The city of Ravenna is one of the most outstanding and memorable cities in Emilia-Romagna. Even Dante, in his work "The Divine Comedy" called Ravenna "a symphony of light." Ravenna was a small village until 402 when it first drew attention of the emperor Flavius Honorius Augustus, who decided to make Ravenna the capital instead of Milan. He explained this by the fact that, in his opinion, Ravenna was much more inaccessible for the invaders. But he was wrong, as in 476, the city has been captured by Ostrogoths. However, this didn’t affect the life of Ravenna much and it still remained one of the most beautiful and prosperous cities on the Adriatic coast.
Ravenna has a lot of landmarks and monuments. Early Christian and Byzantine architecture is represented by the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, the Orthodox Baptistery of the middle of the 5th century and the Baptistery of the Arians, as well as by churches of Santo Nuovo of the beginning of the 6th century, San Vitale and the tomb of Dante. Also here you will find the Mausoleum of Theodoric, the king of Ostrogoths. On the territory of the mausoleum there is a lovely park where, despite the sullenness of this place, people often organize picnics.
Another striking beauty of Ravenna is mosaic in the Byzantine style. The most outstanding are presented in the palace of Theodoric and the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia. You should definitely visit the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit of the 18th century, the Venetian fortress Brancaleone of the 15th century and the Franciscan church of San Francesco, where the funeral service for Dante, who died in Ravenna, was held.
Ravenna is famous for its clean and beautiful beaches. Right on the beach there is the thalassotherapy center, where you can enjoy SPA-procedures based on the use of sea salt, algae, mud and silt.
Ravenna is a great vacation spot for young people and married couples with children. For young people there is a specially built resort of Lido Adriano, where you will find an abundance of entertainment, a variety of sports clubs, equestrian and rowing schools, tennis courts, swimming pools and much more. For tourists who prefer quiet and relaxing holidays we recommend the complex Punta Marina Terme, which is equipped with everything you need for a family holiday, and located in pine grove. The air in these places is very clean and fresh, and many tourists come here to improve their health and feel better.
Ravenna is a small town, so it is very easy here to move around by foot or by bike. In the spring and summer in the city you will find special bike rentals, where you can rent a free bike. There is also here the organization Cooperativa Sociale la Formica, where you can rent a bike year-round.
In the town center there are many cafes and restaurants. There are also pizzerias and trattorias, where tourists can enjoy Italian cuisine and experience local atmosphere of warmth and comfort, typical for these places.
As of April of 2013, Ravenna has a bus service called City Sightseeing, which runs throughout the city with a guided tour. For 15 euros you can circle the entire city and learn about the history of its landmarks and places of culture. The tour includes 9 stops in the most beautiful places; it is available in all the major languages, including Russian.
Many poets and writers were inspired by Ravenna. The city was mentioned in the works of Oscar Wilde, Goethe, Byron, and Alexander Blok.
Ravenna has eight monuments that are under the protection of UNESCO.