Things to do in Ravenna

Things to do in  Ravenna

The magic of mosaic

All that glitters is gold in Ravenna, home to some of the most magnificent Byzantine mosaics in the world. Travelers visit this historic city to marvel at the luminous 5th- and 6th-century masterpieces that cover the interiors of the UNESCO-listed San Vitale Basilica, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, and Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, plus pay their respects at the tomb of the medieval poet Dante. Local cooking classes, market tours, and dining experiences tempt visitors to savor Ravenna’s other treasure: traditional Romagnolo cuisine.

Top 3 attractions in Ravenna

Basilica of San Vitale (Basilica di San Vitale)

Ravenna is known for its Byzantine mosaics, considered among the finest in the world. The most magnificent cover the interiors of the UNESCO-listed San Vitale Basilica with a show-stopping explosion of glittering gold, eye-popping color, and intricate compositions that remain glorious despite the passage of 1,500 years.More

Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (Mausoleo di Galla Placidia)

UNESCO-listed along with other glorious Byzantine mosaic masterpieces in Ravenna, the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia is a testament to the short period when the city was the capital of the Western Roman Empire. Its vaulted interior glitters with mosaics dating from around AD 430, among the oldest in the city.More


If your kids have had their fill of churches and ruins, it may be time to shake things up with an exciting day at Mirabilandia. This popular amusement park outside Ravenna has 40 rides from thrilling coasters for teens to gentle carousels for toddlers, a new Ducati-themed area, high-octane shows, and an adjacent water park to cool off.More

Top activities in Ravenna

Best of RAVENNA on a Private Tour

Best of RAVENNA on a Private Tour

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Ravenna in half a day

Ravenna in half a day

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Ravenna Mosaics and Highlights Private Tour with a Local Guide
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Ravenna Mosaics and Highlights Private Tour with a Local Guide

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Share your Pasta Love: Small group Pasta and Tiramisu class in Ravenna
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All about Ravenna

When to visit

For mellow weather without the peak season crowds, you’re best off discovering Ravenna at quieter times: April–May and September–October, although even then you may find yourself sharing space with groups of cruisers. Culture vultures flock to Ravenna in June and early July for the Ravenna Festival, a feast of opera, ballet, classical music, and talks held in sites across the city—including the UNESCO-listed basilicas. Book tickets and accommodation well in advance.

Getting around

For all its past glories, Ravenna’s historic center is pocket-sized, and most of the UNESCO sites and interesting eateries are within walking distance of each other and the train station. There’s one exception, however: The Basilica of Saint Apollinaris in Classe (Basilica di Sant’Apollinare in Classe) sits about 3 miles (5 kilometers) south of Ravenna in the little town of Classe. Hourly trains and more frequent No. 4 buses leave from Ravenna station.

Traveler tips

The Ravennese can’t live without piadina, a local flatbread served stuffed with a range of goodies—classically, creamy squacquerone cheese and local cold cuts. Profumo di Piadina crafts its flatbreads using flour from a historic mill, purified water, extra virgin olive oil, and sweet sea salt. Fillings span the gamut from Nutella and pistachio through to Gorgonzola, aged Parma ham, and tapenade.


People Also Ask

What is Ravenna, Italy, known for?

A small city near the Adriatic Sea in northern Italy, Ravenna is known for its early Christian architecture, particularly its mosaics. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was the capital of the Roman Empire in the fifth century AD and Italy’s major city until about 750 AD.

Where are the mosaics in Ravenna?

Ravenna’s UNESCO-listed mosaics are spread across eight buildings. The most beautiful mosaics are in the Basilica of San Vitale, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Baptistery of Neon, and Arian Baptistery. The Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe lies 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from Ravenna.

How do you get to Ravenna, Italy?

Ravenna lies near the Adriatic in northern Italy, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) north of Rimini. It’s about an hour by train from Bologna, which has direct connections to many major cities, while there are direct bus services to/from Venice. The nearest airport is Forli, but Bologna is larger.

What province is Ravenna, Italy, in?

Ravenna is in Emilia-Romagna, a northern Italian province that’s known for its great food and includes Parma, home of the famous ham. Ravenna is one of several UNESCO-listed cities in Emilia-Romagna: The capital Bologna, the Renaissance city of Ferrara, and Modena (home of balsamic vinegar) are also World Heritage sites.

Is Ravenna, Italy, on the coast?

Ravenna is no longer on the coast. In its Roman heyday, Ravenna was a port city. But shifting coastlines and silted canals mean the historic monuments and city center are now 6 miles (10 kilometers) inland. For beach-seekers, there’s a choice of nine different resort areas on the Adriatic coast.

Is Ravenna worth visiting?

Yes, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is worth visiting. Ravenna is home to masterworks of mosaic art— the faces of emperors and empresses still stand out in vivid, realistic detail 1,500 years later. A charming, walkable city, Ravenna offers excellent food options and the coast is in easy reach.

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