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Luoghi, i personaggi e le storie che raccontano l’anima autentica di Ravenna

5 of the best things to do in Ravenna

Basilica of San Francesco, crypt (Ravenna)

There are so many wonders to see in Ravenna, that you cannot get bored. But to help who wants to visit the city for the first time, here are 5 of the best things to do in Ravenna.

The 8 Unesco World Heritage monuments

Basilica di San Vitale (Ravenna)
Basilica of San Vitale (Ravenna) | Ph. © Archivio Comune Ravenna

Among the best things to do in Ravenna it’s impossible not to mention the 8 monuments declared Unesco World Heritage in 1996. These early-Christian monuments are like a window on the glorious past of Ravenna, which was capital for three times between the 5th and the 7th century: of the Western Roman Empire, of Theodoric’s Reign and of the Byzantine Empire.

The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, the Neonian and the Arian Baptistery, the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo and the one of Sant’Apollinare in Classe, St. Andrew Chapel, the Basilica of San Vitale and the Mausoleum of Theodoric are symbols of the glorious past of Ravenna that you will not easily forget.

Dante Alighieri’s Tomb

Tomba di Dante Alighieri (Ravenna) - Museo Dantesco
Dante Alighieri’s Tomb (Ravenna) | Photo © Giacomo Banchelli, Archivio Comune di Ravenna

Ravenna is very proud to host the remains of the greatest poet of Italian literature, Dante Alighieri.

Dante’s Tomb, built between 1780 and 1782, was designed by Camillo Morigia and was previously a simple chapel.

The poet’s remains have been hidden for a long time, and were found by chance only in 1865.

The archaeological park of Classe and Classis Ravenna Museum

Museo Classis Ravenna - Mosaico dell'Onda (Ravenna)
Classis Ravenna Museum (Ravenna) | Photo © Fondazione RavennAntica

The new Classis Ravenna Museum has recently enriched the itinerary of the Archaeological Park of Classe, made up of the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe and of the Ancient Port.

This is what remains of one of the main ports of the Byzantine world. The Classis museum preserves more than 600 original findings that trace the history of Ravenna from its Etruscan-Umbrian origins to the early Middle Ages.

The collection of Contemporary Mosaics at MAR – Ravenna Art Museum

Ravenna is known as the capital of mosaic, both ancient and contemporary. This art is still alive in the workshops of the city. The most significant collection of contemporary mosaics can be admired at MAR – Ravenna Art Museum.

You can find works by famous international artists and also collaborations between figurative and mosaic artists, such as the work below – Le coq bleu – realized by Antonio Rocchi on a preparatory drawing by Marc Chagall.

Collezione Mosaici Contemporanei (Antonio Rocchi, Marc Chagall, Le coq bleu, Museo MAR, Ravenna)
Collection of Contemporary Mosaics (Antonio Rocchi, Marc Chagall, Le coq bleu) | Photo © MAR – Ravenna Art Museum

The crypt of the Basilica of San Francesco

Right in the heart of Ravenna, the Basilica of San Francesco stands out in all its splendour.

The basilica is worth a visit especially for its fascinating crypt. Destined to host Bishop Neon’s remains, today it is completely flooded due to subsidence, and it is also home to some goldfish.

Basilica di San Francesco, Cripta (Ravenna)
Basilica of San Francesco, Cripta (Ravenna) | Photo © Nicola Strocchi


Every day, our editorial staff illustrates the wonders of the city in an original way, with images and different kinds of contents. An exciting journey through art, culture, sea and nature.

By the Local Editorial Staff

Publication date:19 June 2019
Revision date:27 November 2023