A Virtual Trip – Ravenna Posted by Bridgette on Jul 23, 2020 in Culture
Un Viaggio Virtuale – Ravenna
Ciao ai miei cari lettori!
Considering the current ban on travel to Europe for American residents (anyone else have canceled summer plans?) I thought we could partake in un viaggio virtuale, insieme! Andiamo a Ravenna!
Ravenna, located in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy, is considered an inland city yet is connected to the Adriatic Sea by the Candiano Canal. Ravenna is also the second largest city in Italy, after Rome. (By area, not population!)
I first visited Ravenna in the summer of 2018, and I was taken aback by the architecture and well-preserved mosaics from the late Roman and Byzantine era. There are actually eight buildings that are located on the UNESCO world heritage list called “Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna.” It really is well worth a visit, the detailed mosaic work is unlike anything I have ever seen before. Unfortunately, pictures do not do it justice, but here are some I took:
For some Italian listening practice as well as a better look at the Mosaic work in the Mausoleo di Galla Placidia, which is one of the eight UNESCO sites in Ravenna, ecco un video da YouTube:
Ravenna also houses the tomb of Dante Alighieri, who died in Ravenna in 1321.
Dante, if you do not know, was a famous writer and politician who was born in Florence in 1265. He wrote “La Divina Commedia” a long narrative poem about Dante’s travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, in his native Florentine dialect, as opposed to Latin. This had a direct effect on establishing it as standard Italian, accepted throughout Italy as the language of culture and prestige.
Dante was actually accused of political corruption while in office in Florence, and subsequently exiled for two years and fined. He sought refuge in Ravenna, but refused to pay the fine citing his innocence, thus leading to his permanent exile from Florence and even a death sentence imposed on him if he were to have returned. Despite this, after his death and burial in Ravenna, Florence requested and continues to request that his remains be transported to their city to be re-buried, but Ravenna refuses. The municipality of Florence even officially apologized in 2008 for Dante’s exile 700 years earlier.
Avete mai visitato Ravenna? Have you ever visited Ravenna? If not, I hope you do now as soon as we are all able to travel to Europe again. It truly is a city to be seen and admired.