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Mosaics

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Mosaic, beyond any shadow of doubt, is the most representative symbol of Ravenna.

If, on the one hand, the assortment of small and magnificent tesserae constitutes a leading component of early Christian and Byzantine artistic heritage, on the other, it is remarkable how diffuse and visible this collection of masterpieces is all around the city: inside the UNESCO World Heritage monuments, in the streets and squares, in the main archaeological sites, in museums and schools, in crafts and souvenir shops.

It is as if the very image of Ravenna, of its history and of its community, were set and displayed as part of an even greater mosaic, since 1996, that of humanity’s world heritage.

If it was the splendour of the mosaics, created over the centuries, that made Ravenna great, being superior in quality and iconography in comparison with all other cities of the ancient world (West and East), and so admired as to become the creative workshop of the greatest artists and men of letters in history, it was also due to the fact that the city itself gave space and life to these masterpieces, thus allowing them to reveal themselves and speak to the world.

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Protected with care and know-how, the mosaics have managed to retain over time their essence and that which they represent: the city and its inhabitants.

For this reason, today it is possible to enjoy and explore the city by means of an itinerary devoted to mosaic, replete with beauty and masterpieces that can be approached and observed in a variety of urban contexts.

Starting from the archaeological sites: among which, first and foremost, are the Antico Porto di Classe and Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra, continuing with a visit of the 8 UNESCO Monuments (Basilica di San Vitale, Mausoleo di Galla Placidia, Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Battistero Neoniano, Battistero degli Ariani, Cappella di Sant’Andrea annexed to Museo Arcivescovile, Basilica di Sant’Apollinare in Classe), and then, perhaps, delve into the techniques, history and development of mosaic art in the museums of the city – the Tamo, the MAR, the Museo Nazionale di Ravenna; going on to discover handmade techniques in the artisan workshops, get to know the modern masterpieces in streets and squares, rediscover passion and creativity in schools and art academies, and finally, perhaps, to get hold of a copy or a modern work to take with you, bought in the specialised shops of the historic centre.

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