Tired of the “big three”… Rome, Florence, Venice? Ravenna, known for its fabulous Byzantine mosaics, is a hidden gem not to be missed.
Start your morning with a quick visit to Dante’s marble tomb, which is located off Piazza Garibaldi. The tomb isn’t as interesting as the history of the poet yet still worth a stop. Then visit the Church of San Francesco. Due to the weight of the church, and the fact that the city is built on a reclaimed lagoon, the once above water-level crypt of Bishop San Neone is now submerged. You can peer down into the water and see gold fish swimming between sections of mosaic pavements!
Saving some of the top sights for last, visit the Basilica di San Vitale, the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, the Battistero degli Ortodossi, and the Duomo. Better yet, spread the visits over a few days and enjoy the leisurely pace of this beautiful small town on the Adriatic coast.