Private: Ravenna For The History BuffExplore > Italy > Ravenna > Private: Ravenna For The History Buff
Dive into the past using the artwork that has lasted hundreds of years.
This charming stop is becoming more and more popular and we found out why on our visit.
Sitting on the coastline with Venice to its north and Florence underneath, Ravenna has always been a highlight because of its Byzantine history and lovely old town. This tour was designed to be a complete visit that will not only show you the marvelous mosaics but give you an opportunity to learn about the art of mosaics and its origins.
Your visit will begin on the lighter side, with the introduction to the city its Christian churches and mosaics, which have been collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its 1,500-year-old churches, which have been blessed with the best examples of Byzantine mosaics outside of Istanbul, are stunning. One particular highlight is the Piazza Del Popolo and it is the perfect starting point. The square was built around 1500 while the city was ruled by Venice, and under their influence, the people would gather here and still do so.
Of major interest is the Basilica de San Vitale, which is 1400 years old, with its impressive mosaics. Your guide will explain the scenes of the apostles and the message of peace and stability and how it applies to this period. Also on your itinerary is a visit to the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia just across the courtyard. Here you will see the oldest and by many, the best examples in Ravenna. So sheer that light filters through the designs, you will enjoy the glow focused on the Christian symbolism of the design.
A short 4 km. ride away to the town of Classe, you will visit the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, a 6th-century church in eastern Ravenna. Named for Ravenna's first bishop, it is famed for its two side walls full of figurative mosaics dating from c.500 (under the Arian king Theodoric) and c.560 (under Catholic administration). It was also cited as "an outstanding example of the early Christian basilica in its purity and simplicity of its design and use of space and in the sumptuous nature of its decoration" by the UNESCO designation.
During your walk in the pedestrian area you will have a chance to pause for coffee in the main square and visit the Tomb of Dante Alighieri, Italy's most distinguished poet, who died here in 1321.
Along with these stops you will have time to visit a mosaic master at work in a studio. This visit will help to demonstrate the difficulty of the work you viewed earlier, giving you an appreciation for the art.
Besides the full day's visit, you can attend a lesson of 1.5 hours which includes about 100 slides for a deeper understanding of mosaic art and technique from its origins in the 5th century BC to modern times.
- This tour requires you to be able to walk uneven street surfaces.
- Food, beverages, gratuities are not included in this tour.
- All admissions, mosaic demonstration, and historical presentations are included.
- Please note that on the first Sunday of each month many tourist sites in Italy have free admission. This can often result in long lines. If you are staying at a hotel, it may be beneficial to avoid booking a tour involving inside visits to major attractions on these days. If you have questions, contact ShoreTrips.
Days offered: 7 days a week