A Guided Walk Through Ravenna – from Cruise Port
Tour Participation Requirements
There's one very good reason why UNESCO has named eight Ravenna sites to its World Heritage List; due to the dazzling mosaic artistry. The fact is this city experienced its own golden age at the peak of Byzantine-era mosaic-making.
As a result, the city's 1500-year-old churches and monuments are adorned with the most impressive glittering stone-and-glass inlay work this side of Constantinople. Outside, most of the buildings are quiet, unassuming brick. But step inside, and wow – the magnificence is hard to describe in words, but sure to delight all who view it.
This inspiring iconography has been doing just that for centuries – drawing famous artists, writers, and other cultural heavyweights to Ravenna like a magnet. Dante Aligheri and Lord Byron, Henry James and Oscar Wilde, Sigmund Freud, Hermann Hesse, Gustav Klimt and plenty more.
They all saw something irresistible there, and you'll get a good glimpse of it yourself as your locally savvy guide escorts the group in and out of Ravenna's top landmarks, filling you in on the who's who and what's what of their background.
The city's cobbled historic district is virtually car-free (plenty of bikes though, so you do need to keep an eye out for two-wheelers) and compact enough to be thoroughly explored on a comfortable walking excursion like this one.
One thing's for sure: you'll probably want to do some serious retiling at home once you get a look at how the Byzantines decorated their interiors.
Good luck finding guys who know how to do that kind of work today.
Early girl power
Sharing the Basilica di San Vitale's walls with a young, beardless Christ are mosaics of the great Byzantine emperor Justinian and his haloed empress Theodora. Many centuries before it was politically fashionable, this progressively-minded showgirl from Constantinople is credited with influencing social reforms that expanded rights for women including divorce and property ownership. Justinian's most trusted advisor, she also had him wrapped around her little finger.
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