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Casa Traversari. Dante’s Ravenna.

Casa Traversari in Ravenna. Hotels near Casa Traversari .


photo: San Vitale Street, where Casa Traversari is located


The so-called Casa Traversari, located in San Vitale Street, now houses a university institute, and is one of the few buildings from the communal era to have survived the destruction caused as the result of the bitter conflict between noble factions, which was a local offshoot of the more general and fierce struggle between the Papacy and Empire.

Whilst there is no documented proof that the building actually belonged to the Traversari family, it is certainly probable given its location in an area of buildings owned by the same and in view of certain typical civil architectural features dating back to the Romanesque, dating back to the 13th century: with a squat and compact façade, the upper part of which features highly sober and elegant two-light mullioned windows.

From the year 1000 onwards, the Traversari family had gradually expanded their presence in Ravenna, thanks to their domination of extensive land property.

During the course of the 12th century, following the formation of the Commune, which remained subject to the control of the archbishop, they succeeded in exerting a strong  pro- Imperial political pressure, and repeatedly assumed the role of podestà, firstly with Pietro and then with his son Paolo in the following century.

However due to the bitter conflicts between the factions and continual interference from pro pontifical and Imperial supporters, the Traversari were unable to assume full control  of the  city, or to further consolidate their presence which may have allowed them to become local lords.

In 1239, Paolo decided to abandon the Ghibelline cause, by expelling the families allied to this side, destroying their houses which in fact led to the siege of Ravenna by Fredrick II of Swabia the subsequent year. The city was captured and on the death of Paolo, the Traversari were exiled and their houses burnt to the ground. The Traversari are however remembered in many literary references of the time.

Probably the most famous is the reference in the work of Boccaccio, that in a novella of the Decameron chose as its protagonist "a daughter of messer Paolo Traversaro, haughty and disdainful ", who was made humble and remissive by her lover Nastagio Degli Onesti. The crucial episode of the tale, against the background of the pine wood of Ravenna, was also painted by Botticelli, in a painting exhibited at the Prado of Madrid.

Prof. Gianni Morelli

The pleasure of fine accommodation in the centre of Ravenna: we recommend the Fabbri hotels for a pleasant stay as follows:

The Centrale Byron hotel, 3-star, in the centre of Ravenna, near Casa Traversari ;

The Bisanzio Hotel, 4-star hotel in the centre of Ravenna, close to Casa Traversari ;

Once you have reached the hotel and parked your car, forget it and walk everywhere, because everything is within walking distance.

The railway station is near our hotels and within walking distance of them.

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