Ravenna is a city of art and culture, and a mosaic centre that 1600 years ago became capital three times: of the Western Roman Empire first, of Theodoric King of the Goths then and finally of the Byzantine Empire in Europe. The magnificence of this period has honoured Ravenna with a great heritage of historical buildings. There are no less than eight monuments declared World Heritage by Unesco.
The art of mosaics, an ancient craft that survived in workshops and artisan shops, did not originate in Ravenna but its greatest expression is to be found here. It was here that Christian iconology originated, a mixture of symbolism and realism, of Roman and Byzantine influence.
There’s much more than the stunning beauty of the mosaics: in Ravenna one can stroll among the bell-towers and monastic cloisters, passing from Romanesque to Gothic, from the Giotto – like frescoes of Santa Chiara – to the Baroque art of the apsis in Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, from the records of the last refuge of Dante Alighieri to the Palaces that saw the loves of Lord Byron.
Whoever sees Ravenna falls in love with it today just as it happened in the past: from to Boccaccio who set one of his most beautiful novels here, to Gustav Klimt who drew obvious inspiration from the art, to Hermann Hesse who dedicated some verses to it while visiting.
Ravenna is Roman, Gothic, Byzantine and also medieval, Venetian and finally modern, civil and hospitable, with abundant cultural events and prestigious international occasions that project it into the future.