A city of unparalleled charm, Ravenna has antique originsand a glourious past having been three times the capital: of the Western Roman Empire, the Roman-Barbarian kingdom of Teodorico, and finally the, the seat of power to Byzantium in the West through the Exarchate.
Eight monuments of Ravenna are included in the list of UNESCO World heritage sites and hold the richest heritage of mosaics dating from the fifth and sixth centuries. The elegant centre that runs in winding streets now dotted with elegant shops is reminescent of a past central lagoon with a charming view of the city walls and crossed by slow waterways, which were closed at the end of the 1400's thereby creating new spaces which could be dedicated to the city, like the one that hosts the elegant square, piazza del Popolo today. The Byzantine and Paleo-Christians basilicas, the baptisteries, Romanesque churches, the cylindrical campaniles of the tenth and eleventh centuries, the frescoes by Pietro da Rimini of Santa Chiara, the crypts, the places of ultimate refuge of Dante Alighieri, buildings and cloisters of Renaissance architecture left by the Venetians, elegant seventeenth and eighteenth century palaces in the centre, the new precious discovery of the Domus of Stone Carpets archaeological areas in the Classe vicinity which continue to display important evidence of the antique Port of Augusto, all render Ravenna "the city of art par excellence". Ravenna is a city that does not, however, remained motionless in relation to the past, but is dynamic in relation to the present with future plans to accept new and ambitious challenges, such as the candidature for 2019 Ravenna as European Capital City of Culture, in this way claiming its place as a cultural and artistic centre.