Once you’ve made the required stops in Rome, Pompeii and Florence, it’s time to find the little gems of Italy that lie hidden in small sleepy towns. Ravenna is known for its best-in-the-West mosaics, protected for 1500 years when the city was virtually abandoned after the barbarians conquered this once capital of eastern Rome. For those who love looking at sparkly small squares of stone pieced together into works of art, Ravenna is a delight. For our family, however, Ravenna was a hard lesson in patience. Lilly did her best to convince us to leave every church within the first 2 minutes by loudly declaring, “I hate churches. I hate mosaics. I hate Italy.” and on, and on. Will and Lauren simply dragged their listless bodies from point to point until I gave up and said it was time to leave. You’ve never seen such relieved faces.