a painting of Giorgio de Chirico, when walking along the streets of Tresigallo, a little city between Ferrara and Valley of Comacchio refounded towards the end of the 1920s.

This place, where the autumn and winter fogs reign supreme, and where the thin air runs in the open air, reveals itself to be a striking example of perfectly preserved Italian rationalism architecture.

There is a square in the form of a ‘D’, the church, and the portico adorned with bass reliefs, imposing buildings with its symmetrical façades tower above the city’s crossroads, and much, much more …

In Rimini, the Roman history is at hand

Ponte di Tiberio, Rimini | Ph. @Framor1981

Bridge of Tiberius (Rimini) | Photo Framor1981

It almost feels like touching the history with your own hands when you stop in the big area of Parco XXV Aprile in Rimini.

You sit on one of that multitude of stairs and you lose yourself in the body of water of that ancient reservoir of the Marecchia river, framed by a suggestive outline of the Bridge of Tiberius, one of the most remarkable still extant Roman bridges.

The white marble meets the green colours of the park and the blue of the sky and of the water, and it’s an even more unique spectacle in the evening, when, between a stroll and a chat, you stop – even for just a moment – and enjoy all that beauty.

In Ferrara, in the Garden of the Finzi-Continis

Ghetto ebraico (Ferrara)

Jewish ghetto (Ferrara) | Photo ©

We are in the heart of Ferrara, and more precisely in the ghetto of what was one of the oldest Jewish communities in Italy, which was kept segregated here from 1627 until Italian unification.

Attached to the ‘Este’ walls, in the shade of the monumental Certosa and hidden behind the green orchards that colour the area in a so surprisingly way that it seems to be in the middle of the countryside.

The suggestive Jewish cemetery stands here, still in use. The great writer Giorgio Bassani, wrote a novel about the most famous family in Ferrara, the Finzi-Continis, placing their tomb in this cemetery.

The air is soaked in history, tradition, and memories. Just ring the bell of the keeper’s house and go inside, with respect and spirituality.


Davide Marino

Davide Marino was born archaeologist but ended up doing other things. Rational – but not methodic, slow – but passionate. A young enthusiast with grey hair

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