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The town of Russi in the province of Ravenna can boast of a two-thousand year old history, as attested to by the archaeological area of the Villa Romana. Since the middle ages, the people of Faenza and Ravenna have disputed this territory at the centre of the plains. The people of Ravenna, to defend themselves from the aggression from Faenza, had constructed the Raffanara castles (upon the ruins of which, in the second half of the XVIIth century, was built the palace of S. Giacomo) and the castle of Cortina which was destroyed in 1234. In about the year one thousand, close to the Villa Romana, the chapel dedicated to S. Apollinare was realised and its precious frescoes have been preserved up to this day.
In 1371, Guido Da Polenta, a lord from Ravenna, was responsible for the construction of the castle at Russi, which was remarkable for its seventy fireplaces; some parts of the castle are still preserved, such as a few of its large towers and the fortress which today holds the Pinacoteca picture gallery and a museum with some archaeological finds from the Villa Romana. After the unification of Italy, Russi, which was principally an agricultural town, developed in the sectors of commerce and artisanship, and today important companies in the agro-industrial and commercial areas are also present. The territory of Russi includes the quarters of Godo and San Pancrazio, and the localities of Cortina, Chiesuola and Pezzolo.
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