Ravenna is a city in the Romagna zone of Emilia-Romagna.
Ceiling mosaic in the Baptistry of Neon
Ravenna is the home of the Mosaic Basilica, with a delightful small town atmosphere plus other UNESCO World Heritage listed early Christian monuments.
- I.A.T. Ravenna (Tourist office), Piazza San Francesco, 7. Monday – Saturday 08:30-19:00, Su 09:30-17:30.
The nearest airport to Ravenna is in Forlì (about 20 km), but as of 2016 there no commercial flight to there. The other relatively close airports are in Bologna (about 80 km) and Rimini.
In season there is a shuttle bus service – CRAB – operates between the Bologna airport and Ravenna (continuing to Cervia).
Ravenna is one of top twenty ports of Italy.
There is a ferry line to Catania. It takes 40h to reach destination.
Nearby, at the resort of Marina di Ravenna, there are 2 yacht marinas.
- Stazione di Ravenna (Train station), Piazza Luigi Carlo Farini 13. Connections to Rimini, Ferrara, Bologna, Faenza. Long distance trains to Florence, Rome. In summer Brescia-Pesaro, Bergamo-Pesaro and Cremona-Pesaro.
- Autostazione, Piazzale Aldo Moro (behind the railway station, near the Candiano Canal). Buses to Forlì, Cesena, Lidi Ferraresi. Long distance services to Rome (Fiumicino), Milan, Bergamo, Carpi, Modena.
Ravenna is easy to get to from the A14. Follow the signs for A14D from the A14 East. The A14D ends some kilometres before Ravenna, but the roads to the town are clearly signposted. Once in the town, head for the centre (Centro). The town streets vary (as in all Italian towns and cities) with the main routes being large and navigable, the back streets being small and unsuited to large vehicles. As there are a number of ways in, make sure you have a town map before getting to the town, although this is good advice for any Italian town.
Parking is easily attained, some free away from the old town centre, and typically 3 euro for 2.5 hours on the main street near the entry to the old town within 200 metres of the Basilica.
Ravenna is a walker’s paradise, to say nothing of a shopping heaven for some. The old town is a mainly pedestrian area with cafes and bars on every corner and some hidden away through small access alleys. Note that everything is a little more expensive near the Basilica.
Mosaics of Ravenna
Apse mosaic – Basilica of San Vitale
The early Christian monuments of Ravenna are included into UNESCO World Heritage List list.
- Basilica di San Vitale, via Argentario, 22. Apr-Sep 09:00-19:00; Mar, Oct 09:00-17:30; Nov-Feb 09:30-17:00. The huge church of San Vitale has mosaics everywhere. It was built in 547, it is considered a major monument in Western art history. €9,50 (includes Archiepiscopal Museum (Chapel of Sant’Andrea and the Ivory Throne), Neonian Baptistery, Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Basilica of San Vitale, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia).
- Mausoleo di Galla Placidia (Mausoleum of Galla Placidia), via Argentario, 22. Apr-Sep 09:00-19:00; Mar, Oct 09:00-17:30; Nov-Feb 09:30-17:00. Cross-shaped structure housing contains three sarcophagi. The largest one used to contain remains of Galla Placidia, sister of Honorius and Empress of Rome. Galla, who died in 450 AD, is one of history’s most powerful women. €9,50 (see Basilica di San Vitale) plus extra supplement €2.
- Basilica di Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo, via Di Roma, 52 , ✉ email@example.com. Apr-Sep 09:00-19:00; Mar, Oct 09:30-17:30; Nov-Feb 10:00-17:00. 6th-century basilica with amazing mosaics. €9,50 (see Basilica di San Vitale).
- Battistero Neoniano (Orthodox Baptistry), Piazza Duomo, 1. Apr-Sep 09:00-19:00; Mar, Oct 09:30-17:30; Nov-Feb 10:00-17:00. Built c-ca 430 is the oldest building in Ravenna. €9,50 (see Basilica di San Vitale).
- Cappella di Sant’Andrea (Cappella Arcivescovile), Piazza Arcivescovado, 1. Apr-Sep 09:00-19:00; Mar, Oct 09:30-17:30; Nov-Feb 10:00-17:00. Built in the beginning of the 6th century, this is the only archiepiscopal chapel which retained its original look. The chapel is located in the building which hosts the Museo arcivescovile di Ravenna (Archiepiscopal Museum). €9,50 (see Basilica di San Vitale).
- Battistero degli Ariani (Arian Baptistery), Piazzetta degli Ariani Ravenna , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Winter 08:30-16:30; Summer 08:30-19:30. Built by the Ostrogothic King Theodoric the Great between the end of the 5th century and the beginning of the 6th century. Free.
- Basilica di Sant’Apollinare in Classe, Via Romea Sud (approx. 5 km S of the city centre). 08:30-19:30. Like many Ravenna churches, it is known for its exceptional mosaics. €5, for special exhibitions €6.50.
