Dante's Tomb (Tomba di Dante) is located just off Piazza Garibaldi. Dante Alighieri - "the divine poet." In exile from his hometown of Florence, the author of the Divine Comedy, died in Ravenna in 1321.
Dante's tomb, graced with a marble bas-relief, is not terribly spectacular. But it's a far better place than he assigned to some of his fellow Florentines in his famous poem!
The Tomb has a neoclassical structure by Camillo Morigia, 1780.
To the right of the small temple is a mound of earth in which Dante's urn went "underground" from March 1944 to December 1945 because it was feared that his tomb might suffer from the bombings.
Near Dante's tomb is the 5th-century Church of San Francesco, where Dante's funeral was held.
Open daily 9am-noon and 2-5pm
Admission free of charge
Just off Piazza Garibaldi is the tomb of Dante Alighieri. The author of Divine Comedy died in Ravenna in 1321.
To the right of the small temple is a mound of earth in which Dante's urn rested underground from March 1944 to December 1945 as it was feared that his tomb might suffer from bombing.
Dante spent the last 20 years of his life in Ravenna, after being exiled from Florence. To this day Florence supplies the oil for the lamps that burn on his tomb, as the penance. In 1519 the Florentines claimed back Dante's remains but the bones were removed from the tomb and hidden. Found in 1865, they were brought back to the former site.
Ever wondered where one of the most famous Italian classics is resting now? The one that wrote the "Divine comedy"? Well he's resting in peace in Ravenna!
Dante's tomb is another interesting thing to see. It's a small temple in neo-classical style. you can go inside it, there's sarchophagus with Dante's bones and a relief above it. For those who are afraid of such places - you could count me in, but not this time...it's really a nicely done solution and no spooky things inside (e.g. like S.Agata's head in Siena...). It's a calm piecful place with some aura of respect.
at the left of this little temple behind the barrs there's a small garden with other sarcophaguses, the place looks nice at the evening when it's illuminated with red-yellow-orange blend of colours.
If you've already shelled out your 8 euros for the combination ticket that gets you into Sant'Apollinare in Classe and the Masoleum of Teodorico, you might as well use it to access the National Museum. But you can't get in on the combination ticket that admits you to San Vitale, Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, and Galla Placidia's Mausoleum. So: what to do? If you'll visit those other places, pay your eight euros. Otherwise, admission to the gallery is 4 euros. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 8:30 AM to 7:30 PM.
What I liked about the National Museum, which is located in the former Benedictine Monastery of San Vitale: i t has really nice bathrooms. If you happen to be traveling with a small boy, he'll love the collection of armor and weapons from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Finally, it is organized into cloisters. I'm a big fan of cloisters generally, but on a hot summer day, the shade and breeze are especially welcome. Moreover, what's collected there -- a melange of Roman, Byzantine, Gothic, Renaissance and baroque building and funerary elements -- is interesting and you're really "up close and personal" with it. It's very touching to see the little sarcophagus of a child from roughly 300 AD, or the family burial markers like the one in the photograph.
Housed in 15th century monastery, la Pinacoteca Comunale is Ravenna's art museum. It contains a collection of art spanning many centuries, from the Roman era to the contemporary period. The former monastery boasts a beautiful Renaissance-period cloister with a double arcade. Towering above it is the octagonal dome of the adjacent church of Santa Maria in Porto.
Housed in the former Benedictine monastery adjacent to San Vitale, il Museo Nazionale (the National Museum) contains a large collection of antique objects found in Ravenna and the surrounding areas over the years. The monastery itself dates from 999 AD, but it was renovated twice thereafter, in the 15th and the 18th centuries. It has two picturesque cloisters which are nowadays used to display Roman-period objects.
Located over 1km from the centre of Ravenna, the Mausoleum of Theodoric the Great is yet another monument listed as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. It was built by the Ostrogothic King Theodoric in 520 AD as his own mausoleum, but whereas Ostrogoths had adopted late-Roman religious architecture, funerary architecture was in part faithful to their Gothic origins: austere and unadorned. Yet, Roman influence is evident in the decagonal plan and monolithic dome of this mausoleum, while Syrian/Anatolian workmanship was likely in its use of large blocks of white Istrian stone. The Mausoleum of Theodoric was the last monument I visited on my trip to Ravenna in April 2010. Although its austerity was a welcomed respite from the colourful mosaics seen elsewhere, the structure seemed rather uninteresting for its lack of ornamentation, especially given the long distance I had walked... When visiting, do consider riding a bicycle, if available, or taking a bus!
As indicated by the bas-relief of Saint Mark's Lion, placed above the entrance of the inner castle, the Rocca di Brancaleone was built by the Venetians (in 1457) during their brief rule over Ravenna. It was intended to enhance the city's defences, but clearly it was not effective for Ravenna was lost to papal rule in 1509, not long afterwards. The papal government later deliberately damaged the fort to maintain its control over the city. It lay in ruins until the 1970's when the interior of the fort was landscaped and turned into a public park. The fort itself is not the most exciting castle in Italy, but the park is a pleasant place for relaxation. It is also on the way to the Mausoleum of Theodoric for those who wish to take a break from the long walk (or bicycle ride).
