I came briefly to Ravenna during the Covid lockdown in November 2020 in the hope of seeing the legendary mosaics but sadly most of the museums and churches were closed and I didn’t get to see the most famous sites. This then is a post I hope to expand next time I visit. You’ll find everywhere mentioned on my Google map.
The centre of town is the Piazza del Popolo. At the western end is the Venetian-style Palazzo Merlato, the former residence of the aristocratic Da Polenta family that once ruled the city, now the Comune di Ravenna town hall. The two ancient pillars in front hold statues of St. Apollinaris and St. Vitalis. Leading off the square are two of the main shopping streets, Via Cairoli and Via IV Novembre.
The famous mosaics are mainly to be found in the National Museum of Ravenna which is housed in Basilica di San Vitale and the Mausoleo di Galla Placidia on the same site. Tickets can be bought from the bookshop at 22 Via Argentario. The Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo (with the round tower) is another mosaic site, unfortunately also closed.
One church I did get into was the Basilica di San Francesco which is in the same square as the Tourist Information office. The funeral of the national poet Dante Alighieri was held in the church in 1321 and the Tomb of Dante is located next to it. You can also view the flooded crypt. Another church I got into was the Santa Maria in Porto Basilica which has a nice 18th century facade. The last photo is of a church arch in Giardini Speyer.
A few other things I saw while wondering around was the Porta Adriana (constructed in 1582), one of the city gates of Ravenna located at the western of Via Cavour, the principal shopping street. Just over the road from Ristorante La Gardèla is the Torre Civica, a 12th century tower, erected by a noble family as a symbol of their power and social prestige. The remaining photos show a few other details of buildings that caught my eye.
There was also quite a lot of street art around.
I stayed at the Hotel Mosaico, a cheap and cheerful three star on the other side of the railway tracks. It was located next to the Darsena, the dock of the port of Ravenna which is connected to the Adriatic sea 11km away by the Candiano Canal.
Moving on to Ferrara next!