Porto Corsini (for Ravenna and Bologna) Cruises, Italy
SHORE EXCURSIONS View all excursions
Ravenna is packed with reminders of its Roman and Byzantine past, including several monuments that have UNESCO’s stamp of approval. Visit the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, an unassuming brick building which hides an incredible mosaic-tiled interior. The mosaics date back to around 430AD, and include a starry night sky on the oratory vault, and a glittering depiction of Christ as the Good Shepherd. You’ll find more mosaics in the church of Sant’Apollinare and in the Basilica of San Vitale, which features some of the world’s best-preserved Byzantine artworks. We’ll also visit the Piazza San Francesco and the grave of Dante Alighieri, the famous Italian poet. Before we head back, you’ll have some free time to explore on your own or have a drink or a gelato at a pavement café.
Bologna is one of Italy’s prettiest cities, filled with grand red-brick buildings, arcaded streets and Medieval towers. You’ll start your tour of the city at Piazza Maggiore, Bologna’s main square. It’s bordered by beautiful buildings, including the Basilica di San Petronio, Palazzo del Podestà and Palazzo d’Accursio. You’ll have the chance to step inside the Basilica and see its famous chapels and frescoes. Next up, we’ll head to the Palace of Archgginasio. It was the first permanent seat of Bologna’s famous university, and you can still sit on the benches of the 17th-century anatomical theatre where dissections used to take place. The city’s traditional market and iconic Medieval towers are next on the agenda. Once we’ve finished, you’ll have an hour or so to explore on your own. If you fancy some lunch, try the spag bol, or ragù alla Bolognese as the Italians call it – it was invented here.
They might not have the greatest football team – joint bottom in the world rankings – but this tiny city-state scores highly when it comes to sights. San Marino is one of the world’s oldest republics, so once we arrive, we’ll head straight for its historical heart. We’ll peek inside the Porta San Francesco church, admire the Neo-Classical façade of the Basilica, and wander through the city’s main square. Edging the square, you’ll find the Palazzo Pubblico, where official state ceremonies take place. The views from here are definitely camera-worthy – San Marino sits on top of a rocky mountain surrounded by forests, fields and rolling hills. You’ll have some free time to explore on your own, before we head back to Ravenna.