The best things to do in Ravenna
Ravenna is a city in northeastern Italy known for its rich history and stunning mosaics. The city was once the capital of the Western Roman Empire and later the capital of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna. This rich history has left Ravenna with a wealth of cultural and historical sites to explore. In addition to its historical sites, Ravenna also offers a vibrant arts scene, delicious food, and beautiful natural surroundings. Here are some of the best things to do in Ravenna.

Explore the Mosaics

One of the top things to do in Ravenna is to explore the city’s incredible mosaics. The city is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, all of which feature stunning mosaics from the early Christian period. The mosaics are incredibly well-preserved and offer a glimpse into the art and culture of the time. Some of the most famous mosaics to see include those in the Basilica di San Vitale, the Mausoleo di Galla Placidia, and the Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo.

Visit the Basilica di San Francesco

Another must-see site in Ravenna is the Basilica di San Francesco. This beautiful church is known for its stunning frescoes, which were painted by the famous artist, Giusto de’ Menabuoi. The frescoes depict scenes from the life of Saint Francis of Assisi and are considered some of the most important examples of 14th century Italian art. The church also features beautiful mosaics and a lovely cloister.

See the Tomb of Dante

For literature lovers, a visit to the Tomb of Dante is a must. The famous Italian poet Dante Alighieri is buried in Ravenna, and his tomb can be found in the Basilica di San Francesco. The tomb is a simple stone structure with a bust of Dante on top. Visitors can pay their respects to the poet and learn more about his life and works.

Visit the Museo Nazionale di Ravenna

For a more in-depth look at Ravenna’s history and culture, a visit to the Museo Nazionale di Ravenna is a must. The museum is home to a collection of artifacts from the city’s past, including mosaics, frescoes, and sculptures. The museum also features interactive exhibits that bring the history of Ravenna to life.

Enjoy the Local Cuisine

No trip to Ravenna is complete without trying the local cuisine. The city is known for its delicious seafood, pasta dishes, and traditional sweets. Some of the must-try dishes include cappelletti in brodo (a type of pasta served in a meat broth), piadina (a type of flatbread), and the traditional dessert called “bisciola”. Be sure to wash it all down with a glass of the local wine.

Take a Boat Ride on the Canals

For a relaxing and scenic activity, take a boat ride on the canals of Ravenna. The city is home to a network of canals that were once used to transport goods. Today, the canals offer a peaceful and picturesque way to explore the city. Boat tours are available and offer a unique perspective on the city’s architecture and history.

Visit the Parco del Delta del Po

Just outside of Ravenna, visitors can find the Parco del Delta del Po, a nature reserve thatis home to a wide variety of plants and animals. The park is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and explore the natural beauty of the region. Visitors can hike the park’s many trails, spot local wildlife, or even take a guided boat tour to see the park’s wetlands and marshes. The park is also home to a variety of bird species, making it a popular spot for birdwatching.

Attend a Performance at the Teatro Alighieri

For a cultural experience, attend a performance at the Teatro Alighieri. This historic theater is named after the famous poet Dante Alighieri and is one of the oldest theaters in Italy. The theater hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, including plays, concerts, and dance performances. It is also home to the Ravenna Festival, an annual international music festival that takes place during the summer months.

Shopping and Visiting the Street Markets

Ravenna is also a great place for shopping and visiting street markets. The city is home to a variety of shops and markets selling everything from local crafts to fashion and jewelry. Visitors can find traditional ceramics, glassware, and textiles. The city also hosts several street markets throughout the year, where visitors can find local produce, fresh seafood, and handmade crafts.

In summary, Ravenna is a city that offers something for everyone. From its rich history and cultural sites, to its natural beauty, delicious food, and vibrant arts scene, there are plenty of things to see and do in this charming Italian city. Whether you’re interested in art and architecture, literature, or nature, you’re sure to find something that interests you in Ravenna.