Once the capital of the Byzantine Empire in Italy, Ravenna still retains amazing mosaics recalling that heritage. With a delightful small town atmosphere, Ravenna is the home of the Mosaic Basilica.
Collect your Luxury Minivan in Venice and set off south for a scenic two and a half hour trip. Head for the Centro, the middle of town where art lovers will be thrilled with the old churches and interesting architecture. Visit the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo and the Basilica di San Francesco, the church where Dante’s funeral service took place. With its Romanesque structure and the crypt under water, this makes for very interesting pictures.
See the stunning Basilica of San Vitale covered with mosaics and then set off to the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, a cross-shaped structure that houses the tomb of Galla Placidia. Stroll around the ancient streets, the city is smothered in brilliant 4th to 6th century gold, emerald and sapphire masterpieces that will leave you breathless.
When you have had enough of mosaics and history, head out of town to the Eurowheel, a 90 m tall Ferris wheel at the Mirabilandia amusement park. It is famous for its spectacular views over Ravenna, the nearby beaches and its 50000 light bulbs are said to make it the brightest Ferris wheel in the world.
End your day when you settle down at the Osteria dei Battibecchi. They serve simple Romagnola food to delight. After a main of scrumptious pasta, order the zuppa inglese, liqueur-soaked lady fingers smothered with custard and chocolate sauce.