Thursday, November 26, 2009


Ravenna’s grandeur and fame date back to Graeco-Roman times, and its heyday was when it was capital of the Western Roman Empire (from 402 till 476) and an important seaport. Today, the name of the town is primarily associated with its impressive heritage of Byzantine mosaics. I also liked to see so many churches built with bricks, below is the church of San Francesco which has some Neonian mosaics in the crypt.

Yes, there is water in this crypt, (enlarge to see the mosaic floor), and even goldfish inside...just beautiful!

A must is a visit to the Basilica di San Vitale

With the famous mosaics represanting the Emperor Justinian,

Like Parma, another beautiful city in Emilia Romagna, Ravenna is also a city of bicycles...

... And culture. Of course I needed to do a pilgrimage to the tomb of Dante Alighieri...

And for something more contemporary I visited an art exhibition by artist Marco Teatro at the Galleria Mirada

For shopping: in the city of mosaics you can buy all sort of mosaic glass and murrine

And for a quick feed try a Piadina, the typical flat bread of Romagna.
You can choose among several fillings, and I liked stracchino (an Italian fresh soft cheese) with rocket salad.


In the Italian guide Gambero Rosso they reccoment the Gelateria Tutto Gelato and it was amazing. Here my daughter was very keen on the meringue flavour, while I reccomend pistachio! My son? He always takes the darkest chocolate available!

Our host and guide Giorgia took us home for dinner. The family had just made the yearly batch of tomato sauce and there bright red jars everywhere. Tomato based dinner for the vegetarians: they made spaghetti with tomato sauce, tomatoes au gratin, and stuffed eggplants with tomato sauce. It was all divine and excellent with the local Sangiovese di Romagna

After dinner out for the evening promenade, and some more gelato.
Another fantastic artisan gelateria is Bianco, also recommended by the Gambero Rosso Guide. My daughter claims that these were the best yogurt and mango flavours ever!

We stayed at the Hotel Corallo in Marina Romea, just outside Ravenna, on the beach. Very friendly place, good for children, lots to choose for breakfast...although I don't eat much breakfast myself. Many of the Corallo's clients are English, American and German, but most are from Emilia Romagna, especially Bologna, and they come to the same place year after year.

This was the view from our balcony.

And this was the view from our beach umbrella (provided by the Hotel)

One evening we ate by the pool the most amazing pumpkin tortelloni (tortelloni di zucca), the children gulped them down, even my daughter, who doesn't particularly like pumpkin!

Staying at the seaside was great, because in the city can became really hot in summer! We only had three nights there, but I did manage to get a little bit tanned...well, ok, pink! :-)

Photo by Alessandra Zecchini © inlcuding the last one, self-portrait with mobile phone :-)

For further information about Ravenna see:


  1. What a beautiful place, and the ice cream.....yum!

  2. Once more, I'm in complete awe in front of such magnificent architecture, delicious food and charming places...

  3. Ciao Vanille, one day we'll meet in Europe, OK?

  4. I really like the atmosphere Ravenna has preserved, and all those mosaics is a pleasure to admire.



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