Best of Ravenna UNESCO Attractions With a Local Expert
Welcome to Ravenna, Italy, a city rich in history and renowned for its Byzantine mosaics. Join us on a tour of three extraordinary sites: Galla Placidia, Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, and San Vitale.
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Our first stop is the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, a small yet breathtaking monument that showcases the beauty of Ravenna's early Christian art. Step inside this UNESCO World Heritage Site and be mesmerized by the shimmering mosaics that adorn the walls and ceiling. The deep blue hues and intricate designs create an ethereal atmosphere, transporting you back to the 5th century. As you explore the mausoleum, don't miss the remarkable mosaic depicting the Good Shepherd—a powerful symbol of the Christian faith.
Next, we make our way to Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, a basilica that leaves visitors in awe with its vibrant mosaics and striking architecture. Originally built as a Palatine Chapel, it later became a place of worship. The mosaic panels lining the nave depict biblical scenes, showcasing stories from both the Old and New Testaments. Marvel at the exquisite craftsmanship and vivid colors that bring these narratives to life. One of the most iconic mosaics here is the Procession of the Magi, a stunning portrayal of the three wise men on their journey to meet the baby Jesus.
Our final destination is the Basilica of San Vitale, considered a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. As you step inside, you'll be captivated by the intricate mosaic designs covering the walls and vaulted ceilings. The apse mosaic, featuring Emperor Justinian and his court, is a sight to behold. It is matched in grandeur by the mosaic depicting Empress Theodora, which is equally breathtaking. The basilica's design, with its octagonal shape and towering dome, showcases the architectural prowess of the time.
As we conclude our tour of Galla Placidia, Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, and San Vitale, you will leave with a deeper appreciation for the artistry and cultural significance of these remarkable sites. Ravenna's mosaics are truly a feast for the eyes and stand as a testament to the city's rich history and enduring beauty.