Monumental Mosaics: Ravenna Walking Tour

8.25 Hours
Group Activity
Shore Excursion with Guaranteed Return to Ship

From (USD) $518 Per Vehicle

Monumental Mosaics: Ravenna Walking Tour

8.25 Hours
Group Activity
Shore Excursion with Guaranteed Return to Ship

From (USD) $518 Per Vehicle

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      Monumental Mosaics: Ravenna Walking Tour

      Ravenna, Italy
      From (USD) $518 Per Vehicle
      • Mausoleum of Galla Placidia: See the world's earliest and best-preserved mosaic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the shape of a cross.
      • Basilica of San Vitale: Built in 1525, this small domed structure contains the world's finest Byzantine mosaic art, but no relation to its neighbor Placidia.
      • Regional specialties: You'll take a break in Ravenna for the crusty flat bread known as piadina with prosciutto, salami, cheeses, and a glass of local wine.
      • Free time: Some time to stroll the town center and experience Ravenna on your own.
      About This Ravenna Tour

      According to tradition, the powerful Roman empress Galla Placidia ordered the construction of the mausoleum that bears her name. A lover of fine art, she spared no expense in decking out her tomb. Inside the unassuming brick building are brilliant blue and green mosaics, dominating every inch of ceiling in the ancient structure.

      It seems Galla Placidia's wish was to spend eternity under a starry night sky as there are over 800 stars etched into the mausoleum's ceiling. She was a devout Christian, too – the most famous mosaics in the mausoleum are fascinating relics of early Christian art, including one brilliantly portraying Christ in regal attire of gold and purple, in contrast to prior depictions of him as a simple shepherd.

      Though the belief for centuries was that Galla Placidia's embalmed body was sitting upright in a sarcophagus next to her second husband and second-eldest son, a fire lit by a mischievous crew of boys in 1577 threw that belief into doubt. Instead, it's possible that imposter bodies were placed in the ancient tombs somewhere around the 13th or 14th century, with the intention of passing it off as Placidia and her clan. But that hasn't stopped thousands from flocking to this splendid tomb; regardless of whose remains may or may not reside there, the beauty of the mosaics is timeless. As any lover of art will tell you.

      The art of inspiration

      For a relatively small structure far from Rome, Placidia's mausoleum has benefited from some of the best unintentional travel marketing in history. Among those it inspired were the poet Ezra Pound and psychologist (and one-time friend of Freud) Carl Jung. Legendary composer Cole Porter wrote Night and Day after a visit, moved by the intense colors of the mosaics depicting the night sky.

      Getting prepared
      Tour Participation Requirements
      Bring photo ID Bring photo ID
      Great photo opportunities Great photo opportunities
      Bring money Bring money
      Bring water Bring water
      Wear comfortable shoes Wear comfortable shoes
      Wear Sunglasses Wear Sunglasses
      Wear Hat Wear Hat
      Wear Jeans Wear Jeans
      Cancellation policy

      Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.

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      General disclaimer

      Your order is subject to TourTrek's Booking Ticket Agreement, including all TourTrek and GoBe policies incorporated therein.

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