Right in the area of ancient Imperial Palace area, St. Apollinare Nuovo Basilica is where your tour of Ravenna will be leaving from. This is the Royal Chapel king Theoderic the Great built for himself and his Arian religion court. These will be the first mosaics you will be experiencing in town. On a mesmerising pure gold background, reminiscent of pure glory of Heaven, two long processions of saints and virgins reach out to Jesus Christ and holy Virgin Mary sitting on thrones, paying homage to them. The scenes are incredibly popular, and you will surely be reminiscent of them from many books and pictures memories. This is going to be memorable.
Arians Baptistery is the special building king Theoderic built for his Arian religion people for Baptism to be conveyed into: all is fully atmospheric and magic in here. There’s never many people reaching this facility, and it’s definitely one of the most-hidden treasures of the town. Apostles beckoning at you from pure gold background on the top of the dome, eternally performing a ritual procession all around Jesus Christ Baptism scene, is something you will remember for a long time to come.
People’s Square is the heart and cradle of Ravenna. Architecture here is just unbelievable. This is the best place to be spying on locals, here gathering to be chatting and hearing the latest news in town.
Nearby Early Christian St. Vitale Basilica is definitely the most brilliant, mesmerizing monument of all town. And it’s something you will remember for the rest of your lives. Prepare to be left speechless by stunning grandeur and glorious glare of Byzantine times decorations: from marble to mosaics, this is Byzantine art at its best. Following a most mysterious labyrinth on the floor of the church we will be reaching the stunning chancel area, where purple-dressed Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora are represented, still presenting golden treasures to Jesus himself after one-thousand five hundred years.
The so-called Galla Placidia Mausoleum is what the late Roman Empress is said having been building for herself and her family. All is quiet, blue-nuances colour and hugely atmospheric. In the darkness, ceiling breaks down in a million golden stars glittering in a lilac sky, hundreds of cerulean and white flowers blossoming all around, doves and does delicately picking up water from vessels and pods. If Heaven was a place on Earth, that’s what it definitely would be looking like. This is some of the best Italy has to be offering you.
At the very centre of ancient Ravenna Roman town, this is where glorious Cathedral still stands, topped by a Baroque dome, flanked by Archbishop palace, where St. Andrew Chapel is located. This is another hidden treasure of Ravenna, not many people even being aware of its existence. Inside octagonal Neon bishop Baptistery just close-by, Roman mosaics come alive with Apostles mosaic figures beckoning at you from the top of the dome, in a perpetual, mystical rotation movement around Jesus Christ figure.
World-beloved poet Dante Alighieri died in Ravenna in 1321, and here laid to rest in a simple tomb close to the Franciscan Fathers cloister he was fond of. From Oscar Wilde to Lord Byron, many of the most prominent writers reached here paying homage to the sommo poeta. St. Francis Basilica is one of those vivid images of Ravenna that will stay forever with you. On the outside, the church looks like an average late Roman one. But on the inside, a most remarkable and unusual thing will be attracting your attention. I’m not anticipating anything, but let me ask: have you ever seen sea reaching into a church?
St. Apollinare in Classe Basilica is located at the border of what once was the most prominent harbour of ancient Roman Italy, on the outskirts of nowadays city centre: the round, flat church steeple flanking the church is visible from afar, marking the location of the largest and most imposing Byzantine Basilica of all the Western World. On the inside, everything is huge: tall columns and huge spaces welcome what art historians think to be the best set of mosaics of all Europe.
Stunning, unusual and imposing, Theodoric Mausoleum is what the Great barbarian King of Italy built for himself to be laid to rest into, on the outskirts of the city. On the top of it, a majestic 230 tonne single stone working as roof, still quizzing archaeologists on building strategies endured here.