On Tuesdays and Fridays, until 2 September, I shall be glad to guide you in a walking itinerary to discover the unique collection of mosaics and monuments that Ravenna gives all tourists the opportunity to visit, also by night, thanks to the program “Mosaic by Night”.
We will depart from Piazza del Popolo, where I shall provide you with some historical information on Ravenna and where you will have the opportunity to admire the gorgeous Theodorician columns and its beautiful capitals decorated with acanthus leaves.
The first stop on our itinerary will be Basilica of San Vitale. This basilica, a place for worship and recollection of incomparable beauty, is the most important example of Byzantine art and architecture of the reunified Roman Byzantine Empire.
Inside the church you can admire the famous artfully decorated panels of Justinian and Theodora, the imperial couple, enhanced by the skillful use of pearls and gold mosaic tesserae in Theodora’s dress.
Our second stop will be at the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Honorius sister and Roman Empress in 402 A.D. when Ravenna was the capital of the Western Roman Empire. Galla Placidia, who became queen of the Goths in 417, also called “Augusta” (i.e. Roman Empress) as from 423, represents the last strong figure of the Roman Empire.
A well-educated woman, pervaded by a strong religious sentiment, Galla Placidia proved to be a clever strategist during the first half of the V century holding the key to the future of the State and trying to prevent its imminent downfall.
Her chief weapon consisted mainly of her dual role: she was the Roman empress, but also the queen of the Goths following her first marriage with Ataulf, king of the Visigoths.
Mosaics cover the interior of the museum. The center of the dome is decorated with a magnificent blue sky of stars, known all over the world as a symbol of resurrection and eternal life.
In the cupola the Latin cross is oriented to the East, where the sun rises, towards the Church of Santa Croce, to which, in ancient times, the mausoleum was connected.
The last stop on our itinerary will be a visit to a mosaic laboratory, where you can better understand the secrets and the less common aspects of this ancient technique through which it is possible to illustrate modern and ancient stories. In fact, the craft of mosaic making allows us to create a trait d’union between “the continuity with the past with its historical prerogatives and today’s visual culture”. You will also see the tools used in mosaic art creation according to the original traditions handed down over the centuries.
What are you waiting for? Book your guided tour! Let’s meet at 8:45 pm in Piazza del Popolo!
INFORMATION ABOUT THE GUIDED TOUR
Cost of the guided tour:
Adults: 13,50 € (including entrance fees to monuments)
Up to10 years: free (both guided tour and entrance to the monuments) – From 10 to 18: 11,50 €
The ticket allows a visit to the diocesan monuments for the 6 days following the date of entry.
Guided tours can also be made in English, French and German.