Ravenna: Mosaics & Marble

Resort:Ravenna: Mosaics & Marble
Operator: Cox and Kings
Destination: Italy
Price From: £1595.00


Uncover Ravenna’s glittering past with experts Rowena Loverance or Dr Sally Dormer. In 402AD, the city became the capital of the western Roman empire and mosaic-decorated churches were built. Ravenna flourished during the early sixth century under the Ostrogoths, who commissioned further splendid monuments. In 540AD it became the main outpost of the Byzantine empire in western Europe, experiencing another lavish period of patronage, and the Lombards assumed control in 751AD. Decline was inevitable, but vital in ensuring the survival of Ravennas illustrious past.


Day 1: Fly to Bologna Ravenna

Fly from London (regional connections available) to Bologna with British Airways. Transfer to Ravenna and stay at the historic Palazzo Bezzi Hotel (or similar) for 3 nights. Afternoon visit to SantApollinare in Classe, which demonstrates the form and function of early Christian basilical churches. (D)

Day 2: Ravenna

Visit the so-called mausoleum of Galla Placidia, which contains fine Early Christian vault mosaics. Continue to San Vitale, one of the most significant centrally planned Byzantine churches to survive. Afternoon visit to the Residenza dei Vescovi to view masterpieces from the Museo Arcivescovile, the archiepiscopal chapel and Ravenna’s 18th-century cathedral. Visit a modern mosaic studio to see mosaics being created (subject to confirmation). (B)

Day 3: Ravenna

Visit Theodorics Palace and the octagonal Orthodox baptistery. Continue to the basilica of SantApollinare Nuovo, built by Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, as a palatine church; the late fifth-century octagonal Arian baptistery, with a mosaic of Christs baptism; Dantes tomb and the basilica of San Francesco. Visit the city art museum to see a display of contemporary mosaics. Continue to Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra. Only discovered in 1993, this Byzantine palace contains marble inlays and mosaics. (B, D)

Day 4: Ravenna Fly to London

Morning visit to the mausoleum of Theodoric. This unique 10-sided mausoleum was built from huge blocks of ashlar masonry on the outskirts of Ravenna. Drive to San Pietro in Silvis, which dates from the seventh century and provides useful comparisons with the churches in Ravenna. Lunch at Bagnacavallo, before continuing to Bologna. Fly to London. (B, L)