And here I am ready to show you an itinerary for discovering Ravenna and its mosaics in a fun way for youngsters. We will depart from Piazza del Popolo where you will find the sixteenth century columns erected during the Venetian rule representing San Vitale and Sant’Apollinare and together we will discover the mysterious identity of these two characters so enigmatic and important for our city.
Ravenna Dante’s refuge.
After we will go to the “silent zone” where a simple little temple of neoclassic style with a small cone on the dome contains within a small sarcophagus of Carrara marble: it is the tomb of the great Florentine poet, Dante Alighieri. Ravenna is considered to be his “last refuge” where the universal poet completed his great work. Do you remember what it’s called? Don’t worry, we will discover many things about him together ! Even today we seem to hear the echo in the air at sunset; the steps of the “great poet” while reciting the most beautiful verses of his masterpiece.
Near Dante’s tomb you can also have a look at Saint Francis church: in 1321 funerals’ great poet were celebrated. Its flooded crypt is very interesting: nice goldfish live and swim here in a natural habitat! Besides the crypt’s pavement decorated with mosaics of V cent. is really beautiful!!
The Basilica of San Vitale and the Byzantine mosaics
In this famous basilica children can have fun observing the ancient maze built-in the church floor and play with it under the amused eyes of the Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora, among the curls and swirls of the magnificent gilded decorations of the presbytery.
In the mausoleum of Galla Placidia, located just a few steps from the basilica, children will be enchanted by the numerous stylized stars that create the sky whilst they try to find the symbols of the 4 evangelists, half hidden in the dome.
We also know for certain that the eight figures dressed in white that revolve around the starry dome are part of the twelve apostles, but where are the other four? Can you recognize St. Peter and St. Paul? These and other curious questions will answered directly by the mosaics.
Visit to the mosaic workshop
Children will be delighted by the colours and faceted forms of tiles that glitter like iridescent specks.
They can see close up all the typical tools for making the mosaic such as hammers, tweezers, pincers and tongs still used today according to the original traditions handed down over the centuries.
In memory of the visit the children will be presented with small pieces of glass to play with at home and to better understand this fascinating technique.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE GUIDED TOUR
Meeting point: Piazza del Popolo.
End of the visit: Basilica of San Vitale.
Cost of guided tour:
Adults: €10+€8,50 (entrance fee to monuments)
From 6 to 10 years: 5 € for the guided tour (entrance to the monuments is free)
From 0 to 5 years: free
Family Special discount: in case of 4 payers (adults and children above 10 years) the 5th person won’t pay the guided tour.
The ticket allows a visit to the monuments for the 6 days following the date of entry.
Guided tours can also be made in English French and German
Reservations required (minimum 8 participants) through email, Whatsapp, phone call or SMS (you can find all my contact information at the end of this page)