Ravenna offers you art of the finest kind, famous for its UNESCO World Heritage mosaics,And the very beautiful Piazza del Popolo.
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Ravenna in 20 seconds
Ravenna has world-class mosaics and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s art, there’s food as far as the eye can see, because we’re in Emilia-Romagna, and it’s a cozy atmosphere in beautiful surroundings on Piazza del Popolo.
Ravenna is located in Emilia-Romagna
Holiday in Ravenna
Ravenna has airports within a short driving distance. It is just an hour’s drive from the airport in Bologna, from where you take the E45 motorway and continue up to Ravenna on the SP253 motorway. If you land at Treviso Airport, which is located near Venice, there is a driving time of approximately two hours.
There is a good and logical road network around Ravenna, which you can quickly and easily reach from both Bologna, Venice, and the Adriatic Sea.
We have a partnership with Trenitalia that makes it simple and easy for you to buy your train ticket online.
All you have to do is buy the ticket, get on the train and present the ticket with the QR code to the train conductor.
When I was in Bologna, where I stayed 5 days, I took a day trip to Ravenna. I rented a car and the trip from Bologna didn’t take much more than 1 hour, maybe 50 minutes.
Having a website like this, with the purpose of providing inspiration for trips to and holidays in Italy, I had planned in advance what and which sights I should at take pictures of and would then write about when I was back home.
The square, Piazza del Popolo was a must, but it was to the popular and well-known mosaics were on top of my to-do list for this trip.
It all worked out and I must say that I was surprised by how cool a city this was, a lively and social city, with beauty on almost every street corner.
Find more info about the mosaics below.
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Ravenna is a real gem, and it has a total of 8 buildings on the UNESCO World Heritage List. All were recognized for this in 1996. 8 buildings – That’s impressive!
All 8 buildings are in and around the center of Ravenna, where you can conveniently start from the city’s Piazza del Popolo. Below you will find the sights you must see when you are in the city.
Mausoleo di Galla Placida
Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo
Mausoleo di Teodorico
Battistero degli Ariani
Basilica di San Vitale
Basilica di Sant’Apollinare in Classe
Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to see them all, so had to settle for Battistero Neoniano and Basilica di San Vitale.
I was fully aware that I didn’t have time to see them all, but I had to see the church of San Vitale. It is precisely this church that you find pictures of in tourist guides about Ravenna, and of course you also get one here.
Directly opposite the entrance to San Vitale, you can buy a ticket to the church. Here you will also find a multitude of cafes, and here there is a lovely atmosphere.
You can buy your ticket in the kiosk directly opposite the entrance. The ticket gives you access to different churches and museums. Find more information regarding prices and opening hours here.
When you visit San Vitale you will see probably the most famous Byzantine mosaics in the whole world. You don’t see San Vitale, you experience it and it is a completely different experience than in any other church you have visited/experienced.
The basilica was built on a 5th century chapel and dedicated to San Vitale. It was consecrated in the year 547 by Bishop Maximian, who commissioned the interior decorations.
When I had seen what I wanted in San Vitale I continued to Battistero Neoniano. While I remember, it is worth mentioning that it is clearly easiest to leave the car and walk between the different churches when you want to see the many mosaics. There is quite a distance between some of them, but with nice weather and in these lovely surroundings, it’s not that bad.
In this small, well-kept garden, you will find a small baptistery, and this is where you will see the spectacular mosaics on the ceiling. Many inhabitants also pass by this attraction on their evening walk, just to enjoy the beauty and the calmness. Calmness is what you find here.
Around the middle of the 5th century, Bishop Neone decided to roof the cathedral’s baptistery, which Bishop Orso had built a few decades before.
When you enter the octagonal building, which is the best-preserved baptistery, you will find a unique in terms of early Christian and Byzantine art.
Both the architectural structure and the interior in marble, stucco and mosaics make it unique.
It is in this square that the heart beats in Ravenna, and it has done so for more than 700 years, because the square was once the home of the city’s rulers and today, it is the home of the city’s inhabitants. Regardless of the time and, for that matter, the season, there is always life in this beautiful square.
The square is completely closed to traffic and is therefore only for pedestrians. It has been this way since 1969, and it was the first square in Ravenna to be closed to traffic.
The square is, together with the many mosaics preserved by UNESCO, the very big reason to visit Ravenna and enjoy the city.
As written, the square has been here since the 13th century. From the time when the Da Polenta family ruled the city and had it under their control from 1275 to 1441.
The current dimensions of the square were carried out between 1470-1480. What should have been an extension of the bank by the Padenna river was extended, and that is how the appearance of the square came about as you can see it today.
The old town hall of Bernardino Da Polenta was subsequently rebuilt on the occasion of the arrival of the first Venetian podesta, Vittorio Delfino.
The square was first called Piazza del Comune and later Piazza Maggiore.
Piazza del Popolo, it has been called since 1946. At the first referendum, where over 88% of the population voted for the Republic.
Piazza del Popolo houses some of the most beautiful and important buildings in the city.
The former Da Polenta palace was demolished and rebuilt in 1681 and replaced by the current Palazzo Comunale. Among the population this is known as Palazzo Merlato.
On top of the ruins of the churches of San Marco and San Sebastiano stands the Palazzo della Torre dell’Orologio. This first housed the first customs office, then the first cinema and then the Casa del Fascio.
Today Palazzo dei Rasponi is the head office of a bank.
When I’m touring Italy, I often forget to find a place to eat, simply because I’m fully focused on seeing a lot of sights.
This was almost also the case on my trip to Ravenna. On my way I had been visiting the westernmost part of Emilia-Romagna, and hadn’t had anything since breakfast, so at 1:30 p.m., it was time to get some food
Therefore, my first goal was to find a place to eat when I arrived at Ravenna, and here I chose Il Buon Gusto, located at Via Cesarea 148. It is not in the very central part of the city, but fortunately that does not make the food worse.
Here I was met by an older slightly rotund man with a brilliant mood and a good sense of humor.
The restaurant was only half full because it was during corona times, when it was a requirement to show a corona passport to enter the restaurant.
The other guests were undoubtedly locals, and that’s exactly what I love, because it’s places like these where the locals eat, that you can feel the Italian atmosphere.