Ravenna & Bologna -private tour

Venice Trip Overview

The artistic and political history of Ravenna saw a period of renewed splendour at the beginning of the V Century a.D. (402-403 a.D.), when Honorius, who had been forced to abandon Milan by the Visigoth invasion, chose Ravenna as the new capital of the Western Roman Empire.
-Discovering beautiful Bologna is a wounderful experience When you think of Italy, famous cities like Rome, Venice and Florence definitely come to mind and while these are home to wonderful landmarks they are also places for mass tourism but if you want to escape the crowds and discover a part of Italy that isn’t often talked about come and visit Bologna an underrated city – from a foreign tourist perspective – that will help you get a sense of what the country and culture is truly about. It may not be a top tourist venue but it is a living breathing Italian experience, which can be hard to find in more popular destinations

Additional Info

Duration: 7 to 8 hours
Starts: Venice, Italy
Trip Category: Cultural & Theme Tours >> Cultural Tours



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The artistic and political history of Ravenna saw a period of renewed splendour at the beginning of the V Century a.D. (402-403 a.D.), when Honorius, who had been forced to abandon Milan by the Visigoth invasion, chose Ravenna as the new capital of the Western Roman Empire.
-Discovering beautiful Bologna is a wounderful experience When you think of Italy, famous cities like Rome, Venice and Florence definitely come to mind and while these are home to wonderful landmarks they are also places for mass tourism but if you want to escape the crowds and discover a part of Italy that isn’t often talked about come and visit Bologna an underrated city – from a foreign tourist perspective – that will help you get a sense of what the country and culture is truly about. It may not be a top tourist venue but it is a living breathing Italian experience, which can be hard to find in more popular destinations

Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Bologna, Bologna, Province of Bologna, Emilia-Romagna

Bologna: a city of art
Bologna is unusual for the consistency of the urban structure within its medieval walls, which were built in the fourteenth century. This urban structure is still intact and dominates, even visually, the single architectural works of art. In Florence and in Rome, the individual buildings are more important than the layout of the cities, whereas in Bologna the reverse is true. Here, even the most beautiful Renaissance and Baroque palaces are part of the medieval city plan, which extends like the spokes of a wheel from the heart of the city (marked by the two leaning towers, Asinelli and Garisenda).

Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Mausoleo di Galla Placidia, Via San Vitale, 48121, Ravenna Italy

Approaching the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia it is not imagined that the simplicity of the exterior hides in a few square meters such splendid mosaics, the oldest in Ravenna. We do not exaggerate if we say that the atmosphere of the Mausoleum is magical.

The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna
The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna
It was Emperor Honorius (who moved the capital of the western empire from Milan to Ravenna in 402) who wanted this mausoleum to dedicate it to his sister Galla Placidia.

The theme of the mosaics, in fact, is the victory of life over death, in accordance with the funeral destination of the building. But it is the starry sky reproduced on the vault that most strikes the visitors’ imagination and remains etched forever in the eyes. It seems that the same thing happened to Cole Porter, who went to Ravenna on his honeymoon in the late 1920s. The story goes that it was the starry sky of the mausoleum that inspired the famous Night and Day.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Basilica di San Vitale, Via San Vitale 17, 48121, Ravenna Italy

The Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna
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This octagonal temple (the eight was a symbol of Resurrection because it was seven, time, plus one, God) is among the most important monuments of early Christian art in Italy.

The Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna
The Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna
Not only for the splendor of its mosaics but for the complete adhesion to the canons of oriental art: there are no naves but only an octagonal central core surmounted by a frescoed dome.

If you can take your eyes off the mosaics, especially from Theodora’s face, you will notice a series of concentric circles with arrows on the ground: it is a labyrinth, as found in many Christian churches. It symbolizes the path out of sin towards purification. If you want to try to get out of the maze, we give you a little help: you start from the center, find out the rest.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Via di Roma 52, 48121, Ravenna Italy

.Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna

Not to be confused with Sant’Apollinare in Classe which is located outside the historic center, 8 km from Ravenna, the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo bears this name to differentiate it from another city church that bore the same name: it houses the most great cycle of mosaics in the world.

Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna
Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna
The walls of the central nave are divided into three distinct bands of mosaics: the highest bundle tells the story of Christ, the central one Saints and Prophets and while the lower one portrays the famous Theodoric Palace.

The cancellation of the figure of the Emperor and other characters, covered with white cloths, takes place when the basilica passes from the Aryan cult (for which it was built) to the Catholic cult. On the opposite wall is the port of Classe, one of the most important in the Mediterranean at the time of the Roman Empire.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Mausoleo di Teodorico, Via delle Industrie 14, 48122, Ravenna Italy

According to legend, the red porphyry basin located on the upper floor of the Mausoleum is the same one in which the barbarian emperor died. Since he was afraid of lightning, on a thunderstorm day he took refuge in his mausoleum but a lightning bolt struck him just while he was taking a bath.

