Ravenna (San Marino), Italy

Ravenna (San Marino) is renowned for its preserved 5th-6th century churches and buildings filled with splendid Christian mosaics. A charming town, it also offers easy access to Bologna, famed for its cuisine, and the tiny republic of San Marino.

Everything resolves into clarity if you can just achieve the proper perspective. Take the Basilica of Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, for example. What may look like a lovely collection of bright squares may, when you step back, transform into a mosaic that depicts a sea voyage, or an image of Jesus, or a choir of angels. Ravenna, the former capital of the Western Roman Empire, is famed for its mosaics, from Sant’ Apollinare in Classe to the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia. The port town and cruise destination is also a gateway to the Apenine republic of San Marino, the oldest surviving sovereign state in the world, and one of the smallest.

The “Mosaic City” of Ravenna is renowned for its 1500-year-old churches, decorated with exquisite Byzantine mosaics of brilliant color and amazing detail. It can also be a gateway to other spots with claims to historical fame. Bologna, with its magnificently preserved, uniform architectural style, and not one, but two leaning towers, is the site of the first institution of higher learning in the Western world, for which the term “university” was coined. And the tiny Republic of San Marino, dating from 301 AD, it is perhaps the oldest surviving state and constitutional republic in the world.

  • Basilica di San Vitale
    Dating from the mid-6th century, this important octagonally-shaped church with a large cupola and a two-story ambulatory contains what are probably the finest Byzantine mosaics in the western world.
  • Bologna
    The capital city of the Emilia-Romagna region in the Po Valley, Bologna has an illustrious past dating to the 4th century B.C. It boasts the world’s oldest university and a popular cuisine.
  • Brisighella
    The medieval city of Brisighella is known for its DOP olive oil, the precious “Brisighello Olive Oil” and wine, appealing cuisine and larger neighbors of Faenza, Ravenna and Bologna, this ancient city at the foot of the Subalpennine hills is a wonder in itself.
  • Faenza
    Noted for its production of faience, a local form of tin-glazed painted earthenware known as majolica,, the International Museum of Ceramic and the several amazing ceramic workshops.
  • San Marino
    The world’s smallest state after the Vatican and Monaco, San Marino clings to the top of Mt. Titiano. Just one of the attractions is the Changing of the Guard at the Palazzo del Governo.
  • Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo
    The Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, a World Heritage Site, was named for Ravenna’s first bishop. It boasts 24 marble columns from Constantinople and lavish 6th century religious mosaics.
  • Tomb of Galla Placidia
    One of the oldest monuments in Ravenna, this small brick tomb commissioned by the powerful Roman Empress, Galla Placidia, was completed around 430 A.D. and contains breathtaking mosaics.

Shore & Land Excursions

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