After a glimpse of Ravenna on Wednesday, I move now to the rest of the city. I seemed to walk incessantly that day, which made me feel exhausted at times, but I soldiered on, as I used to do when first seeing the wonders of Greece and Italy, determined not to miss anything.

A long day in Ravenna

From the tomb of Gallia Placida it was just a step to the San Vitale Cathedral, also magnificently decorated. It was built in the 6th century, with again with glorious mosaics, including on the floor, though the frescoes on the dome are over a millennium later.

Nearby, but requiring a different ticket, was the museum, housed in a 15th century monastery. It had a wonderful collection, ranging from classical sculpture to renaissance frescoes, including a lovely cycle from a 13th century church.

From there I trotted southward to another set of church buildings but first going to the tomb of Dante. Sadly my batteries were running out by now, but I captured something of the next wonderful building I visited, the early 5th century Orothodox Baptistery of Neon, the Bishop who supplied it with magnificient frescoes at the end of that century. And nearby was the Archbishop’s Musuem with within it the exquisite Chapel of St Andrew, in addition to some impressive ecclesiastical ornaments including a grand ivory throne made for a 6th century bishop.

After that I went to the new cathedral of St. Apollinaire, built in the 6th century by the Ostrogoth king Theodoric, and then tried to get to the Arian Baptistery but that was closed. I felt then that it was time for a rest, since I would not be able to get into my room at the hotel. But having changed and recharged my phone, I set out again soon since the Cathedral of St. Apollinaire I wanted to get to next was in a suburb, which required a bus ride. The bus meandered, but we finally got there, to find a very grand church built at the same time of the cathedral.

Fortunately, for else I would have had to wait an hour for a return bus, I got a lift and, though the young lady warned me she had to stop to shop, I did get back to the city in time to see the Arian Baptistery, not as splendid as the Orthodox one but well worth seeing.

Then, tired but determined to go on, I walked to the furthest monument in the city, the Mausoleum of Theodoric who had an uneasy relationship with the Byzantine emperor, though sometimes accepting his patronage. It was an unusual but elegant tower, with two stories of ten sides each.

Walking back I stopped inside the still impressive Brancaleone fort, for a beer which was brought with such filling snacks that I could not face anything more – except, back at my hotel, after an invigorating shower, some of the Toblerone I had brought with me. And then it was most welcome sleep, in what seemed an extremely comfortable bed.

I have a plethora of pictures today, starting with the walls of the tomb of Gallia Placida which I should have shown on Wednesday. Then there is the cathedral and statuary and a fresco from the museum, followed by Dante’s tomb and the Orthodox Baptistery. The Chapel of St. Andrew comes next, with after that the cathedral of St. Apollinaire, and then the Arian Baptistery ceiling. Finally we have the Brancaleone Fort in a lovely evening light, with then the Mausoleum of St. Theodoric, and my well earned evening beer in the gardens of the fort.

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