This visibly leaning tower is the sole survivor of many mediaeval towers that once dotted the city of Ravenna. It was built in the 12th century, a period when prominent families raced to build such towers to assert their power and dominance all over central Italy. Unlike those in San Gimignano and Bologna, though, the towers of Ravenna were deliberately destroyed in the 13th century when the city came under papal rule, as a way to exert control over the city. Only la Torre Civica was spared because it had been taken over by the local government of Ravenna. The tower rises 39 metres and is reinforced with steel in order to prevent it from collapsing.
The oldest surviving structure on Piazza del Popolo, il Palazzetto Veneziano was built by the Venetians in 1462. The building is attached to Palazza Comunale and is connected to it via an arched portico whose arches rest on 6th century columns. These columns originally belonged to the long gone Arian church built during the Ostrogothic reign of Theodoric. His monogram can still be seen on the carved capitals. Underneath the arches are fragments of old frescoes that have survived.
Considered the heart of Ravenna, Piazza del Popolo was historically the civil and administrative centre of the city. It is surrounded by some historic buildings, the most noteworthy of which are the 15th century Palazzetto Veneziano, the 17th century Palazzo Comunale, and the 18th century clock tower. Two Corinthian columns stand at the western end and are topped by statues of the patron saints of the city, San Vitale and Sant'Apollinare. If this piazza recalls Piazza San Marco in Venice, it is no accident for it was the Venetians, who briefly ruled Ravenna in the 15th century, that paved the piazza, built il Palazzetto Veneziano, and erected the two columns. One of the two columns initially supported the Lion of Saint Mark, but it was swiftly removed when Venetian rule ended in 1509.
Nowadays the city hall of Ravenna, il Palazzo Comunale has been the administrative building of Ravenna since its construction. The existing Renaissance-style structure was built in 1681 when Ravenna was under Papal rule. It replaced the older Palazzo Comunale, built at the same time as the neighbouring Palazzetto Veneziano, during the brief Venetian rule at the end of the 15th century. It underwent a renovation in the 19th century during which a vaulted passage through the building, known as Voltone Gaetano Savini, was embellished with beautiful frescoes (see photos) depicting portraits of notable individuals from Ravenna.
In this Neoclassical mausoleum rests none other than Dante Alighieri. The Florentine poet spent his last days in Ravenna where he died in 1321. His funeral took place at the adjacent church of San Francesco and his sarcophagus was placed next to it. The mausoleum over his tomb was built in 1780 by the architect Camillo Morigia. Inside, above Dante's sarcophagus, is a bas-relief of the poet, carved in 1473 by the sculptor Pietro Lombardi.
The Torre Civica-Sala d'attore. Amazing. I looked through every virtualtourist page and photo and nowhere did this even rate.
As we rounded a corner on our way to our accommodation it was hard not to notice this perilously angled edifice. Somehow it wasn't until we were nearly about to leave that I thought to go and get a picture of it.
From my sources at the hotel I was told that the top 6 levels have had to be removed and braces added so that the tower can remain there.
"Torre Civica"was built in Middle Ages, between 1000 and 1100, near Via Ponte Marino, where in ancient time a bridge named "Marino" crossed the river Padenna.
It is 39 metres high; 9 years ago the top 13 metres were removed because it ran the risk of falling down but now it is completely rebuilt, but still precarious!
Piazza del Popolo is a place you'll eventually come to, set as it is near the centre of town. There are cafes here, but not in abundance, and there are the wonderful cobbled stones, monuments (see picture) and lots of push bikes.
Piazza del Popolo can be considered as the focal point of the town of Ravenna. Some people say all roads in Ravenna lead to the Piazza del Popolo.
The main attractions in the square include the beautiful fifteenth century Palazzo Communale (Town Hall) built in the typical Venetian style. Next to it there are two columns, which bear testimony of its Venetian past. These elegant and majestic columns represent Sant Appolinaire and San Vitale.
In one corner of the piazza there used to be a church called St. Andrew of the Goths. Theodora, the most famous among the Gothic emperors, founded it. He ruled Ravenna till it was captured by the Byzantine Empire in 540. During the fifteenth century the Venetians destroyed this church to make space for a fortress they were building. However fragments from this church remain and they adorn the top of the granite columns in the square.
Most of the buildings are built in brick with shallow tile roofs. They have an almost modern look when seen from the exterior. The interiors are however magnificent and breathtaking.
The square is a meeting place for its residents who get together to discuss many issues including how to solve the world’s or more specifically Italy’s various problems.
Many cafes, bars and shops also form an integral part of the square. Many of these lively cafes and bars offer a Piadine. This is a local favourite. It is a typical Ravenna style sandwich.
Piazza del Popolo is also a venue for some events held during the annual Ravenna Festival, which is an extravagant event of opera, concerts, dances, jazz, ethnic music, drama and cinema.
The streets in and around this piazza are designed for pedestrian use and it is a nice place to spend some time relaxing in a nearby café or completing some shopping at leisure before setting off to explore the other charms of Ravenna.
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