Ravenna, a beautiful town overlooking the sea, is 80km far from Bologna. Its cultural and artistic heritage makes her one of a kind. But what else does it have to offer? Discover the city capital of three empires.
One of the beauties of Emilia-Romagna is the city of Ravenna. A place full of art and history, famous for its early Christian and Byzantine mosaics, which date back to the time when Ravenna was the capital of the Western Empire. Despite its attractions, Ravenna is not one of Italy’s most famous destinations, but it has great potential. Here you have some tips about what not to miss in Ravenna in terms of culture, food, and events.
Best of Culture
Basilica di San Vitale
The church is one of the most famous examples of early Christian art in the world. If you want to see the beauty of Ravenna’s mosaics up close, this place is a must-visit. Its amazing decorations made it achieve the title of UNESCO World Heritage monument in 1996.
Mausoleo di Galla Placida
Alongside San Vitale and visited at the same time, the mausoleum is a surprisingly tiny building. The church became famous for its “starred sky”: a breath-taking blue mosaic that covers the roof of the whole church.
Its inner decorations are so evocative that even Carl Gustav Jung, one of the fathers of Psychoanalysis, was struck by their magic and described his visit as a wonderful “hallucination”.
When Curiosity Becomes Culture…
Inside the Basilica of San Francesco, in the city center, is the tomb of the supreme Italian poet and writer Dante Alighieri, well-known for writing the masterpiece of masterpieces: the Divine Comedy.
Best of food and restaurants
While walking through the streets of Ravenna after 6 pm, the typical Italian aperitivo time, you will see people of all ages having a glass of wine or Spritz with a board of local cold cuts such as prosciutto crudo, mortadella, and coppa, which is a typical charcuterie product from the area around Ravenna.
For dinner, you will have a wide range of pasta to choose from: Cappelletti al ragù, Passatelli in broth, Strozzapreti and Maltagliati. But if you are looking for traditional cheap-eat and street food, you can’t miss Piadina Romagnola. We have two different restaurant suggestions which might come in handy if you’ll ever visit Ravenna.
This is a “trattoria”, a traditional Italian restaurant serving only local dishes. We highly recommend you to try cappelletti: a typical starter similar to ravioli in shape and size with a cheese filling instead of meat.
A must-stop if you want to try the most traditional specialty of the Romagna area: Piadina. It is usually folded in half and filled with a variety of cold cuts, cheeses, and vegetables, or even with sweet spreads and jams.
Best of events
Ravenna bella di sera
In the months of July and August, the most charming places of the city will host many kinds of musical performances, from marching bands to pop concerts and musicals.
Mosaico di Notte
A guided tour of the most important cultural sites takes place every Friday evening, starting at 7.30 pm.
Ravenna’s beauty is definitely underrated! We hope our tips will encourage your curiosity and convince you to plan a few day’s trip to this stunning city.