Ravenna–city of mosaics

Wise Men mosaic, Ravenna Italy

Wise Men mosaic, Ravenna Italy

When we visited Italy in 2010 I had wanted to visit Ravenna, a short drive south of Venice on the Adriatic Sea. We ran out of time and since coming to Germany, I’ve wanted to see what I missed 2 years ago. On Sunday, we drove south from Vicenza, through the snow, for about 2 hours until we hit Ravenna, the fabulous city of mosaics. The origins of Ravenna date back to 89 BC. It was mentioned as the location where Julius Ceasar gathered his forces before crossing the Rubicon in 49BC.
Ravenna became very prosperous and was the capital of the Western Roman Empire in 400AD. From 540 to 600, Ravenna’s bishops embarked upon a notable building program of churches in Ravenna and many of those still stand. In 476 AD, the Roman Empire declined and was taken over by the king of the Goths who inaugurated the barbaric period of the history of Ravenna until Justinian, the Byzantine emperor reconquered the area and began a crazy period of building churches and art.
Christ baptizes John the Baptist, Ravenna

Christ baptizes John the Baptist, Ravenna

Mosaic curtains...originally the Saints were in the archways but then artfully removed with curtains

Mosaic curtains…originally the Saints were in the archways but then artfully removed with curtains

We bought a combo ticket (about 15 euros adult) which gave us admission to the main buildings in Ravenna. The big draw is the1500 year old mosaics, many in pristine condition since Ravenna was practically abandoned when the seat of power left. The walls are covered with the brilliant little tiles of precious stones and gold. The walking tour for the 5 buildings took us about 2 hours which included reading about the mosaics in Rick Steves’ handy guidebook.
After our trip to the city, we drove over to the Adriatic Sea to give the kids an chance to look at the water from this side of the world. It was a cool and blustery day but the salt air and seagulls satisfied our need for a dose of the ocean.
I"m home!

I”m home!