The mosaics of Ravenna together with those of Monreale in Sicily are the most beautiful in the world.
The Basilica of San Vitale, the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia and San Apollinare are the greatest expression of Byzantine Art.
The full ticket for all of the UNESCO sights is a bargain while that for Sant’Apollinaire of Classe, being a destination in Classe and not Ravenna, is only a partial ticket.
You can reach Ravenna in 40 minutes directly from Strada Statale 309 Romea or I recommend a more scenic road, one of the more beautiful routes in Italy.
From via Spina cross the San Pietro Bridge following the signs, “Per Anita.” You will encounter Valle Zavelea, one of the most beautiful oases for birdwatching.
There is also an interesting albeit minor medieval tower, which is a good vantage point for local birders. You are in the extreme northwest of the Valli di Comacchio and there begins the Argine Agosta.
There’ll be the eye candy of the beautiful panorama and then you’ll drive past the ever-breaking placid waves of the Valli (or marine estuaries) of Comacchio.
You see water on the left for about ten kilometers and, again on the left, you will encounter Via Rotta with a sign for the ferry boat Sant’Alberto after a few hundred meters. Take this to the end and at a certain point you’ll mount the south embankment of the Valli di Comacchio.
You’ll ride 8 meters above sea level and the show is marvelous.
It will continue a short distance and you’ll arrive at the ferry where you can embark with the car and pass the Reno River. Onboard you may feel a little nervous but your fear will subside when the boatman asks you for a mere 3 euros. Next you’ll arrive at Sant’Alberto and then follow the signs to Ravenna which you’ll reach in a matter of minutes.
I would recommend a visit to Sant’Apollinare in Classe first and then you can enter Ravenna after.
Finally in Ravenna, I’d recommend the parking in Largo Giustiniano.
A minor curiosity:
in the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia the windows are not made with glass, but alabaster instead. The result is to filter a tonality of warm light contrasting with the cold light given off by the blue of the mosaic on the ceiling. So here you’ll see the images of the mosaics that give depth in 3 dimensions, that are more than the 2 dimensions as in the Byzantine tradition.
You can reserve at reception and include the boat trip in the Valli di Comacchio, the Fish Pickling Factory, MUDA and the House Museum of Remo Brindisi.
Thirst for knowledge and hunger for museums. The multiple forms of art are the nutrition of the spirit, the art of 2,500 years ago or art of today that’s new, young and contemporary.
You can see that Comacchio is a town different from all of the others, but what makes it special from all of the others? You will learn many things both insignificant and important secrets that only locals can know.
€35 adults/discount from 4 to 12 years €20,00/free from 0 to 3 years.
You will cross the Sacca di Goro and the workplaces of clammers until you arrive at the Island of Love.