Ravenna is a city of wonderful mosaics, some of which date back to the 5th century. To see them all, probably, a few days will not be enough, so we have prepared a selection of basilicas and churches where the best of these wonderful masterpieces of Byzantine art are kept.
Ravenna also offers plenty of modern entertainment for families with children. If you are going to the coast, you can go and have fun in one of the many bathing establishments that are waiting for you, or you can spend the whole day in Mirabilandia and experience the thrill of one of the most beautiful roller coasters in Europe. If you love dancing, you can’t miss Boing, one of Ravenna’s few clubs. Here’s what we recommend you do in Ravenna in one or two days.
Start the day with Piazza del Popolo: the heart of Ravenna’s historic center
Piazza del Popolo is just a 10-minute walk from Ravenna Train Station. To reach it, you will have to pass through the Viale Farini trees and cross the arcades of Via Armando Diaz. Upon arrival, you can sit on a bench and admire the Venetian-style architecture, including Palazzo Comunale, Palazzo Rasponi del Sale, and Palazzo del Orologio. Alternatively, take a seat in one of the cafes on the west side of the square under the patronizing gaze of Sant’Apollinare, the patron saint of Ravenna and San Vitale.
Don’t miss the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia: the oldest mosaics in Ravenna
Among the many magnificent mosaics in the city, we recommend that you start with the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, a 5th-century UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the outside, it looks like an anonymous red brick building with a plan in the form of a Greek cross, and inside it is a real riot of colors. The mosaics covering the vaults, dome, and lunettes are unusual, but perhaps the most interesting is the one depicting the Good Shepherd. Next to the mausoleum, you will find the Basilica of San Vitale, also with an exceptional collection of mosaics, and around the Basilica of San Vitale, there are many solutions for your stay.
Don’t miss the exhibitions at the Ravenna Art Museum: a window into the history and art of the city
Ravenna is a city with a rich history and numerous museums. It starts at the Ravenna Art Museum, inside the Loggetta Lombardesca monumental complex (tickets from € 6). In addition to important temporary exhibitions, there are 3 permanent collections, one with paintings and sculptures from the fourteenth to the nineteenth century, for example, the statue of Guidarello Guidarelli, created by Tullio Lombardo, a modern collection with works of the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries, including a beautiful drawing by Gustav Klimt and a collection of modern mosaics. All mosaic adventures are entirely dedicated to the art that Ravenna is famous for. It is located inside the Church of San Nicolo and contains ancient and modern works.
Ride the Mirabilandia roller coaster: 30 hectares of fun for everyone!
Mirabilandia is one of the largest amusement parks in the country, known for attractions such as the longest inverted roller coaster in Europe. You will find dozens of attractions for all ages and adrenaline levels and even a water park. Kids can safely play Ottoland, families can ride the Rio Bravo rapids, and thrill seekers can experience the thrill of riding the Divertical, the world’s tallest water slides. Admission costs about 35 euros for adults and 23 euros for children up to 140 cm tall. There are many hotels around Mirabilandia if you want to spend the night near the park.
Don’t miss the Ravenna Music and Art Festival
In the summer, Ravenna hosts the Opera and Classical Music Festival, which has been held in various places since 1990. This is an annual event in honor of the rich art and history of the city, the theme of which changes every year with the addition of new dance performances. Among the main venues of the festival are the Municipal Alighieri Theater, where theatrical performances and symphonic concerts take place and around which it is easy to find accommodation, as well as some basilicas, such as San Vitale, where evening concerts take place. The cost of tickets for events starts from €10.
Shopping in the markets of Ravenna: everything from fresh produce to antiques
Various street markets are held in Ravenna on different days of the week. A good starting point can be Via Siginolfi on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Every Monday and Thursday afternoon in the large Piazza Della Resistenza farmer’s market is open until about 18:00, and every Tuesday afternoon on Viale Farini street there is another one. On the third Saturday and Sunday of every month throughout the year, an exhibition and fair of antiques and handmade products are held on the streets between Piazza Garibaldi, Via Gordini, and Piazza Einaudi.
End the day with a celebration at Boing
Cadel Ballo, one of the main Latin American clubs in the area, is located about 20 minutes south of the center of Ravenna, in a rural area. On Saturdays, it becomes Boing Disco and hosts the best DJs on the square, live performances by bands of different genres, from reggaeton to trance, and sets with live percussion. Due to its secluded location, loud music can be played in the Boeing, to the delight of the mostly young and energetic audience. For most shows, the cost of the first drink starts from €9.
Relax on the beach at Dolcevita Beach Club
About 15 minutes by car from the center is the Dolcevita Beach Club, one of the busiest establishments of the Lido in Ravenna. It offers a large equipped beach, beach tennis and beach volleyball courts, a playground, and various restaurants, including an excellent Mediterranean restaurant. Try the Dolce Vita risotto (about 15 euros) or a seafood dish with lobster, shrimp, crab, and seasonal vegetables (from 19 euros). In the evening, an aperitif with a DJ set.
Romagna cuisine in Ca ‘de Ven: the elegance of a wine shop with historical charm
This ancient wine shop, located in a fifteenth-century building on Via Corrado Ricci, south of Piazza del Popolo, is a landmark for Ravenna residents and tourists. The interiors of the Ca ‘ de Ven restaurant reflect its cuisine: vaults with frescoes of bright colors, high white walls covered with wooden panels, and shelves full of wines and books. The rich menu offers high-quality cuisine that respects traditions, with wines from Romagna, Piadina, and typical local dishes.
Try beer from all over the world at Taberna: a small beer paradise in the city center
If you love beer, you will fall in love with Taberna, a craft brewery in Ravenna. There are several tables in the restaurant, and all of them are decorated in a beer theme. It offers a wide selection of craft beers from around the world, as well as home-brewed beers. The Bizantina brand of its production includes pale Corsini West ale and Dockyard golden ale. Here you can spend wonderful evenings with friends, and the staff is ready to give you advice on what to try. International craft beer starts from 5 euros per bottle.