60 Days in Europe: Day 11 / June 9

June 9, 2014 – Ravenna & Venice.

From my journal:
Monday.
Train to Ravenna via Bologna. We checked our packs there and connected to Ravenna.

So glad I chose to take a day for this place, a trove of early Christian art and architecture. Also, it embodied in its designs the conflict between conciliar Christianity and Arianism. The mosaic, too, is the perfect art for Christian expression: small, broken, fragmentary pieces are chosen, shaped, and carefully placed into a unified, beautiful whole, to create the image of God incarnate and his people. In short – the church.

Here is what we saw and did today (just in Ravenna):

  1. The Arian Baptistry – with a nude Jesus being baptized.
  2. Piazzo di Popolo.
  3. Ate piadinas. First time.
  4. Saw the Tomb of Dante.
  5. Piazza Garibaldi, with memorials to WW2 dead, including Jewish victims of the Nazis.
  6. Walked through the covered market.
  7. Basilica di San Vitale.
  8. The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia.
  9. Piazza J. F. Kennedy.
  10. Macchiato & cappuccino.
  11. The Neonian Baptistry (Also Arian, also had nude Christ being baptized).
  12. Basilica di San Francesco (Note what a Franciscan interior looks like compared to a St. Peter’s or one of the Duomos. Point made.).
  13. Basilica di Sant’Apollinare, with both Arian and Byzantine (Nicene) mosaics.

– All in less than five hours!

Train back to Bologna, then onto Venice. We walked the wrong way from the Venice station – to Mestre. Then came back, went the other way, to Maghera, and found our hostel, the Columbo Hotel. Very tired, and not looking forward to the dorm, and not remembering what our reservation was – we almost danced when we were told we had our own room!

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