Blogs from Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, Europe

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Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Ravenna June 13th 2017

Six years ago we made a brief stop near the outskirts of Ravenna to view the wonderful mosaics in a basilica. When planning this trip we thought it would be a great opportunity to revisit the city and see more of its famous mosaics. We are staying about 35 km south of Ravenna so we made the short drive arriving about mid morning. Our reliance on Jane to find a suitable car park was really put to the test. The temperature was hovering around 30 degrees so finding a park close to the centre of town was important. Once we found our carpark we headed off in the direction of the city centre. After walking about 10 minutes we asked an elderly gentleman if we were going the right way. No you need to turn right ... read more
Ravenna
Ravenna
Ravenna

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Ravenna May 25th 2017

I drove south from Padua to Ravenna on the autostrada today. Italian highways are, in my experience, as good as any in Europe (or the US) and the drivers are as good as any, too. Italian drivers have a bad reputation, but to me European drivers in general follow too close and pass to frequently. It's not just in Italy. I arrived at the old city around noon and set out immediately to see the sights. Ravenna is famous for its Byzantine-style church mosaics, created 1500 years ago when the Eastern half of the former Roman Empire briefly held sway in this area. Here are a couple of photos of a clean-shaven Christ, the usual way he was represented prior to the Middle Ages (see photos). In the first he is the Good Shepherd and in ... read more
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Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Ravenna September 30th 2016

Three beautiful sunny days, flat terrain, riding along the Adige and Po rivers, the Po delta with farms and wildlife reserves teeming with birds (and mosquitos), two short ferry rides on the last day, and arrival in Ravenna to end the first six-day biking segment. Sixty miles Chioggia to Ferrara, 40 miles there to Comacchio, and 35 here to Ravenna. Except for the swarm, huge, dense swarm, of mosquitos for about 30 minutes today along the lagoon south of Comacchio, this was all very pleasant riding. Apparently, Dante died in Ravenna of malaria. The abundance of mosquitos makes it clear how that could have happened. The food just gets better with each day. We will have more to say about that, eventually. Today will be more touring of early Christian sites, with great mosaics in Ravenna, ... read more
Rest stop along the Po
Church in one of the many small towns along the Po
Sinistra Po bike route on the dike

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Ravenna June 22nd 2016

When I was in college the second time to get my teaching degree, I could not get any education classes my first enrolled semester. So I took Children’s Literature and Fun Classes. One of the Fun Classes I took was Art History 101—seriously, introduction to Art History. I had been blessed to live in Europe and had seen a lot of art masterpieces but had no idea what I was looking at. I thought, “This will be a giggle.” I cannot tell you how that class changed my outlook on not only art but history itself and how art and history literally dance through the ages. Second semester of my quest to become a teacher, I took all education degree required classes (I mean, really, I already had a college degree; wasn’t like I needed electives) ... read more

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Ravenna September 2nd 2015

Hello my fellow travellers! I began the day with a lovely breakfast together with Antonina before she went to work and I went on to explore Ravenna. My first stop of the day was at the Adriana Gate, which to be honest wasn't as impressive as I had expected without seeing pictures of it. Based on the name I would have guessed it to be a gate dedicate to Emperor Hadrian but it was rather named by being to road to the city of Adrian. So, in my head I saw something similar to the Hadrian Gate in Gerasa but instead found something more along the line of a 17th century thing. And it was in a bit of disrepair as well with almost no decorations. The rectangular bastions at the sides of it was cool ... read more
Basilica of Saint Vitalis
Mausoleum of Galla Placidia
Basilica of Ursus

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Ravenna April 17th 2015

In mid-March I got on a train with few belongings and fewer expectations. To set off so unburdened confers a freedom I have sought to replicate in my life over and over again: the freedom of travel. On this day, success. We set off early in the morning in a group of six: my family of four, a student, Katie, and our R.A., Matt, on a train bound for Bologna. I stepped off the train at Ferrara, alone, and sent them on their way. Once on another train, this one headed to Ravenna, I found that feeling of utter freedom steal over me. I had no responsibilities for the moment, and was bound by nothing but my own whims and desires. I was, briefly, a traveler once again. The Italian countryside unfurled before me as the ... read more
Floor of St. Vitale
Floor mosaics
S. Vitale apse mosaics

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Ravenna April 29th 2014

We have our car back. I glanced out the window last night to see it driving into the hotel parking lot so Mel ran down to meet the driver and get the keys. The hire car goes back tomorrow morning so all is well again. Having seen the amazing mosaics in the Basilica yesterday, we did a bit of research. Ravenna has 8 UNESCO World Heritage sites in the city. They are all either basilicas or mausoleums from the 5th and 6th centuries and they are famous for their mosaics. We had not heard of the place but we wanted to see more of these amazing artworks. It is only a fairly small town so a walking tour to encompass all the major sights is the best bet. Central Ravenna is also a ‘ZTL’, which means ... read more
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Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Ravenna April 28th 2014

We had a bit of a wander around the tiny town this morning. Although cars do get into the houses, the streets are all only just wide enough for one car and the turns are very tight. Still, it does not deter the Italians from their fast driving pace! We are staying in Ravenna for the next couple of nights so we decided to have a look around. The Basilica of Sant’Appolinaire in Classe was built in about 500-550AD and is a classic example of an early Christian basilica with its central nave and aisles each side. It has been exceptionally maintained and the mosaics in the apse are simply beautiful. The colours still shine vibrantly after nearly 1600 years. In the aisles, the carved marble sarcophagi of the archbishops stand, dating from around 550AD to ... read more
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Basilica of Sant'Appolinaire in Classe
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Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Ravenna May 18th 2013

Another day and they are being ticked off now as we start the countdown to going home. More of our holiday has gone than is left. Suzy spent the night in a fairly quiet site once the noisy Italians had gone to bed. They do have fun these Italians. The morning started off badly with the heavy rain beating on Suzys roof. It felt cold too and the young girl serving in the shop said that it felt more like Autumn than Summer and she hoped for better next month. It was muggy and the temperature around 20 - a temperature we would be grateful for back home. But here they felt it far too cold. I had wondered if they suffered much from climate change here - was it getting like back home where we ... read more
Ravenna
Ravenna
Ravenna

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Ravenna November 5th 2012

Dear Max and Dominic, Have you seen pictures of Jesus? And have you ever wondered how anyone knows what he looked like? Well, back in the 5th and 6th centuries people in the city of Ravenna made mosaic pictures of him - they were a lot closer to the time he actually lived than we are but as you can see, even they couldn't quite decide what he looked like! To start off with they didn't think he had a beard, then later they did, then they thought he might be quite muscular, then a bit heavier, then with a rainbow and dolphins for some reason, then someone gave up and made a picture of him as if he was a sheep (because his death was a bit like the sacrifice of a lamb). I must ... read more
Jesus the Judge
Fit Jesus getting baptised
Chubby Jesus getting baptised




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