Ravenna was the capital of the Western Roman Empire
in its final years, 402 to 476. It is renowned for its ancient mosaic
s, among the few to have survived the Iconoclasm
. It was also where Dante
died in 1321, and he is buried there.
It is a provincial capital in the Emilio-Romagna region, and lies close to the Adriatic coast. Its Roman port was called Classis. It is a World Heritage site because of its baptisteries, chapels, and basilicas, dating from the 400s and 500s and including masterpieces of the Byzantine style. The World Heritage listing covers eight monuments:
Galla Placidia was the sister of the emperor Honorius
, who moved the capital from Milan
to Ravenna. It remained capital when the Roman Empire fell to the Ostrogoth
kingdom of Italy, and under the Byzantine exarch
s when Italy
was retaken. Conquered by the Lombard
s from 751 to 756, it was given to the Pope, as the foundation of the Papal States
The Tomb of Dante is a neoclassical work by Camillo Morigia in 1780. From the vault hangs a votive lamp, filled with Tuscan oil by the citizens of Florence each year on the anniversary of his death (13 September). The area around the tomb, known as the zona dantesca is always silent.