Ravenna is an ancient city of great history located by the Adriatic Sea and has become the capital 3 times in the past
Ravenna is an ancient city located in region Emilia-Romagna and linked to the Adriatic Sea by Canal Candiano. In its great history the city has become the capital three times: first of the Western Roman Empire, (402-476 A.D.) then of Theodoric the Great, King of the Goths (493-540 A.D.) and last of the Byzantine Empire (540-751). After that, it was the seat of the Kingdom of the Lombards.
During the Roman era, the village of Ravenna began to grow and this development changed its appearance to a luxury capital. Many prestigious and religious buildings were built at that time by the last Roman emperors Honorius, his sister Galla Placidia and Valentinian III.
Ravenna has still preserved many buildings dating back to that period:
- Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (pic n°5),
- Neonian Baptistery,
- Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo (pic n°1) (pic n°2),
- Arian Baptistery,
- Chapel of the Archbishop's Palace,
- Mausoleum of Theodoric (pic n°6),
- Basilica of San Francesco,
- Church of San Vitale (pic n°3),
- Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe (outside the city)
All of these buildings were built in the fifth and sixth centuries and show great artistic skills from different styles, including the wonderful Greco-Roman tradition, the Christian iconography and different styles of the East and West. Here you will find this mixture of different architectural styles from Roman to Gothic, from Byzantine to Medieval and even Venetian living together in harmony. The city also has eight buildings that were declared World Heritage by UNESCO.
Despite the high number of beautiful buildings and monuments it is very easy to visit Ravenna as it is not a large city at all, so get first to the historic center where you can start and discover its ancient history. But, Ravenna is not only ancient buildings. It is also the city of beautiful ancient Byzantine mosaics. Even today, there are schools and workshops where this Artcraft continues surviving.
Ravenna is also the town where the famous Italian poet Dante Alighieri died in exile in 1321. The author of the immortal "Divina Commedia" (Divine Comedy) was buried here (pic n°4), near the Church of San
Francesco. Every year, during the second week of September a ceremony is organized by the city of Ravenna to commemorate the anniversary of the great poet's death. During the ceremony, the city of Florence, Dante's birthplace, offers olive oil (as a symbol) to the city of Ravenna. Also, there is always a small burning flame on the grave of the poet.
Ravenna is always worth a visit due to its historic treasures but also because of its convenient location. In fact, it lies on the Riviera Romagnola, one of the most popular and lively coastlines of Italy, a real paradise for families with kids because of the shallow sea water and the wide, some kilometers long sandy beaches. And not only for them, this coastline is also a must among young people due to the sparkling nightlife (that never ends on the Riviera Romagnola), with many super-discos, cafes, pizzerias, restaurants, and all kinds of activities that can enjoy people.
Some pics of Ravenna:
Mosaic inside the Basilica di Sant'Apollinare Nuovo (pic n°1); Basilica di Sant'Apollinare Nuovo (pic n°2); The Church of San Vitale (pic n°3); The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (pic n°5); The mausoleum of Theodoric (pic n°6);