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Guides in Bologna and visit Ferrara or Ravenna?

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Aug 3rd, 2009, 07:27 AM
  #1
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Guides in Bologna and visit Ferrara or Ravenna?

My husband and I will be in Bologna from September 30-October 3. We have planned an all day market and cooking class on Thursday, October 1. We would like to visit either Ravenna or Ferrara on Friday. Should we have a day tour guide? We have friends joining us in Bologna Friday evening. Because of their limited time in Bologna, they would like to spend the morning shopping in the city Saturday, and would like a guided tour of the historic part of Bologna in the afternoon. Any suggestions for guides in Bologna? We leave early afternoon, Sunday for Milan by train, should we try to see a museum Sunday morning?
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Aug 3rd, 2009, 09:00 AM
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I can't help you on a tour guide for Bologna - we just read to ourselves from our trusty and thorough Cadogan guide to Bologna and Emilia-Romagna. I think Bologna is a great city to visit! Of sights to see, my favorites are Basilica di Sant Stefano; my notes say "atmospheric medieval religious complex;" its a series of old churches, one built on top of the other. I also liked viewing the oratorio of Saint Cecilia; the person at the oratorio was very proud to explain the oratorio to us. The Pinocateca Nazionale in Bologna has a nice Raphael, The Ecstasy of St. Cecilia. When we were there (in 2007), however, that section of the museum (the Renaissance part) was only open in the afternoon, so you might want to check on that. While it's a nice museum, if you want to go to an art museum on Sunday, I would suggest that you head to Milan earlier and visit the Pinocateca di Brera and/or the Pinocateca Ambrosiana in Milan.

I would DEFINITELY say if you have time to visit only one city, as enchanting as Ferrara is, Ravenna has mosaics that are unparalleled. They are magnificant and gorgeous, and date from the earliest periods of Christian art. The mosaics in the churches and other buildings in Ravenna are in some places so close that you could touch them (but don't do that), and fascinating to see the strong Roman influence in terms of design and how the people are depicted. I would highly recommend Ravenna.
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Aug 3rd, 2009, 09:10 AM
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I second Ravenna. It's the probably the most important site there is for early christian mosaics, if you think you would like that. You definitely would need to do some reading beforehand, though. Plan to visit San Vitale, tomb of Galla Placidia. Also St Apollinare in nearly Classe has important mosaics.

Rick
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Aug 3rd, 2009, 09:45 AM
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A third vote for Ravenna and its fabulous mosaics
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Aug 3rd, 2009, 10:07 AM
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Thanks for your input...we will look into visiting Ravenna.
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