Ravenna
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Ravenna Culture & History

Ravenna: Private Guided Tour with Monument Admissions

1. Ravenna: Private Guided Tour with Monument Admissions

On this 3-hour private guided tour of Ravenna, your guide will show you the most important treasures of the city. You'll explore some of its most important sites and admire the stunning mosaics all around you. Ravenna was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire during the 5th century AD. It then served as the capital of the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths until it was re-conquered in 540 AD by the Byzantine Empire. Subsequently the city formed the center of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna until the invasion by the Lombards in 751 AD, after which it became the seat of the Kingdom of the Lombards. Although an inland city, Ravenna is connected to the Adriatic Sea by the Candiano Canal. It is known for its well-preserved late Roman and Byzantine architecture, and features 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Admire the early Christian and Byzantine mosaics in the Basilica of San Vitale, the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, the Battistero Neoniano, the Arcivescovile Museum and the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo. The monuments are all within easy walking distance. Walk along the streets of the old town and stop to admire the picturesque Piazza del Popolo and the Dante area, or Area of Silence. In fact, the exiled Florentine Dante died in Ravenna on 13 September 1321.

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Ravenna: Guided Sightseeing Tour

2. Ravenna: Guided Sightseeing Tour

Explore the former capital of the Western Roman Empire and discover early Christian and Byzantine mosaics from the 5th and 6th centuries on a guided walking tour of Ravenna. Stroll the fascinating streets of the old city center, and stop to watch a practical demonstration of mosaic-making techniques along the way. Visit the Church of S. Vitale, commissioned by the Emperor Justinian of Byzantium with masterful mosaics depicting his wife Theodora. See the powerful Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, created to honor the resilient and colorful Empress of the Western Roman Empire. Admire the mosaics of the Neoniano Baptistery near to the ancient cathedral, and discover the tomb of the exiled poet Dante. Visit the private chapel of the Ostrogoth King Theoderic at the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, and more.

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Ravenna: Small-Group Tour of the Best Mosaics and Highlights

3. Ravenna: Small-Group Tour of the Best Mosaics and Highlights

Ravenna was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until the empire collapsed in 476. After this era, the city served as the capital for two other empires of the Ostrogothic Kingdom and Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna until the invasion of the Lombards, a Germanic people. The uniqueness of the three empire rules wonderfully influenced the old town with architecture and art expression, including the Orthodox Baptistry dated to the V century, Arian Baptistry erected at the beginning of the VI century and Basilica of San Vitale, with triumphal arch mosaics dated to the VI century. Notably, the Garden of Eden mosaic in the mausoleum of Galla Placidia forms the beauty of the Roman building, which was recognized in the World Heritage List in 1996 with UNESCO experts describing it as ‘the earliest and best-preserved of all mosaic monuments …the most artistically perfect’. Adding to the beauty of this city is the subdued, calm and serene atmosphere. Far away from the hurried, overcrowded and busy usual tourist spots, guests on this tour can revel in a pleasant stroll at ease and your own pace. The notable landmarks include the Romanic Basilica di San Vitale, Piazza del Popolo, Archiepiscopal Museum, Rocca Barancaleone and the covered market, Mercato Coperata. Alongside, the stunning buildings and sites, Ravenna holds history of Dante, the National Poet Father of the Italian Language who moved to the town after being banished from Florence and later passed away here. During the tour, you can visit the Father of Italian Language’s Tomb, the Quadraraco courtyard and Franciscan Cloister, where Dante’s Museum has been set, all situated in the quietest place in the city, known as the Area of the Silence.

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Ravenna: Walking Tour with Stunning Byzantine Mosaics

4. Ravenna: Walking Tour with Stunning Byzantine Mosaics

Discover Ravenna, one of Italy's most spectacular cities, with this fantastic walking tour. After meeting your guide, start from the church of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, dating from the 6th century. Then find out all about the infamous poet Dante in the area named the "zone of silence", dedicated to the cult and memory of Dante Alighieri. Beside the poet's tomb you will find the Dante museum and the Franciscan cloisters with the statues of San Francesco and Santa Chiara. Continuing your tour, head towards the Neonian baptistery with its perfectly preserved architectural structure and interior decoration, consisting of stuccos and the magnificent mosaic of the baptism of Christ. Make your way to the Palazzo Rasponi to reach the Piazza del Popolo, the main square of the city. The tour concludes with the wonderful Basilica of San Vitale dating from the 6th century, and testimony to the Roman-Byzantine empire. With an octagonal central plan, the church still preserves the splendid scenes of the Old Testament and the famous panels of the imperial couple Justinian and Theodora of the Eastern Roman Empire. Next to the basilica, visit the Mausoleum of the Roman Empress Galla Placidiay, rich in unique mosaic decorations.

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From Bologna: 3-Hour Private Ravenna Guided Tour

5. From Bologna: 3-Hour Private Ravenna Guided Tour

With this 3-hours private guided tour of Ravenna, you will enjoy the most important treasures of the city. You'll explore some of its most important and famous sites and admire the stunning mosaics all around you. Ravenna was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until the empire collapsed in 476. It then served as the capital of the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths until it was re-conquered in 540 by the Eastern Roman Enna (Byzantine) Empire. Afterwards, the city formed the center of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna until the invasion of the Lombards in 751, after which it became the seat of the Kingdom of the Lombards. Although an inland city, Ravenna is connected to the Adriatic Sea by the Candiano canal. It is known for its well-preserved late Roman and Byzantine architecture, and has eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Your visit to the early Christian and Byzantine mosaics includes: the Basilica of San Vitale, the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, the Battistero Neoniano, the Arcivescovile Museum and the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo. The monuments are all within easy walking distance. During the walk along the streets of the old town, you will also get the chance to visit the picturesque Piazza del Popolo and the so-called "Dante area," the area of silence. In fact, the exiled Florentine Dante died in Ravenna on September 13th 1321. Prepare to take amazing pictures of the palaces, squares, typical streets of the old town and the picturesque and colored churches.