The Mausoleum of Theoderic
- Mausoleo di Teodorico (Mausoleum of Theoderic the Great), Via delle Industrie, 14 (approx. 1 km north east from the city center, on the other side of the railway) , ✉ email@example.com. Winter 08:30-16:30; Summer 08:30-19:00. Built in the 6th century for the powerful king of Ostrogoths. The monument is also included in UNESCO World Heritage List list. €4.
- Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra (Domus of the Stone Carpets), Via Gian Battista Barbiani, 16. Mar-Sep: 10:00-18:30; Oct-Apr: Monday to Friday 10:00-17:00, Sa Su 10:00-18:00. Some remains of Roman and Byzantine buildings were excavated at the beginning of 1990s. The major one — Domus — is a 14-rooms building with 3 courtyards. The floors in these underground rooms are covered with splendid polychrome mosaics, hence the name was given to this place Tappeti di Pietra (Stone Carpets). The entrance to the archaeological site is from the 18th century chiesa di Sant’Eufemia. Adjacent 15th century Oratorio dei Cento Preti is also a part of the museum. €4.
- Chiesa di San Giovanni Evangelista. Built 5th century by the Roman imperial princess Galla Placidia. Initially it was also decorated by mosaics, but virtually none of them has been survived since then.
- Basilica di San Francesco. Built in between 10th–11th centuries. Adjacent to the church there is tomb of Dante Alighieri (on the left from the facade).
- Chiesa dello Spirito Santo. Built in the 6th century as an Arian cathedral, it has been quite drastically altered since then, featuring now a Baroque façade.
- Chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore (across the Basilica di San Vitale). A Baroque church, originating from the 6th century.
- Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista. It is another notable Baroque style, with a Middle Ages campanile.
- Basilika Santa Maria in Porto. A baroque church with 18th-century rich facade.
- Palazzo di Teodorico. These ruins were an entrance to Chiesa di San Salvatore ad Calchi. A mosaic floors from the excavations of the palace proper were installed there in 1923.
- Rocca Brancaleone (Brancaleone Fortress), Via Rocca Brancaleone. It was built by Venetians in 1457. A public garden is laid out inside the walls of the fortress.
- Museo Nazionale (National Museum), via San Vitale, 17. Tu-Su 08:30-19:30. It is located at the former Benedictine Monastery of San Vitale complex. The collection of the museum contains various archaeological and religious artefacts including 14th-century frescoes from the former chiesa delle Clarisse di Ravenna and mosaics from an archaeological site at Via d’Azeglio. €5 (in summer plus €7 for a seasonal exhibition).
Take the time to walk around. The town is full of the most charming surprises, be it a cafe or the outstanding fashion shops.
As a city of mosaics in Ravenna you can buy ceramic souvenirs in mosaic style, stylish fashions from all over Italy are available in the small boutique style shops. You won’t find big stores here as you would in Milan or Rome, but there is a small town charm to them.
If you want to do any shopping, be aware that the shops in Ravenna observe a siesta from about 12:30 to around 16:00 when the only things open are small bookshops and cafes.
You are in Italy; eat Italian food. There are many small pizzerias and trattorias in the town that serve excellent and inexpensive fare. A typical meal of pizza and a beer will cost €10-15. In the main square, the cafe serves excellent Cappuccino for about €2. The self-service cafe in the 1 central market (just north of the main square and the Hotel Byron) is excellent for lunches (€7.50-10).
- Ristorante Al Passatore, Via Guaccimanni 76 (opposite the Palazzo di Teodorico). An excellent example of a typical Romagnolo menu at local prices.
- Osteria Del Tempo Perso, Via Gamba 12 (just around the corner from Hotel Bisanzio.).
- 3 Radici, Viale Salvador Allende 56 , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The Good Shepherd” mosaic, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia
Where to stay in Ravenna
- Dante Youth Hostel, ✉ email@example.com.
- Hotel Byron , fax: . In the centre of Ravenna, within walking distance of the most important monuments;
- Hotel Bisanzio, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. In the centre of Ravenna, within walking distance of the most important monuments
- Hotel Diana Ravenna, Via Girolamo Rossi, 47 , fax: . Three-star hotel set in an 18th-century building of the city centre of Ravenna, with 48 rooms and suites, and affordable rates to visit the Byzantine mosaic of the former capital of the roman empire. All the bedrooms of the Diana Hotel Ravenna come with private bath, satellite TV and breakfast included.
- Hotel Villa Roncuzzi, ✉ email@example.com.
- NH Jolly Ravenna. Piazza Mameli, 1.
- Residence Resort Il poggio dei pini, Via delle Altee, 34 (Marina Romea) , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Residence 3 stars. Fax +39 544 441014.
- Casa Masoli, Via Rossi 22 , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 10:00. Casa Masoli is a wonderful Bed and Breakfast in the center of Ravenna. Rooms are large and ceilings are decorated. It is an old house with history. The owner is a gentle and friendly lady that speaks fluent English. Reservations can be made via email but you have to send a deposit or give your credit card number. All major cards accepted. Breakfast is huge and served until 10:00. There is courtyard to sit outside and relax. Smoking is allowed in the courtyard. Dogs may be or may not be allowed as the landlady has a dog herself. Just ask in advance. €70 for a double room.
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