Ravenna tour - Mosaics, Sangiovese, Parmesan wine and Ferrari sport car tour in one day

Situated in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, Ravenna boasts a myriad of sites and landmarks that are among the country’s most historically-revered and culturally important. Once the capital of the Western Roman Empire, Ravenna is also home to various UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Its canals, lagoons, winding streets, groves, and surrounding countryside are noted for their picturesque appeal. Both exciting and fair, this historic city is popular among Italians as well as travelers from around the world. The following are among Ravenna’s most eagerly-visited destinations.

Basilicas and Baptisteries in Ravenna

As a city noted for its early Christian relics, Ravenna is celebrated for its religious structures and their historic artwork. The fifth and sixth-century mosaics are among the city’s greatest art treasures and are world-famous as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Ravenna’s most famous basilicas, churches, baptisteries, and mausoleums include the Neonian Baptistery (constructed in c.430), Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo (c.500), Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe (549), Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (c.430), Mausoleum of Theodoric (520), Arian Baptistery (c.500), Basilica of San Vitale (548), and the Archiepiscopal Chapel (c.500). These historic landmarks and the art treasures they contain, particularly their mosaics, draw throngs of visitors to the city.

Archaeological Sites in Ravenna

Ravenna is an ancient city and its roots have been associated with Thessalians, Etruscans, and Umbrians. Ravenna contains an archeological zone that comprises a former Roman naval base as well as ruins of ancient buildings and roads. Among the city’s most famous archaeological discoveries are the mosaics of Via D’Azeglio, or Carpets of Stone, that were recently unearthed within a series of buildings that date between the era of the Roman Republic and the Byzantine period.

Museums in Ravenna

Not surprisingly, Ravenna is also a city well-known for its museums and art galleries. The Dante Museum, situated near the poet’s tomb (a major city attraction), is a popular destination and displays art works that were inspired by Dante’s celebrated writings. Situated in the cloisters of monastery, the National Museum of Ravenna boasts many significant works of art as well as archaeological artifacts. The Archiepiscopal Museum is distinguished for its setting in an old palace; its must-see attractions include the Throne of Maximian and the sixth-century mosaics of the palace’s chapel. Other noteworthy museums include the Museo del Risorgimento and the Museo Ravennate di Scienze Naturali.

Other Well-Known Sites of Interest

Occupying an old church that dates back to 1250, the Rasi Luigi Theatre is a popular cultural attraction as is the Alighieri Theatre. The Rocca Brancaleone was built in 1457 as a citadel and is an imposing landmark within the city. Other important sites of Ravenna include ancient pinewood stands, the Garden of Forgotten Herbs, Peace Park, Porta Adriana, and the regional stretches of dunes.

Day Trips from Ravenna

There are many exciting and important venues within a reasonably short distance from Ravenna. There are various day tours that begin in Ravenna and lead outside the city’s confines to such places as the Sangiovese wineries, Bologna’s Lamborghini and Ducati Museums, and Modena’s Ferrari Museum. Moreover, the nearby cities of Venice, Ferrara, and Bologna offer travelers a wealth of things to see and do. Whether a nature-based day trip to the Po River Valley or an art tour of historic churches, there are many excursions that are bound to delight travelers to Ravenna.

Article by Gabriele Monti

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