The origins of the lively agricultural and industrial centre of Russi are lost in the midst of time. The discovery of two burials (which date back to the end of the 7th century and the beginning of the 6th century BC) under the floor surface of the Roman villa represents the most ancient testimony of non-Etruscan people settled in Romagna from the 7th century BC.
What to see
Next to the Town Hall, there are the most relevant traces of the medieval past of this town: The donjon and the two towers of the Rocca, which was built in the second half of the 14th century by the lord of Ravenna, Guido da Polenta. The fortress, which houses today the Museo Civico, played a very important role in conflicts between Faenza and Ravenna for the supremacy over the Romagna region between Middle Ages and Renaissance.
Take a relaxing walk through the streets of the old town centre and visit the remarkable eighteenth-century religious buildings and the nineteenth-century Teatro Comunale. The main square, Piazza Farini, is overlooked by the Chiesa Arcipretale di S.Apollinare, which houses some statues by the famous plaster decorators Ballanti Graziani from Faenza, an exquisite altar and, in the sacristy, three 13th-century frescoes painted by an anonymous artist of the Romagna region. A visit to the Chiesa dell'Addolorata (also known as 'Chiesa dei Servi') is also recommended as it is decorated with beautiful stuccoes, among which the choir ones are the most elegant. The Chiesa del Carmine is also worth visiting: Here it is possible to admire beautiful paintings and decoration thought to be painted by Camporesi di Meldola, called the 'pittore dei fiori' (painter of flowers).
In the immediate vicinity of the centre, it is possible to visit one of the most important and better preserved Roman findings in Northern Italy: the Roman Villa (1st century BC). With its mosaic floors of rare beauty, the Villa represents the heart of a very important residential, productive complex of more than 3,500 m2, which was built during the Augustan Age and active until the 4th century. The archaeological area is located in a very large area of protected environmental balance with an hydrophilous wood and a perennial pond.
Lovers of ‘unusual’ (but of great relevance) museums cannot absolutely miss two destinations in Russi: In the old town centre, the Museo di Arte Campanaria, one of the most peculiar collections of bells consisting of more than forty models, some of which are very valuable. Driving along the San Vitale road towards Ravenna you get to the Museo dell’Arredo contemporaneo, one of the most important design and interior design collections in Europe.
From Russi it is also possible to follow a picturesque itinerary to discover four wonderful parishes plunged in the green countryside of Romagna: San Pancrazio, S.Apollinare, San Lorenzo in Vado Rondino and San Pietro in Trento.
Country Festivals and Fairs
The main festival of Russi, which has religious origins but has developed its more civil and spectacular aspects, is La Fira di Sett Dulur, held every year in September. The pork speciality 'Bel e cót' and the distinctive wine 'Canèna nòva' can be tasted while enjoying a mix of tradition, storytellers, shows and local handicraft that attract an ever-increasing number of tourists every year.