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 fl oor 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 2018

Day 1

We arrive in Venice and transfer to our hotel in Grado.

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.

Day 3

We head into the foothills of the Alps to the first Lombard city of Cividale. We visit the Tempietto Longobardo, an exquisite ducal chapel with wonderful stuccowork. We visit Grado’s Archaeological Museum, which displays splendid finds such as armour, jewellery and glass from Lombard graves. After lunch, we explore Grado, a historic walled town with lagoon scenery. We stop at the 6th century cathedral, and the Churches of S Eufemia and S Maria delle Grazie.

Day 4

This morning we drive to Ravenna. En-route we stop at Concordia Sagittaria, founded as a Roman colony in 42BC and the site of an important early Christian basilica discovered and laid out below the floor of the present cathedral. We also visit the Abbey of Pomposa, founded in the 7th century. It has a fine 12th century mosaic floor and frescoes.

Day 5

Our first full day in Ravenna. We visit San Vitale, with the Mausoleum of Galla Placida, its tiny form smothered with rich and evocative mosaics. This great church is famed for its dazzling mosaics, especially the panels depicting rulers Justinian and Theodora. On to Theoderic’s Palace - built over the old site of the Imperial and Royal palace. We also explore the Church of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, built as the Royal Church by King Theoderic, and San Giovanni Evangelista – built by the Empress Galla Placidia.

Day 6

The second of our two full days in Ravenna with its remarkable collection of churches and other monuments. Today we see the Arian Baptistery; the Neonian Baptistery; Ravenna Cathedral; the Bishop’s Palace, now a museum, with internationally important early Christian artefacts; and the Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra, a richly decorated Roman house. We end the day at the National Museum, with time for you to explore the cornucopia of finds at your own pace.

We have arranged a special evening visit to the Church of San Vitale to permit you to look at the mosaics in tranquillity.

Day 7

Free time in the morning to spend at your leisure. This afternoon, we view the Church of San Francesco and Dante’s Tomb before leaving Ravenna to visit Classe, where we see the Church of Sant’Apollinare. Here there are more glorious mosaics. We return to Ravenna and visit the Mausoleum of King Theoderic.

Day 8

We transfer to Bologna for our afternoon flights home or onward connections.

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

Upon arrival, we transfer to our hotel in Grado. We have time to relax before enjoying our first group dinner at a local restaurant.

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.

Day 3

We head into the foothills of the Alps to the first Lombard city of Cividale. Here we visit the Tempietto Longobardo, a Palatine Chapel which is an extraordinary blend of Classical and Lombard art. We continue to the Diocesan Museum to see the Lombard Altar of Ratchis and then after lunch, we explore the Cividale Archaeological Museum, which displays splendid finds such as armor, jewelry 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

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.

Day 5

Today we see Ravenna’s Arian Baptistery, the Neonian Baptistery, Ravenna Cathedral, the Bishop’s Palace and the Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra, a richly decorated Roman house. We end the day at the National Museum, with time for you to explore the cornucopia of finds at your own pace.

Day 6

Still in Ravenna, we visit San Vitale, the extraordinary basilica famed for its mosaics of Justinian and Theodora. We also spend time at the wonderful so called Mausoleum of Galla Placidia. We will also explore Theoderic’s Palace, the Church of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Theodoric’s Palatine chapel, and San Giovanni Evangelista.

Day 7

We have free time this morning to spend at leisure. Later, we view the Church of San Francesco and Dante’s Tomb before leaving Ravenna to visit Classe, where we see the Church of Sant'Apollinare with its glorious mosaics. On the way back to Ravenna, we visit the Mausoleum of King Theoderic.

Day 8

After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our individual flights home or onward travel.

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

For full information about how to join the tour, please click here.

Passport & Visa Information

For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.

Enquire now

Have a question or just want to find out more?

Book now

To book your tour without flights from the US, please call our team on 888 331 3476

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

Share tour with friends