History of Ravenna
Ravenna is a relatively small city in eastern Italy, on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. The whole province of which Ravenna is the capital city is home to around 160,000 people. To some, its modern look hides glorious days of the past in which Ravenna played a very important role in this part of the world.
The origins and the foundations of the city are unknown today. It is known that some kind of settlement existed before the time of the Roman Empire and that during the whole period of ancient history the settlement was surrounded by marshy terrain, easily approachable only by sea. This crucial characteristic made Ravenna an attractive location for many rulers, because it was believed that it cannot be easily concurred due to the specific terrain.
The First Roman Imperator, Augustus, undertook a large scale building project which would allow Ravenna to hold the imperial fleet in charge of controlling the Eastern Mediterranean sea. According to some sources, Ravenna’s port held 10,000 sailors in charge of this fleet.
In 285AD, Roman Imperator Diocletian realized that Roman Empire had grown too large to be governed by only one man. Therefore, he divided the empire into two halves, taking the Eastern Roman Empire and leaving a Western Roman Empire to one of his generals who followed his orders.
After Diocletian’s death, a civil war broke out, in which Constantine the Great came to power and again became the sole ruler of both the east and the west. However, after Constantine, the turmoil continued and the division in the time to come was more and more evident.
Towards the final fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Imperator of the Western Roman Empire, Onorio, transferred the royal residence from Milan to Ravenna. In this period, the city of Ravenna saw large urbanization projects which transformed it into a metropolitan city.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476AD, Ravenna was captured by Goths in 493.
Realizing that the Western Roman Empire was completely under control of the barbarians, the Eastern Roman Emperor, Justinian I, organized its forces in order to capture the lost territories. Soon after, Italy entered under control of Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine) in 540AD. Ravenna was chosen for the capital city of the conquered territories, while the administration was delegated to imperial official called Exarchs.
In 751, the Exarchate of Italy fell, when the last Exarch was killed by the Lombards.
In the 8th century, Pope Adrian I allowed Charles I (the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire) to take anything he liked from Ravenna. Consequently, numerous columns, mosaics and treasures were taken to Aachen (Germany) and incorporated into his chapel.
In the Medieval period, Ravenna was at first governed by local noble families. In 1441, the city was taken by the Venetian Republic, while in 1509 the city passed to the Papal State. For the next 350 years, the city was under the rule of the Papal State, while in 1861 the city joined the Kingdom of Italy.
The city of canals and alleyways, numerous islands and bridges, the city of gondolas and wondrous vistas, jaw dropping architecture, postcard - perfect palaces, the city of the carnival and the masks, in a nut shell – a city one can fall in love with quite easily. All of these words seem to describe Venice as one of the most well-known tourist destinations in the world. Venice offers loads to visitors: stunningly beautiful palaces and superb buildings that will take you on a trip through the rich history of this unique city, numerous canals to cross either on foot or by a gondola, a number of islands that still seem to stay hidden to most tourists, as well as a huge number of tourist sights and museums. As the saying goes, even the Venetians get lost in Venice.
The eternal city, a city of glorious past, a city of chequered history, the cradle of Roman Catholic Church - are just some attributes that distinguish Rome from other popular tourist destinations. Tourists will be able to take a peek at the beauty and glory of once the most important city in the world and to enjoy its more modern architectural marvels, mostly built by a number of different popes in quick or slow succession. Don’t just visit Colosseum and Saint Peter’s Cathedral, Rome has so much more to offer.
Ravenna is a city of history, numerous monuments that stand in silent testimony of its turbulent past as well as its fame and glory as the capital city of many an empire and kingdom. The main attractions of Ravenna are certainly its churches and mosaics that all date back to the 5th and 6th century and the early Christian societies in Europe. The scale and splendour of colorful Byzantine mosaics, their historical significance as well as monuments that date back to the Ostrogoths were even recognized by UNESCO who included eight sites in this small city on their World Heritage list. Ravenna is a city which lets its visitors to embark on a journey through history and especially through the history of Byzantine, from the civilization of which only but a faint remnant has survived throughout the world.
Milano is a city of fashion, a city fascinated with the idea of beauty, a city of stunningly beautiful Gothic architecture, a city of compelling culture, a city of the young, city of fabulous fairs and architectural accomplishments. All of these attributes seem to describe Milan, which is the business capital of Italy, which oozes its charm to its visitors in a matter of seconds. To a contemporary tourist Milan offers grand, awe inspiring buildings, a multitude of museums, riveting religious buildings, its culture as a mixture of the modern trends and the tradition that goes all the way back to the Roman Empire, glitz and glamour of its shopping malls and different nightlife zones that will appeal to the tastes of all visitors.
This is the page dedicated to Lake Garda on which you can find a complete tourist guide and suggestions about what to visit while planning your trip to the lake. Lake Garda is one of three great lakes in the northern Italy. Its lovely little towns on the shores of the lake draw an incredible number of tourists each year, who flock there for its mild and mellow climate, strolls on the lake shores, traditional Italian cuisine and of course to stand in awe before the heritage of this region laid bare for us to gaze at in a host of castles, wondrous villas and picturesque villages and dainty little towns.
The city of Pisa rises above the docks of Arno river. Pisa is one of the most important cities in Tuscany and it is well known in the world thanks to the city’s famous symbol, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. We could say that Pisa is both, an ancient city, proud of it’s middle ages past, when Pisa was one of the leading naval force in Europe, and a modern city, full of positive energy that comes from its numerous students, as Pisa has three of the most important universities in Italy. Even if most famous monument in Pisa is the leaning Tower, it is not the only one in this city. Bell Tower of San Nicola Church and the church of San Michele of Scalzi are the other two leaning towers in Pisa.
With its gardens with a riot of colour, wonderful villas and splendid panoramic views Lake Como has become one of the most visited tourist places in Italy. The compellingly beautiful Lake Como seems to have enchanted artists and travelers for centuries: from famous Giuseppe Verdi and Vicenzo Bellini who apparently wrote his opera “Norma” here, to Gioacchino Rossini and a French writer Flaubert.
Lake Maggiore represents the most beautiful jewel of Piemonte region in Italy. Located between mountains and valleys, Lago Maggiore is the second largest lake in Italy (after Lago di Garda), covering the surface of 212km². Almost 80% of the lake’s surface is located on Italian territory, between regions Piemonte and Lombardy, while the remaining 20% belongs to Switzerland. Here, you will have a chance to enjoy such artistic landscapes that everyone should see at least once in a lifetime. Between the emerald green vegetation and the shining blue sky stand numerous castles, sumptuous palaces and prestigious Italian gardens. These monuments testify about the link between the two noble families, which, for years, marked the history of the lake: families Visconti and Borromeo.
The city of Palermo was founded in the 7th century BC by the Phoenicians. They named the city Zyz, after a flower, dedicated to the beauty of this area surrounded by mountains and four rivers: Kemania, Oreto, Pannaria and Papireto. Later on, the Greeks tried several times to conquer the city, but all their attempts were thwarted. Finally, only the Romans succeeded to occupy Palermo, during the First Punic War in the 3rd century BC.
Florence is the capital of the Italian region of Tuscany, a city of over 400 thousand inhabitants. This city is famous for its art, its priceless and unique art heritage, which includes cultural monuments of various styles, rich museums such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Pitti Palace, as well as magnificent villas, most of which used to belong to the famous Florence Medici family.