Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ravenna Rave

 Cruise Day 2 we woke up in Ravenna, Italy to this view:

Ravenna has a crazy quilt history dating back to the Etruscans who settled it Long-Long-Ago-BC--it was accepted into the Roman Republic back in 49BC!  It's architecture reflects Byzantine, Ostrogoth, Venetian and Roman occupants over the centuries. Ravenna with the most outstanding mosaics in the world.   Lots of biggies of history came through here.

The day was overcast so a bit cooler.  Using internet info as a guide, we set off on our own walking tour.  Amazing stuff.  I'm afraid my little Sony camera didn't do it justice--so you really must come see all this for yourself!

Note:  whenever you think you're seeing a fresco/painting; you're not.  Absolutely everything was done in mosaic.

The Basilica of San Vitale--1500 years old--you can tell my looking at the people inside the scale of this place:

 Check out the split and mirrored marble column on the right--the place was full of them.  Belissimo!
This one's for you, little Andreas--here's your namesake in mosaic!

 The split marble up close:

The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (she was the daughter, mother, aunt & sister of Roman emperors!)  Note the windows--out of panes of amber!  The mosaics just glowed; but alas, I couldn't capture reality.

An amber window pane up close

The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, began in 521! and "updated" into the 1600's

A pulpit fit for Ben! 
We finished up our day in Ravenna by exploring piazzas and side streets, eating a great lunch with locals, and making a detour to a local beach by the port.  Our feet said grazie!
Caio for Now!

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