The drive from Vienna to Ravenna, our first overnight, was largely unremarkable. Austria is green; Italy has the Alps and its expensive highways tolls, and that’s about it. The city was the seat of the Roman Empire in the 4th or 5th century and then again in Byzantine Italy, and is noted for its mosaics.
Simple Byzantine on the outside.
Striking mosaics on the inside.
Arcades and porticos reminiscent of nearby Bologna…
…and cobblestoned lanes added to Ravenna’s charm.
Dante’s Tomb. Why is the tomb not in Florence, you ask? The remarkable story involves feuding Guelphs and clever Franciscans, but I won’t spoil it all for you.
Pisa is not the only city with a leaning tower.
Certainly one could spend hours, if not a couple of days, studying each and every mosaic in each and every church. In fact, there were groups of (presumably) art history students and regular visitors enjoying in-depth discussions in every church we visited. We had about three hours to spare, and between mosaic-viewing, a gelato stop, and casual meandering before dinner, Ravenna worked perfectly for us.