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Day trip from venice: ¿Ravenna or Verona?

Day trip from venice: ¿Ravenna or Verona?

Nov 22nd, 2005, 08:05 AM
  #1  
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Day trip from venice: ¿Ravenna or Verona?

Hi,all.
This is my first message here so let me introduce myself. I'm spanish (so excuse my english), 46 years old and love travelling. And I love to do "extensive travel planning"
I'm leaving to Venice with my wife for the first time on December 5th for a six day trip. Will stay at the Metropole.
This forum has been one of my main Trip resources.Specially some delicious trip reports.
I´m planning half a day for Murano and already have a list of 200 "must see" places (which I will leave at home if I don't want to get mad¡¡¡¡). My main doubt now is about a day side trip. I plan to rent a car, and I'm considering two possibilities:
1- Padova-Verona (with possible stop at marostica-bassano-asola area)
2- Ravenna.
I've read here a lot about Verona, but not so much about Ravenna. I will appreciate your expert advice.
andonius is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 08:38 AM
  #2  
 
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Hi, andonius!

Welcome to the forum!

I'm no expert, but I have been to Ravenna. That's the day trip we chose from Venice, and we're so glad we did! Seeing the mosaics was one of the most profound experiences we've ever had on our travels, and I recommend Ravenna as strongly as I can!

If you'd like to read my trip report, it's at

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34594217

Description of Ravenna on Day 2, with some discussion afterward. We went with a tour company, but a rental car would allow you to see even more mosaic sites.

Have a wonderful trip!
smalti is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 10:00 AM
  #3  
 
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I have been to both Ravenna and Verona. Verona is a lovely town, but Ravenna -- or more specifically its mosaics -- is absolutely, jaw-droppingly spectacular. Years later, I am still amazed at the beauty of the mosaics, and their ability to retain their splendor over many, many centuries.

The center of Ravenna is pleasant enough (like many other Italian towns), and I find no reason to recommend the beach area. But the jewel is the mosaics.
DonTopaz is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 10:22 AM
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I'd happily devote a whole day to Padua and leave Verona till next time. There are a few other things though:

- Artistically, I wouldn't personally rate Ravenna THAT far ahead of Padua.

- What hit me about Ravenna was the HUGE gap in my understanding of how Europe and Christianity evolved. Probably learned more about how our world is the way it is in one Ravenna day than anywhere else ever.

- I've never hired a car in Venice, but just getting my own out of the Piazzale Roma autoritratto always seems to take forever. The road to Ravenna's on the wrong side of the lagoon, and can get slow and crowded (though there's something amazingly atmospheric about Chioggia in winter). You're travelling on practically the shortest day of the year, and I really wouldn't want to see the Ravenna mosaics under too much artificial light. So you're going to have to plan pretty carefully to collect the car, get on the road and see Ravenna at its best. Padua, OTOH, is a painless 35 minute train journey from Venice St Lucia.

Tough choice. I'd junk Murano, organise things carefully to see Ravenna (doing a good bit of pre-research on its, Catholicism's, Arianism's and the Roman Empire's, history) fully, and have a long half day train trip to Padua.
flanneruk is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:44 PM
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Oh, yes, flanneruk! If you're interested in late antiquity or Latin Christianity, then Ravenna is all the more interesting! If Byzantium (the Eastern Empire)is your thing, then you can get more in touch with its history than perhaps anywhere else in Italy, since Ravenna had close ties (it was capital of the Western Empire after Rome fell).
smalti is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 03:14 PM
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Here is a web site with some great info and pictures on Ravenna: www.casesf.com/ravenna.htm. This might help you make up your mind.
alohatoall is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 04:28 PM
  #7  
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Thank you all. It looks like Ravenna wins by far. And maybe that half day visit to Padua that "Flanneruk" recomends.... Well, after all I'm named Antonio in honor of San Antonio de Padua¡¡¡¡.
I liked VERY much "alohatoall" and "Smalti"'s trip reports to Ravenna. "Alohatoall"'s pictures are good and "personal" and the descriptions are great and I think I will try Enoteca Ca' de Ven' as alohatoall recommends.
"Smalti"'s trip report makes you wish to go to Ravenna.
andonius is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 04:42 PM
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Dear Adonius,

So glad you decided on Ravenna. I am as enthused as smalti about its historic significance and mosaics like you will see in no other place. We returned for our second visit this October. If you're short on time, be sure to see the Mausoleum of Galla Placida, Basilica of San Vitale, the Arian Bapistry and Sant'Apollinare Nuovo. Unfortunately, Sant'Apollinare in Classe is closed for reconstruction until Feb 2006.


