TravelGuide Ravenna: Guide Ravenna: Italy - Nozio 0%

Author: rdesai

Ravenna, Italy

Ravenna probably dates to the second millennium B.C. It was the base for the roman western Mediterranean fleet during the reign of Emperor Augustus (1st century AD) and was made capital of the Western Roman Empire by Honorius in 402 AD. In the 5th and 6th centuries under the Goths (King Theodoric conquered it in 493) and from 540 AD, under the Byzantines, the city was enriched with outstanding monuments and buildings. During the rule of the Da Polenta family Ravenna welcomed Dante Alighieri who died there in 1321. The city was then dominated alternatively by the Venetians and the Holy See until 1859.

Ravenna's most important attractions include S. Apollinare Nuovo and S. Apollinare in Classe, the Mausoleum of Theodoric and the Baptistries. Art treasures from various epoches can be seen in the National and Archepiscopal Museums, the Classense Library and the Municipal Art Gallery which contains an impressive collection of 15th and 16th century paintings on wood and canvas, chiefly from the Romagna area. The city centre is at its most animated in Piazza del Popolo which is almost like an elegant drawing room with its bars, cafés and shops.

Ravenna’s artistic tradition however is specially linked to the great, precious Byzantine mosaics, still intact today, which made its rich complex of 5th and 6th century Byzantine buildings unique in the world. These religious buildings with their precious mosaics have been declared patrimony of humanity by Unesco World Heritage List. A fascinating historical-artistic heritage, the richest and best preserved testimony of early Christian and byzantine art in Italy.

The tradition of mosaic decoration is still alive today in the studios that reproduce the masterpieces of antiquity and create mosaic versions of contemporary works of art. If you want to learn about current mosaic trends a visit to the permanent exhibition of contemporary mosaics at the Loggetta Lombardesca is a must.

Ravenna's great historical and artistic heritage is coupled with a high level of cultural vivacity. Many top-level theatrical, ballet, opera and concert events take place during the year. The main summer appointment, from June to the end of July, is the international opera and concert event Ravenna Festival, held in the city's most prestigious places such as the Church of S. Vitale and the Basilica of S. Apollinare in Classe.

The summer calendar also offers other memorable dates among which, from June to August, Bella di Sera with more than 50 events held in the most evocative venues of the old town, the Jazz Festival in July at the beautiful Rocca Brancaleone and the August Organ Music Festival in the Church of S. Vitale.

Ravenna's cuisine is famous for its rich variety of carefully prepared typical products. Delicious homemade pasta for example. Tagliatelle and lasagna with the classic meat sauce; the exquisitely refined cappelletti with cheese filling, cooked in capon broth. People from the Ravenna area have made a fine art of barbecuing meat and the various types of fish that the sea supplies in abundance. These are often served with the traditional piadina.

Desserts include ciambella and zuppa inglese, a kind of trifle made with custard and cordial-soaked biscuits.

Quality wines such as Sangiovese, Albana and Trebbiano complete the gastronomic picture for the gourmet visitor's pleasure.

Contents are courtesy of: Ravenna Tourist Board


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