Ravenna is a city with a past as varied as its landscape. It was once the center of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until its collapse in 476. Afterwards, it became a major settlement for the Visigoths, and later, the Byzantine Empire. Today, it is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Italy. Stroll through the narrow alleys and watch the bustling Italian life around you, indulge in amazing dishes from the Emilia Romagna region, and bask in the sun on the endless beaches on the coast, only a stone’s throw from the historic city. Here, you can truly spend the holidays of a lifetime!
Location: A city that extends from the Adriatic Sea to the foothills of the Apennine Mountains
Situated in the north-east of the Italian peninsula, Ravenna covers the southern part of the Emilia Romagna, and is connected to the Adriatic Sea by the Candiano Canal. Its location by the sea, flanked by the Apennine Mountains, makes its landscape beautifully varied: it has beaches, sand dunes, pinewoods, farmland plains, lagoons, and coastal resorts.
Culture: Romanesque, Goth, and Byzantine
As home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, there is a lot to see in Ravenna. The art and culture of this city has inspired many writers and artists, namely Dante and Klimt, of which the latter took inspiration for his paintings from Ravenna’s beautiful mosaics. Among the must-sees are the Basilica di San Vitale, a Byzantine era structure with a marble interior and mosaic decorations in gold and emerald green. Another is the Mausoleum of Galla Placida. The mosaics here, in colors like turquoise blue, gold, orange, are breathtaking. The National Museum is also an interesting site to visit. It houses 14th century frescoes, fabric and ivory collections, Roman ruins, and other cultural artifacts. Other noteworthy sites include Dante’s tomb, a neoclassical tomb built in 1321, as well as the Neonian Baptistery and the Mausoleum of Theodric, both UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Activities: Nature, Water Sports, and Food
Museums are not the only places to go to in Ravenna. With its changing landscapes, there are tons of other activities you can do. If you are a nature buff, the Oasis of Punte Alberete is the perfect place with its extensive woods, rare bird species, and varied flora and fauna. You are more into water sports? Porto Corsini offers scuba diving through the ruins of the Paguro platform, which sank in 1965. If you’re vacationing with the kids, visit Mirabilandia, Ravenna’s answer to Disneyland. Finally, all trips should include a gastronomic activity. Don’t miss out on sampling the local Piadina, homemade pasta, scampi, and tortellini stuffed with ricotta cheese and herbs. Yum!