Besides a visit to the eight Unesco monuments (Basilica of San Vitale, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Neonian Baptistery, Chapel of Sant'Andrea or Archiepiscopal Chapel, Arian Baptistery, Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Mausoleum of Theodoric, Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe), the cultural offer of Ravenna is rich and varied in every season of the year.
There are so many places to see: you can visit the MAR - Ravenna Art Museum, which besides permanent collections (such as the Contemporary Mosaics collections) organizes events and temporary high-profile collections; or the museum Tamo - All the Adventure of the Mosaic, hosted inside the complex of San Nicolò, with its permanent exhibition dedicated to the art of the mosaic from Antiquity to contemporary age, or again visit the National Museum of Ravenna with its rich collections: you will find out about the history of Ravenna through the many finds on display, including Roman and Byzantine finds coming from local excavations.
The suggestive “Zona del Silenzio” hidden in the city centre is absolutely worth seeing. The area includes Dante’s tomb, the Quadrarco di Braccioforte and the Basilica of San Francesco. Every year, in September, right in this area are taking place a series of celebrations and spectacular events paying homage to the Supreme Poet.
In the silent rooms of the Classense Library are displayed important objects linked to Lord Byron and other important historical figures, who stayed in the city. Moreover, the library hosts a huge collection of books and manuscripts, being one of the most prestigious library institutions in Italy.
The Planetarium of Ravenna is located inside the public gardens of the city (Giardini Pubblici), which, almost as a frame, overlook the 16th century-old Loggetta Lombardesca, house of the MAR Museum. The Brancaleone Fortress, of Venetian age, hosts a flourishing garden and the arena for open-air performances.
The importance of Ravenna between the 5th and the 6th century is testified by the precious mosaics guarded in the ancient late Christian and Byzantine buildings. Eight of these monuments have been inserted in the Unesco World Heritage list for their universal value, the unicity and the mastery of the mosaic art.
Nevertheless, many are the places of artistic and archaeological interest that marked the city's past, such as the Domus of the Stone Carpets, the Ancient Port of Classe, and the recent Classis Ravenna - Museum of the City and of the Territory.
If on the one hand, by the way, Ravenna has been the main western political and cultural centre over the centuries that followed the end of the Latin civilization's dominion, on the other hand it preserves important traces of more recent eras, from the Middle Ages until the contemporary age: the tomb of the Supreme Poet Dante Alighieri (with the suggestive “Area of Silence”), the Brancaleone Fortress, the Classense Library, the City Tower and its monumental gates are all proof of that.
The cultural offer of the city is rich and diversified, thanks also to a dense network of museum structures. Among the many already reported are added the Archiepiscopal Museum, which hosts the Chapel of Sant’Andrea (Unesco Heritage), Dante’s Museum with relics linked to the cult and the fame of Dante Alighieri, and the Byron Museum, connected to the memory of the English poet, which collects engravings, documents, objects of the Risorgimento and memories of Garibaldi.