Throughout its history, Ravenna has been a capital three times: of the Western Roman Empire (402-476), the Ostrogothic Kingdom (493-553) and the Byzantine Exarchate (554-751).
It is the second largest municipality in Italy and an impressive, intellectually active and stylish town. It is a short distance from the Adriatic Sea and has no fewer than eight monuments which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Like the Basilica of San Vitale, the masterpiece of 6th-century Byzantine art, or the beautiful mosaics in the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia and the Baptistery of Neon.
Ravenna is the final destination for the ‘Treno di Dante’ and it is here that Dante wrote Paradise, the final part of his Divine Comedy. His funeral was held in the Basilica of Saint Francis and his tomb stands just outside it; considered a national monument, there is an area of respect and silence around it which is called the “Dante area”.