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Ravenna

Detail of the mosaic in the apse of the Basilica of San Vitale. Source: Municipal Archive of Ravenna. Photo by: Nicola Strocchi.
Province:  Ravenna
Tourist Area
Art Cities Adriatic Coast
Where it is
Ravenna is located in the north-east of the Italian peninsula, just a few kilometres from the Adriatic Sea. Its province covers the southern part of Romagna and extends from the sea to the gently rolling foothills of the Apennines.
Why visit
Ravenna, the city of mosaics, has been recognised as a world heritage by UNESCO: eight historic buildings are on the World Heritage List.

It is a treasure chest of art, history and culture of the highest order with ancient origins and a glorious past; it was a capital three times: of the Western Roman Empire, of Theodoric King of the Goths, and of the emperor of Byzantium.

It houses the mortal remains of Dante Alighieri and keeps his memory alive with important events. Just a short distance from the sea, Ravenna also offers a rich variety of occasions for visits and holidays.
Where to visit and what to see
The culture offered by Ravenna is rich and diverse in every season: besides the possibility of visiting the eight Unesco historic buildings (Basilica of San Vitale, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Neonian Baptistery, St. Andrew’s Chapel, Arian Baptistery, Basilica of S. Apollinare Nuovo, Theodoric’s Mausoleum, Basilica of S. Apollinare in Classe), the MAR - City Art Museum holds regular high profile exhibitions and keeps several permanent collections including the Contemporary Mosaics Collection.

TAMO - Tutta l'Avventura del Mosaico
(TAMO - All the adventure of mosaics) is located in San Nicolò and hosts a permanent exhibition with the main focus on the archeological aspects of mosaics;  National Museum of Ravenna offers a varied display of collections, including finds from excavations of Roman and Byzantine sites. The ‘Parco della Pace’ is an open air exhibition of mosaics produced by internationally famous artists.

The evocative “silent area” in the old city centre contains the tomb of the great poet, Dante, the Quadrarco di Braccioforte and the Basilica of San Francesco; throughout September celebrations and performances take place in these places.

In the silent rooms of the Classense Library articles left by Lord Byron and many other important historic personalities who stayed in the city can be seen. The Risorgimento Museum contains engravings, documents, and objects from the Risorgimento and from the exploits of Garibaldi in Ravenna and all that ensued.

The Public Gardens of the city provide a backdrop to the sixteenth century Loggetta Lombardesca and the Planetarium. The Rocca Brancaleone, of the Venetian period of rule, contains a luxuriant garden and an arena for open air events.
Room with a view
The Albergo Cappello is a refined historic residence in perfect Venetian style, located on Via IV Novembre, and in an excellent position to see the attractions of the old city centre of Ravenna. Ideal for both business and leisure, the building offers exclusive facilities with finely furnished rooms (some containing Renaissance frescoes) and the best in comfort. There is also an excellent restaurant and conference room equipped for all kinds of events.
Don't miss
The Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra, a marvellous floor decoration of a 6th century palace discovered recently (1993-1994): all the rooms of the building were paved with marble inlay or mosaic with refined geometric figures and inserts of figures in polychrome mosaic tiles.
On the table
The piadina romagnola (a kind of bread tortilla made in Romagna), cappelletti with ragout, passatelli in broth, caramelised figs with soft squaquerone cheesse are typical dishes of Ravenna and you can enjoy them with a good glass of Sangiovese wine at the Cà de Vèn, in the old city centre. Mixed grills of meat and fish are available in all the best restaurants.
For fun
Along the Adriatica state highway 16 just 15 km from Ravenna the largest amusement park in Italy, Mirabilandia, recreates fantastic worlds for all ages and adrenaline levels. The attractions include roller coasters, freefall towers, flower gardens, a panoramic Ferris wheel, shows and the latest games. Close to Mirabilandia there is the Faunal Park Le Dune del Delta, a natural zero impact area for observing and studying animals from close up.
To keep fit
A number of cycle tracks make it possible to reach any part of the City and Punta Marina Terme (6 km) where the Spa centre is located by the sea with bromine-iodine rich waters. The pinewoods of San Vitale and Classe offer excursions on foot, horseback and by bicycle.
Main events
Every year in June and July Ravenna Festival is the multidisciplinary event with the best performers and orchestra conductors. Mosaics by Night, in July and August, offers programmes of events in historic buildings until 11.00 pm.
September is dedicated to Dante with many cultural related events such as, for instance, the Divine Comedy international readings.
The second weekend of October Ravenna brightens up with the Notte d'Oro, the white night in the city with shows on culture and entertainment. Furthermore, every two years, from October November, there is Ravenna Mosaico, First International Festival of contemporary mosaics, now in its third edition.
Information and useful advice
The C'entro in bici scheme makes bicycles available for free; they are located in racks at various points throughout the city.

In the entrance hall of the railway station there is a space set aside for taking care of small children with all the conveniences necessary: La Stanza delle coccole.

The Palazzo Mauro de Andrè can host conferences, concerts, sports events and fairs.
Nearby
The territory of Ravenna offers many different panoramas with beaches, pinewoods, lagoons and farmland plains. The district contains nine seaside resorts along its 35 kilometres of coastline: Casalborsetti, Marina Romea, Porto Corsini, Marina di Ravenna, Punta Marina Terme, Lido Adriano, Lido di Dante, Lido di Classe and Lido di Savio. The choices available for enjoying a holiday are equally numerous: sunshine and relaxation, games, sports, excursions and parks.

Just 10 km from Ravenna, at Sant’Alberto, there is NatuRa, the Natural Science Museum which is also the point of departure for enthralling guided tours in the Po Delta Natural Park. About 20 km along the Adriatica state highway 16 you can visit the historic salt-pans of Cervia.
For more information
Local Staff: Ravenna
Information Offices
Informazione e accoglienza turistica con prenotazioneRAVENNA MAUSOLEO TEODORICO
Via delle Industrie, 14
48100 Ravenna (RA)
Tel. ++39 0544-451539
Fax ++39 0544-451539
iatteodorico@ravennareservation.it
Opening: Open troughout the year
Informazione e accoglienza turistica con prenotazioneRAVENNA CENTRO STORICO
Piazza San Francesco, 7
48100 Ravenna (RA)
Tel. ++39 0544-35404
Fax ++39 0544-546097
iatravenna@comune.ra.it
Opening: Open troughout the year
More about services and schedule of the info centres in the Local website

How to reach

Railways Ferrovie dello Stato
Ravenna railroad station
Airports Bologna (85 km)Forlì (33 km)Rimini (68 km)
By Car
From the north Ravenna can be reached from Bologna by the A14 motorway, while the state highway 309 Romea runs from Venice and intersects with the roads from Padua and Ferrara. From the south, in addition to the A1 and A14 motorways there is the E45 highway which crosses the Apennines and connects Ravenna to Rome and the state highway 16 Adriatica.

Last update: 11/02/2015

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