Your visit will begin on the lighter side, with the introduction to the city its Christian churches and mosaics, which have been collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its 1,500-year-old churches, which have been blessed with the best examples of Byzantine mosaics outside of Istanbul, are stunning. One particular highlight is the Piazza Del Popolo and it is the perfect starting point. The square was built around 1500 while the city was ruled by Venice, and under their influence, the people would gather here and still do so.
Of major interest is the Basilica de San Vitale, which is 1400 years old, with its impressive mosaics. Your guide will explain the scenes of the apostles and the message of peace and stability and how it applies to this period. Also on your itinerary is a visit to the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia just across the courtyard. Here you will see the oldest and by many, the best examples in Ravenna. So sheer that light filters through the designs, you will enjoy the glow focused on the Christian symbolism of the design.
A short 4 km. ride away to the town of Classe, you will visit the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, a 6th-century church in eastern Ravenna. Named for Ravenna's first bishop, it is famed for its two side walls full of figurative mosaics dating from c.500 (under the Arian king Theodoric) and c.560 (under Catholic administration). It was also cited as "an outstanding example of the early Christian basilica in its purity and simplicity of its design and use of space and in the sumptuous nature of its decoration" by the UNESCO designation.
During your walk in the pedestrian area you will have a chance to pause for coffee in the main square and visit the Tomb of Dante Alighieri, Italy's most distinguished poet, who died here in 1321.
Along with these stops you will have time to visit a mosaic master at work in a studio. This visit will help to demonstrate the difficulty of the work you viewed earlier, giving you an appreciation for the art.
Besides the full day's visit you can attend a lesson of 1.5 hours which includes about 100 slides for a deeper understanding of mosaic art and technique from its origins in the 5th century BC to modern times.
Departures: 09:30 AM,
Meeting instructions: Specific pick up or taxi instructions will appear on your voucher after you purchase your trip.
Special instructions: - This tour requires you to be able to walk uneven street surfaces.
- Food, beverages, gratuities are not included in this tour.
- All admissions, mosaic demonstration, and historical presentation are included.