Ravenna & Aquileia

San Vitale
San Vitale
Inside Pomposa Abbey
Inside Pomposa Abbey
Pomposa Abbey
Pomposa Abbey
Neonian Baptistery
Neonian Baptistery
Church of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo
Church of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo
Church of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo
Church of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo
Ravenna Cathedral
Ravenna Cathedral
Ravenna Cathedral
Ravenna Cathedral
Concordia Sagittaria
Concordia Sagittaria
Concordia Sagittaria
Concordia Sagittaria
Cividale del Friuli
Cividale del Friuli
Cividale del Friuli
Cividale del Friuli
Aquileia Archaeological Museum
Aquileia Archaeological Museum
Aquileia Archaeological Museum
Aquileia Archaeological Museum
Grado
Grado

In AD 402 the Roman Imperial court fled from Rome to Ravenna, and for a period this was the political centre of what remained of the Western Empire. The result? An astonishing flowering of art and architecture created in the dying days of the Empire. To this day, the city’s numerous churches and palaces remain resplendent with shimmering mosaics.

We begin in Aquileia, a great city of the Roman Empire, which played host to emperors and archbishops. We continue to Ravenna, one of the must-see archaeological cities, where we marvel at the artistry and explore the stories behind the glittering tiles.

  • Admire the fourth century mosaic floor of the Basilica at Aquileia
  • Visit a host of Paleochristian churches in Ravenna, replete with mosaics
  • Explore the medieval monastery at Pomposa, with its intact frescoes
  • View the extraordinary Tempietto Longobardo
  • Spend time in the seaside town of Grado

Themes

  • Romans
  • Medieval
  • Historic Churches

Practicalities

  • Special Access
  • All Inclusive

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

We depart from London, and upon arrival in Venice, we transfer to our hotel in Grado. We have time to relax before enjoying our first group dinner at a local restaurant.

Hotel: Grand Hotel Astoria
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

We travel to Aquileia. Founded by the Romans in 180BC on marshy ground between the mountains and the lagoons, the city lay on an important route between eastern and western Empires, and thrived in the late Roman period. We explore the Cathedral, and the Christian and earlier mosaics under its campanile. We also walk along the port to the 6th century Church of Monastero and museum; and end the day at Aquileia’s National Archaeological Museum.

Hotel: Grand Hotel Astoria
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

We head into the foothills of the Alps to the first Lombard city of Cividale. Here we visit the Tempietto Longobardo, an exquisite ducal chapel with wonderful stuccowork, before returning to the Christian Museum. After lunch, we explore the Cividale Archaeological Museum, which displays splendid finds such as armour, jewellery and glass from Lombard graves. Later we return to Grado and visit the 6th century cathedral and the churches of S. Eufemia and S. Maria delle Grazie. Tonight we have our final dinner in Grado.

Hotel: Grand Hotel Astoria
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

This morning we travel to Ravenna. En-route we stop at Concordia Sagittaria, founded as a Roman colony in 42BC to the site of an important early Christian basilica, which was discovered and laid out below the floor of the present cathedral. Here we view the 12th century mosaic floor and frescoes, the monastery that Guido D’Arezzo invented modern musical notation. Our final visit is to the Abbey of Pomposa.

Hotel: Palazzo Bezzi or Hotel Bisanzio
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

Today we start our exploration of Ravenna with a series of superb monuments, including the Arian Baptistery, the Neonian Baptistery, Ravenna Cathedral, and the Bishop’s Palace with its museum and mosaic decorated private chapel. In the afternoon we visit San Giovanni Evangelista, founded by Galla Placidia.

Hotel: Palazzo Bezzi or Hotel Bisanzio
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

Still in Ravenna, we will also explore the remains of the church of Santa Spirito, which now contains the mosaics from ‘Theoderic’s Palace’ and then on to the Church of Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo, Theodoric’s Palatine chapel. In the afternoon a walk across town takes us to the late antique Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra. We end the day at the National Museum, with a vast and eclectic of architectural and archaeological material from Ravenna and its environs. This evening we plan to have our special private visit to San Vitale and the mausoleum of Gallia Placidia.

Hotel: Palazzo Bezzi or Hotel Bisanzio
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

We drive south this morning to Classe. This was the location of the commercial port of Ravenna and a city in its own right. We will pass by the excavated port and visit the church of San Apollinare in Classe with its distinctive belltower. In the afternoon on our way backing the city we will stop to visit Theoderic’s great stone mausoleum.

Hotel: Palazzo Bezzi or Hotel Bisanzio
Meals: All meals included

Day 8

We view the Church of San Francesco and the adjacent Tomb of Dante before lunch. After we drive to Bologna airport for our return flights home or onward connections.

Meals: Breakfast included

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - Most meals included with wine at dinner
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in program; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels

Travel Information

Joining the Tour

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Passport & Visa Information

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Book now

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2019 Tour Details

Mon 18th March - Mon 25th March

Available

Guaranteed Departure

$3,603

without flights

sgl supp: $415

RAV19A

Led By: Oliver Gilkes

Mon 21st October - Mon 28th October

Available

$3,595

without flights

sgl supp: $415

RAV19B

Led By: Professor Tony King

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