Because you will have a car, I wanted to mention how much we enjoyed the drive from Ravenna to Padova. We drove from Ravenna, almost due north for about 100 K before a turn to Padova in the northeast. The countryside is flat, almost all is part of the Po or Adige River delta, most is honeycombed with canals and dikes. We passed a number of lagoons, fishing ports and villages and pine woods. We saw white and great blue herons, many waterfowl and some pheasants. We stopped to see an abbey at Pomona, founded in the 700’s as a Benedictine order with a bell tower from 1000. The town originally was thriving with the abbot also serving as the judge of the territory – there was a separate two story building with double loggias that served as the Palazzo di Giustizia. In about 1200, the Po River flooded and changed its course away from this area, which caused an epidemic of malaria among the monks and town people, decreasing the population to less than 10% of its original number. It is sited within a pretty park, along a canal. We did buy a book at the abbey on the natural history of the Po River delta.

We saw large cobweb-like shallow nets along the canals that are used for eel fishing. We actually crossed the Venetian Lagoon on its southern end, near Chioggia, driving (at high tide) on a road that was elevated on a dike.

I hope you will enjoy your excursion.

SusanEva

SusanEva is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 04:12 AM
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Great advice, SusanEva¡¡. I love sightseeing while I drive. But..I cannot find in Internet any reference to "Pomona" or its abbey...
andonius is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 04:21 AM
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Hi Andonis,

So sorry about my typing, the Abbey is in Pomposa.

http://www.spiaggiaromea.it/localita_e.htm

It is right along E 55, we saw it from the road and decided to stop. We drove E 55 rather than the autostrada because we wanted to see more of the lagoon and forrests. It is a good, fast road to drive.

SusanEva
SusanEva is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 04:24 AM
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Oops, and for mistyping your name, Andonius. Must have been secretly thinking Adonis!
SusanEva is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 03:01 PM
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I'm pretty new to the forum, too. Isn't it great! My vote if you can't do both (both are worth it!)is Ravenna. The mosaics to say the least are glorious! My 2 travel wishes since college days (in the 50s) were to see the mosaics in Ravenna and Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. I can now hang up my traveling shoes! Went on a day trip (train) from Florence in '89 and walked to all the great sites in Ravenna including a 7km (each way) to St. Appolonaire en Classe-I still enjoy the memories. Saw Hagia Sophia this past June. Also thrilled! As for Padua...it is a wonderful place, too. Especially the Scrovegni Chapel!So, in closing, I say...see both!! but maybe Ravenna first.
prr761 is offline  
Nov 24th, 2005, 04:23 PM
  #13  
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Well...after all my excitment about Ravenna, I think i will do finally Padua-Verona. I wanted to know what will my wife prefer but without giving her too many clues (of course she knows we are going to Venicce, but she prefers to be surprised by the details).... so I showed her some pictures of Ravenna's mosaics asking her "Do you like them , honey?". Her reply was: "Oh, they are beautiful; I would love to see SOME of them; but you know I really prefer painting and sculpture...".
So...farewell to Ravenna this time, i guess. I will personally prefer it because I love art and history, but I guess she will like more Verona and that's a special trip for her. I guess Verona has more diferent kind of things to see that she will like(the arena, Castelvecchio Roman theater, san Zenno, the curious Arche Scaligere....).So my last (till now) idea is to go to Verona stopping at Padua on the return to see Scrovegni's chapel and San Antonio Basilica. Maybe a dinner at Chioggia before returning the car at piazzale roma will be a great end.
¡Thanks to all!. I promise to give you a Spanish view of Venice when I return. (remember us and then were long ago enemies in the control of the mediterranean and later allies in Lepanto...
andonius is offline  
Nov 24th, 2005, 05:23 PM
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andronius--

Another time for Ravenna, then.

Have a wonderful time in Italy--I look forward to your trip report!

smalti
smalti is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 04:51 AM
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Andonis,

Verona is a wonderful place to visit and all the sites you list are interesting and, of course, artistic and historic as well. I'm sure both you and your wife will enjoy this excursion. Sounds like a great plan.

Now, you will just have to return someday in the future for Ravenna!

Best wishes, SusanEva
SusanEva is offline  
Nov 26th, 2005, 11:55 AM
  #16  
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It's aways good to have a good reason to return to Italy...
andonius is offline  

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