"Ravenna is old Roman" Ravenna by DSwede

Ravenna Travel Guide: 398 reviews and 1,217 photos

Ravenna is once again, an ancient walled city. Dating back over 2000 years, it began to thrive as Augustus' Roman western fleet base in the 1st century AD. Passing the time and the reigns of various rulers, its walls began as a fortification against enemies and raising flood waters, but became toll collection points when the local river was rerouted in the 1700's. But by and large the wall's bricks were mostly pirated to construct the buildings which now occupy the area. Ravenna is quiet and not on many tourist lists, and rightfully so. Its most acclaimed attraction is the tomb of Dante.

Its most important buildings include S. Apollinare Nuovo and in Classe, The Mausoleum of Theodoric and the Baptistries. Art treasures from various epochs can be seen in the National and Archiepiscopal Museums, the Classense Library and the Municipal Art Gallery which contains an impressive collection of 15th and 16th century paintings on wood and canvas, chiefly from the Romagna area. The city center is at its most animated in Piazza del Popolo which is almost like an elegant drawing room with its bars, cafes and shops. Ravenna's city of art tradition however is specially linked to the great, precious mosaics, still intact today, which made its rich complex of 5th and 6th century Byzantine buildings unique in the world. These religious buildings with their precious mosaics have been declared patrimony of humanity by Unesco World Heritage List. A fascinating historical-artistic heritage, the richest and best preserved testimony of early Christian and Byzantine art in Italy.

The local cuisine is famous for its rich variety of carefully prepared typical products. Delicious homemade pasta for example. Tagliatelle and lasagna with the classic meat sauce; the exquisitely refined cappelletti with cheese filling, cooked in capon broth.

Acting as a base camp

I was working in Ravenna. I also had to make periodic work visits up to Treviso. Using the weekends to my advantage, I was able to couple my visits to Treviso with visits to Venice and Verona to the north.

I was also able to drive south and visit Pisa, Florence and the independent country of San Marino (~80km south of Ravenna).

(for more pictures, feel free to visit my Italy Gallery. If you enjoy the pictures, please leave a comment.)

For some more general thoughts, please visit my Italy page.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The old sector is small and even has a self-walk tour.
  • Cons:I found it one of the more difficult cities to visit without speaking Italian.
  • In a nutshell:It will take a couple days to experience its famous tagliatelle and mosaics.
  • Intro Updated Mar 27, 2011
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Reviews (4)

Comments (3)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Dec 21, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    Beautiful mosaic!

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Jul 1, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    My boss just visited this town and brought me an exquisite little piece of glazed pottery. Didn't know about the prevalence of mosaics here, but now I would like to visit because of them.

  • Tijavi's Profile Photo
    Oct 4, 2008 at 5:53 AM

    Hi Dave, good hotel and resto tips...do you think a day trip to Ravenna (say from Bologna) would suffice to cover the main sights? Appreciate your advice. Thanks!

DSwede Used To Live Here!


“What I lack in experience, I make up for in curiosity”

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