The last capital of the Western Roman Empire, Ravenna is one of the most important historic cities in Italy, yet remarkably little-visited compared to its more famous neighbours such as Rome and Florence. The centre of the town contains a collection of no fewer than seven monuments which have been enshrined on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites, including the spectacular Basilica of San Vitale which is lined with some of the Mediterranean's finest mosaics. Dating from the 5th and 6th centuries, when Ravenna was first a Roman and then Byzantine city under the Emperor Justinian, these buildings are unique relics of Early Christianity in Italy. However, the influence of eastern aesthetics and techniques is striking in the architecture itself and in the decorative and symbolic use of mosaic - perfectly-preserved in many places, the quality and vivid colour of the interiors is dazzling to this day. Today, no longer a viable port, Ravenna has become a quiet regional town with a charming ambience and some excellent local restaurants. A perfect destination for a short break in its own right, it also makes an excellent addition to a longer tailor-made itinerary including nearby Bologna, Ferrara or Modena.

Speak to an expert - 020 7593 2288

Our expert reservations team regularly travel to a wide range of destinations to explore new cities, visit hotels and to research museums, galleries and restaurants so that we can offer the most up-to-date advice and recommendations.


Join our mailing list to receive the latest updates and travel inspiration.