Piazza 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 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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