“O lone Ravenna! many a tale is told
Of thy great glories in the days of old:
Two thousand years have passed since thou didst see
Caesar ride forth to royal victory.”
— from “Ravenna” by Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). This poem won the Newdigate Prize for poetry in 1878
Ravenna has a school that teaches mosaics arts, both their creation and their restoration (see photos #1 and #2).
Also, commercial businesses produce modern mosaic art (see photos #3 and #4). You can visit their studios where you can commission or buy ready made pieces of mosaic art.
Ravenna boasts the world's most incredible collection of intact mosaics from the Paleo-Christian and Byzantine periods. This form of art, which flourished in the Graeco-Roman and early Christian eras, reached its zenith just as Ravenna saw its golden age. The presence of these mosaics in Ravenna is a source of pride and inspiration to the local community, which continues to keep the tradition of mosaic art alive. This is evident from simple souvenirs to some street signs in the historic centre (see third photo attached) to elaborate mosaic designs used in architectural projects worldwide. To commemorate this form of art, a round tower of mosaics was erected in 2003 near the railway station. Its creator, Enzo Pezzi, was inspired by the round bell towers of Ravenna and by designs within the mosaics of San Vitale (see second photo).
This is the place to be if you enjoy mosaics. The art of mosaics was not born in Ravenna but it did find its greatest level of expression here where Christian iconology was born, a mixture of symbolism and realism, of Roman and Byzantine influence.
The most famous mosaics are in the following monuments:
San Apollinare Nuovo
Archbishop Andrea's palace chapel
San Vitale basilica
San Apollinare in Classe
San Apollinare Nuovo basilica