Ravenna is situated to the Shout East of the Po Valley, a splendid position, whitch has favoured its flourishing as artistic, cultural and trading centre. Its origin goes back to prehistoric times: it became capital of the Western Roman Empire in 402 A.D. and then it was at the height of its glory under the rules of the Goths and the Byzantines.
Today Ravenna boasts numerous and marvellous monuments which are the testimonial of its splendid past: the magnificent Mausuleum of Galla Placidia, constructed by Galla Placidia in the 5th century A.D., which preserves the most ancient and glittering mosaic of Ravenna; the world famous Basilica of S. Vitale founded by Giuliano Argentario in 548 and wanted by Bishop Ecclesio, celebrated for its unique mosaics; the majestic cathedral built in 1733 and the Archiepiscopal Museum, which conserves the splendid Ivory Chair of St. Maximian. Of great interest are also the renowned Basilica of Samt’Apollinare Nuovo, erected in the 6th century A.D., which houses sparkling mosaic and the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe, constructed by Giuliano Argentario.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Neone Baptistry, in an octagonal form, the Arian Baptistry of the 5th century A.D. and the iposing Mausoleum of Theodoric, erected by Theodoric as his sepulchre. In Ravenna are organized many events and manifestation over the year as Ravenna Festival; which takes place from June to July; Bella di Sera, held from June to Agust with its 50 performance; the Jazz Festival in July; the magnificent permanents exhibition oh mosaics at the Loggetta Lombardesca.
For all who love good food, Ravenna offers a wide choice of local specialities and its gastronomy is based on simple and genuine dished from the home-made paste (tagliatelle, lasagne with meat-sauce and cappelletti in brood) to fresh fish,from the typical piadina to exquisite cakes, all accompanied by refined wines as Sangiovese, Albana and Trebbiano. You can buy splendid and particular souvenirs in the characteristic artisan workshop as precious mosaic decorations. For enjoying an unforgettable stay, Ravenna provides a wide choice of accommodation: elegant hotel, friendly guesthouses, well-equipped camping-sites and friendly youth hotels. For sport enthusiasts are available complete and modern facilities: swimming pools, tennis courts, football grounds…. Ravenna is easily reachable by means of the A14 motorway, by the 16 main road and thank to an efficent railway network.