The Mausoleum of Theodoric in Ravenna
From the crack in the shape of a cross open in the roof of the Mausoleum, a black horse would then arrive and throw him into Etna!

There are many legends about the death of this barbarian king who ruled Italy for 33 years bringing tolerance, peace and wealth and who had this Istrian stone mausoleum built to find peace in Ravenna, where he had lived. The two-storey structure with a decagonal shape and a massive roof made with a single block of stone makes it a singular monument, completely different from the brick buildings of Ravenna.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Basilica di Sant’Apollinare in Classe, Via Romea Sud 224 Ravenna, 48124 Classe Italy

.Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe in Ravenna

Among the basilicas of Ravenna it is the most imposing and majestic one. The mosaics challenge the beauty of the other churches in the city and portray Christ surrounded by the four evangelists, while the sheep symbolize the apostles.

Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe in Ravenna
The face of Jesus appears in the center of the cross, in a round decorated with 99 stars. The whole representation takes place between the sky and the enchantment of a green paradise landscape full of rocks, trees, flowers and colorful birds. Today the Basilica of Sant ‘Apollinare in Classe is 8 km from the center of Ravenna and a few kilometers from the sea, while when it was built it was located by the sea. Next to the basilica, in fact, there are the excavations of the large archaeological area of the ancient city of Classe, seat of the Roman fleet in the Adriatic.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Battistero degli Ariani, Vicolo Degli Ariani 1, 48121, Ravenna Italy

The Arian Baptistery of Ravenna was built during the reign of Theodoric, when Ravenna was the capital of the Empire and Arianism was the official religion of the court.
Arianism has always been considered a heresy of Christianity because according to Aryan doctrine Christ was the son of God but retained his human nature: only through the rite of baptism that divine nature was communicated to Christ. The mosaics on the vault of the baptistery celebrate the baptism of Christ. Unlike the nearby Baptistery of the Orthodox, here the young Christ is not represented as coming from the East (“light from light, true God from true God”) but he heads east, becoming divine only at the moment of baptism. He is a man, so there is no “censorship” about his nakedness, while he is immersed in the waters of the Jordan and John the Baptist communicates Baptism to him. The divine dove descends from above, to spray the head of Christ with a breath of light, symbol of the Spirit.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Battistero Neoniano (Battistero degli Ortodossi), Via Gioacchino Rasponi, 48121, Ravenna Italy

The Neonian Baptistery was the Catholic response (of Bishop Neone) to the Arian heresy, which had reached its peak in Ravenna under the reign of Theodoric. A contrast that is also found in the Christ depicted in the mosaic under the dome, which unlike the one in the nearby Arian Baptistery comes from the East (“light from light, true God from true God”) and is divine even before the baptism communicated to him by John the Baptist and the divine dove (the Aryans claimed otherwise).

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Ravenna, Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna

Ravenna can be defined with certainty as a treasure unknown to the majority of Italians. Obscured by the most famous Italian art cities (Florence, Rome, Venice, Naples) it is actually an extraordinary town that attracts tourists and art lovers from all over the world. Few people know that it was the capital of three empires three times: of the Western Roman Empire, of Theodoric King of the Goths, of the Byzantium Empire in Europe.
This past is evidenced by the basilicas and baptisteries of Ravenna, where the richest mosaic heritage of humanity dating back to the fifth and sixth centuries is preserved. Few people also know that Ravenna has eight monuments included in the UNESCO World Heritage list and that Dante’s remains are preserved here, and not in Florence. You eat extraordinarily well (we are always in Romagna) In short, if you too were among those who did not know Ravenna, now you have no more excuses

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra, Via Barbiani Ingresso Chiesa di Sant’Eufemia, 48121, Ravenna Italy

The domus of stone carpets
Italy is a country full of wonders that does not cease to reveal its extraordinary past: this happened with the Domus of stone carpets, discovered in the early 2000s 3 meters below the level of the church of Saint Euphemia.
The Domus of stone carpets
A wonderful Byzantine house of the V-VI century with 14 rooms all decorated with polychrome mosaic and marble floors. The mosaics are absolutely extraordinary and let you imagine the wealth of the owner of the house and his taste for beauty. Geometric, floral and figurative elements combine: the “Dance of the Four Seasons Geniuses” is a very rare representation that shows the Geni dancing in a circle. Also unique is the mosaic with the figure of the “Good Shepherd” portrayed in a version different from traditional Christian representations.

Duration: 30 minutes



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