Looking for a quiet yet historic city to visit while on vacation in Italy? Want to get away from some of the heavy tourist crowds, yet still have plenty to see and do?
Then consider spending a few nights in Ravenna. This ancient city—known in Roman times as Classe—was once an important seaport and even briefly the capital of eastern Rome during its fall. Today it has a strong and booming economy because of a large chemical industry...but that's not what makes it worth visiting.
It's the city and surrounding area's 1500 year old churches that are the main attraction. Some of the finest examples of Byzantine art and architecture outside of Istanbul can be found in Ravenna, in these houses of worship decorated with colorful, spectacular mosaics. These glittering mosaics will capture your imagination and are unlike anything else you will see in Italy.
I recently spent a two night/three day stopover in Ravenna, after first visiting Venice and then heading on to Verona. Let me share our itinerary along with a few recommendations as to where to stay, and what to eat!