Dov'e Ashley


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Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Ravenna
May 15th 2012
Published: May 15th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

Piazza del Popolo, the main squarePiazza del Popolo, the main squarePiazza del Popolo, the main square

It was a little rainy but fortunately for us, that meant no crowds!
After a wonderful breakfast of searching for flights for Ashley and pastries, we were off to Ravenna for the day to tour some very old mosaiced cathedrals and churches. None of us were entirely sure what to expect but we were all pleasantly surprised at the end of the day.

We started out in the rain, wandering around the charming city of Ravenna. We found our first destination, a baptistery with a tiled ceiling depicting the baptism of Christ. We were blown away by the colors, the detail and especially the longevity of these mosaics. This particular mosaic was almost entirely intact and had already survived about 1500 years! The contrast between the religious art in Ravenna and Bologna was as stark as can be. Because of all the rain in Ravenna, frescos, which are so prevalent in Bologna, would have been lost within years as the plaster crumbled due to the moisture. Instead, mosaics were constructed to tell the story of Christ. Their history is fascinating, dating back to Roman times and continuing today as an independent local craft.

Throughout the day, we saw some of the world's most famous mosaics and gained a new appreciation for the
Dante's Ivy TombDante's Ivy TombDante's Ivy Tomb

The Italians hid Dante's body here during WWII without any signage to hide it from the Allies. A bed of ivy, who would've thought?
art of mosaic making, notably the planning and patience that it requires.


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Mosaics GaloreMosaics Galore
Mosaics Galore

Wow. Enough said.
Pay attention to detail! Pay attention to detail!
Pay attention to detail!

Can you believe that people made this hundreds of years ago? If we had even an ounce of that talent, well, we don't.
An accidental fish tank?An accidental fish tank?
An accidental fish tank?

This old mosaiced part of the church, subjected to Ravenna's rainy climate, is now a tourist attraction not only for the centuries old mosaics but also for the goldfish living among them!
This doesn't belong in a churchThis doesn't belong in a church
This doesn't belong in a church

How do we even start to explain this? After an entire afternoon of looking at beautiful mosaic artwork, we stumble upon a church with a sign (in Italian, of course) that says (we think) something about an art exhibition. The church itself wasn't that spectacular compared to those that we've been touring, but we did find this little gem. Insert sarcasm here. This was by far the most bizzarre display we had seen in a church, featuring creepy music to match the creepy display. You can form your own opinion after taking it all in...
Coffee BreakCoffee Break
Coffee Break

Awwwww how cute... Notice the barista in the background mirror taking our photo.
Just the usual Italian afternoon snackJust the usual Italian afternoon snack
Just the usual Italian afternoon snack

A welcome break after an afternoon of walking. Cappuccino and cornettos, what could be better?


16th May 2012
Coffee Break

Keep up the postings!
Great pics and keep posting! And get Bob to smile!
From Blog: Dov'e Ashley

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