Ravenna is one of Italy’s major cities and is located in the northeast portion of the country on the Adriatic Sea. Ravenna was once a very important city, having been the capital of the Western Roman Empire between 402 and 476. It also served as capital for subsequent conquerors.
Ravenna has eight Christian monuments dating from the 5th and 6th centuries that are all on the World Heritage List. The oldest is the octagonal Neonian Baptistry, which was built around 400 AD as part of the Great Basilica which was subsequently destroyed in 1734. We have many more Italy Vacation Information, Travel Review and Tourist Attractions Articles Now Available.
Next oldest is the Byzantine Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, which features a cupola covered entirely in mosaics. The Arian Bapistry is a small octagonal structure that was converted into a Catholic oratory. Next oldest is the circa 500 AD Archiepiscopal Chapel that is located in the Ravenna Bishop’s Palace. The Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo is a much larger chapel which was once the palace chapel of Arian King Theodoric. Theodoric’s Mausoleum dates from 520 AD and is a Gothic style decagonal stone structure.
Next is the most famous of the eight, the Basilica of San Vitale, which is considered one of the most important Byzantine structures in Western Europe. Last of the eight is the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe, which is yet another magnificent Byzantine church with fine mosaics. The mosaic work in all of these monuments is quite extraordinary and really should be seen to be fully appreciated.
Ravenna is a city of canals, and was once a seaport that is now connected to the sea by canal. In the city, there are many fine old buildings along the old canals, as well as in the old city center. The Piazza del Popolo is an elegant city square with a lively flair that exemplifies a vibrant Italian city. Explore the winding narrow streets and alleys that are dotted with shops and cafes and great old architecture.
If you visit Ravenna during June or July, you will catch the Summer Festival, where many styles of music are performed throughout the old city including in some of the historic buildings. We have many more Italy Vacation Information, Travel Review and Tourist Attractions Articles Now Available.