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Ravenna: Private Full-Day History and Mosaics Tour

6. Ravenna: Private Full-Day History and Mosaics Tour

Discover the Roman and Byzantine treasures of Ravenna with a private guide, including some of its 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. See stunning mosaics at the Basilica of San Vitale and the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, said to be the best-preserved of all mosaic monuments. Benefit from the expert knowledge of your guide, and the chance to break for lunch at your own expense. Visit the octagonal Baptistery of Neon, where a ceiling mosaic depicts John the Baptist baptizing Jesus. Look at early Christian relics in the Archiepiscopal Museum, and marvel at the 6th-century palace chapel of King Theodoric the Great at the Basilica of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo. Stroll the historic streets of the old town to arrive at the pretty Piazza del Popolo, and follow in the footsteps of Dante to discover areas where the poet lived after his exile from Florence. Get a beautiful view of the Basilica of San Francesco, where his funeral was held in 1321.

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Ravenna: Dining Experience at a Local's Home

7. Ravenna: Dining Experience at a Local's Home

Immerse yourself in a private dining experience at a local's home, enjoy exclusive cooking and taste authentic recipes treasured in family cookbooks passed down by real Italian Mammas. Feel the warmth of Italian hospitality as you connect with local people. Enjoy a 4-course menu including starter, pasta, a main course with a side dish, dessert with drinks included (water, selection of red and white wines from regional cellars and coffee). At the end of the experience, take your souvenir back home: the official apron.

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Ravenna: Cooking Class at a Local's Home

8. Ravenna: Cooking Class at a Local's Home

Immerse yourself in a cooking class at a local home, learning the secrets of the most famous dishes of regional cuisine and taste the fruit of your labor accompanied by local wines. During the lesson, the cook will reveal the tricks of the trade for three authentic local recipes. Have fun putting your cooking skills to the test. You will have a workstation equipped with utensils and all the ingredients to make the dishes. Then, taste everything you have prepared accompanied by a selection of local wines. Instead of loading your suitcase with souvenirs, take home Italian cooking skills that will stay with you for life.

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Ravenna: Market Tour, Private Home Cooking Class, and Dinner

9. Ravenna: Market Tour, Private Home Cooking Class, and Dinner

Go food shopping like a local, enjoying the distinctive Italian local market and learning how to recognize the best products from the land. Afterwards, immerse yourself in a cooking class at a local home, learning the secrets of the most famous dishes of regional cuisine before tasting the fruits of your labor accompanied by local wines. During the lesson, your cook will reveal the tricks of the trade for 3 authentic local recipes. Have fun putting your cooking skills to the test, as you work on the creations from your workstation equipped with utensils and all the ingredients to make the dishes. Afterwards, taste everything you have prepared accompanied by a selection of red and white local wines. Instead of loading your suitcase with souvenirs, take home Italian cooking skills that will stay with you for life.

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Ravenna: Market Tour and 4-Course Meal

10. Ravenna: Market Tour and 4-Course Meal

If you want to uncover the secrets of Italian family recipes on your travels, this is a fantastic way to learn the locals' wisdom, which has been passed down in their families for generations. You can visit the local market with your "Cesarina", enjoying the atmosphere of an Italian local market and learning how to recognize the best produce from the land. When you return to your Cesarina’s home, you will attend a private cooking demo where your Cesarina will share the secret of their family cookbook while preparing one of the dishes right in front of you. You will sit at an authentic Italian table and enjoy a 4-course seasonal menu including starter, pasta, a main course with a side dish, and dessert. Drinks included are water, a selection of red and white wines from regional cellars, and coffee. You can feel the warmth of Italian hospitality as you connect with local people.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Ravenna

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What people are saying about Ravenna

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 5 reviews

In general, my Italian weekend brought me an interesting experience. ⠀ It all started with the fact that I decided to look for interesting leisure in Ravenna, where I went for the weekend. I was alone, and I wanted to diversify my leisure time. ⠀ I came across an offer of a master class and dinner at home in an Italian family. ⠀ And you know, I am still impressed because this experience is invaluable in studying foreign culture. You won’t get it by studying books and video reviews of travelers. ⠀ If you want to see how and what the Italian family lives, to find out what the Italian woman thinks and how she feels in her home environment, spend an evening in the Italian manner, having tasted a bunch of Italian homemade food and not notice how 4 hours have flown, then try !

The city is splendid, and being able to visit it accompanied by Elisa, a really competent and passionate guide, was really beautiful. Even the children, who the day before in Ferara followed the group on the sidelines, totally disinterested, today have lost nothing of the engaging explanations. Thanks so much!

It was really nice to be able to walk in the streets of Ravenna taking a dip in the medieval period characterized by the beauty of the works still intact.

A well-trained guide has donated many cultural, historical and architectural elements to the visit

Very knowledgeable guide. Easy walks between the sites.