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Seemingly every stop on a tour of Italy is overflowing with history. There are beautiful churches dating back to the Renaissance, a rich sense of culture around every corner and even ruins that stretch back to Ancient Rome. Many of these cities are household names - Rome, Florence and Venice, just to name a few - but one of the most historic cities may not be quite as well-known. Ravenna, located on the northeast coast of Italy, is home to some of the best examples of architecture and art in the country and will certainly stand out as one of the best destinations during your tour of Italy.
Early Christian monuments
Ravenna was originally the capital of the Western Roman Empire, and as a result, the streets are dotted with monuments built by emperors as a way to pay tribute not only to Christianity but also to their own power. Among the best of these is Basilica of San Vitale, which was constructed during the 6th century. The building is impressive from the outside thanks to its unusual octagonal design, but it's what's housed in the interior that makes it stand above the rest: The basilica is home to exquisite mosaics that cover much of its walls and even the ceilings.
Pay tribute to poets
It wouldn't be a trip to Italy without honoring some of the best artistic minds in history, and Ravenna certainly offers plenty of opportunity to do just that. The tomb of Dante Alighieri, the iconic author of the Divine Comedy, is located in the city. More than just his final resting place, the tomb is also a popular destination thanks to its inclusion of an oil lamp that burns constantly. Ravenna is also home to a house where Lord Byron lived for a short period during the 19th century.
Ravenna has one of the best National Museum's in Italy, and it will surely be an appealing stop even if you have just a cursory knowledge of the country's compelling past. For starters, the museum is housed within a building formerly used as a Benedictine monastery, which certainly lends a unique element. Additionally, there are numerous intriguing sights located within the museums walls, such as a collection of ancient weapons and coins dating back centuries.
Look down in wonder at Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedral from your glass-walled pod on the London Eye, then gaze out over the Louvre and the Champs-Elysees from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The scent of rich pine forests lingers in the breeze as the 13th-century ruins of Turaida Castle are revealed before your eyes in the lush Gauja River valley in a medieval sanctuary untouched by the march of time.
The aroma of dark roasted Viennese coffee hangs thick in the air as you tread the cobblestone laneways and bask in the elegant architecture, atmospheric cafes and refined restaurants in one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe.
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