MOSAIC TOUR: The Mosaic Riches of Ravenna and Romagna

Category: Koko Events

Tour the mosaic riches of  Ravenna and Romagna 
The tour runs from Monday October 12th to Thursday October 15th, 2015  

450 euros 
Includes:  Welcome aperitivo and introduction to the tour, three and a half full days of touring, all transportation, museum entries, two guided visits by specialized guides,  a final night dinner at one of Ravenna’s traditional restaurants, and the services of two professional mosaicists.   
Not included: cost of lunches, overnight lodging/dinners, and items of a personal nature.  (We are happy to suggest lodging options suited to your tastes and budget.)  
Price does not include Italian taxes, however, only Italian nationals/residents are subject to said taxes. 

Minimum of five people, maximum of nine. 


TO BOOK: For more information or to reserve a space, please send an email to

The International Festival of Contemporary Mosaic (fourth edition) begins on Saturday October 10th with a range of openings, conferences, exhibitions and festivities.

To complement  the activities, Kokomosaico and Twin Dolphin Mosaics are offering a three and a half day tour of mosaics both historical and contemporary here in Ravenna and the surrounding areas.  

We begin with an afternoon tour of some of Ravenna’s lesser known mosaic sites, followed by an aperitivo Monday night at the Kokomosaico studio and an introduction to mosaic history and materials.   
We’ll  take day-trips Tuesday through Thursday,  visiting sites throughout the region with Stephanie Jurs (Twin Dolphin Mosaics) and Arianna Gallo (Kokomosaico).  Each day at lunch we’ll eat together in a typical trattoria or share a picnic; each evening we’ll return to Ravenna in time for dinner and meet again the next morning. 
This tour is both educational and a great way to get to know the area. (Most of the sites we visit are not easily reached by public transportation.)  
We will learn about the Roman techniques of laying a mosaic floor then see examples of floors and decorative mosaics that have survived close to 2,000 years. We’ll view the naïve, almost childlike mosaics done in the Middle Ages that are nevertheless imbued with a humble spirituality: these  mosaics conjure up a time of griffins and unicorns, of two tailed mermaids, and of men setting off for the Crusades.  And we’ll see contemporary  mosaics, both decorative and functional,  as well as works  that use the medium for personal expression.   


Monday Oct 12th: 
We meet for a coffee or tea after lunch for our initial introduction. Ravenna is famous for her UNESCO World Heritage monuments and mosaics, but there are many less well-known mosaics throughout the city and we begin by visiting a couple of these:  a baptistery from the late 5th century, and  a church with humble yet deeply moving medieval mosaics.  We’ll meet again at 7:30 for an aperitivo at Kokomosaic studio.  Here we ‘ll have a more formal overview of the next few days, and an introduction to the works of Twin Dolphin Mosaics and Kokomosaico. 
Tuesday Oct 13th: 
Today we’ll head south of Ravenna, to  visit Sarsina, birthplace of the Roman poet Plautus, and a thriving Roman community already in the 3rd century BC. The archeological museum there displays a huge polychromatic mosaic replete with the four winds and Dionysus in his chariot pulled by tigers. Other Roman-era mosaics are exhibited in the stairwell and on the upper floors.  After lunch in a typical trattoria, we’ll visit the Villa Romana in Russi, with its well-preserved lay-out of a Roman country house and working farm. The black and white marble mosaic floors are an education in themselves.  
Wednesday Oct 14th:  
On a morning walk we’ll visit more of Ravenna’s hidden treasures. We’ll  spend time at the Loggetta Lombardesca comparing original works of art from the 20th century with their  mosaic interpretations.   In the afternoon  we’ll head north to Pomposa, site of a Benedictine monastery in the Middle Ages, once  the most important spiritual and cultural center  of the region. The patchwork church floor includes fantastical animals executed in mosaic, and the walls are covered with frescoes: a specialized guide will help us decode the rich medieval imagery.  

Thursday Oct 15th:
Today we’re off to Rimini, once an important Roman town and now a chic seaside resort.  Together with a specialized guide, we’ll visit not only the excavations from a Roman surgeon’s house with its mosaics still in place, but the museum with its impressive collection of Roman era mosaics. Returning to Ravenna we’ll visit the 6th century Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe, with its vast apse entirely covered in brilliant glass mosaic.  
Tonight we’ll enjoy a last night dinner together at one of Ravenna’s traditional restaurants.   
The itinerary is subject to slight changes due to weather, unforeseen circumstances or merely  in order to take advantage of  local offerings.  

Recent posts

VI edizione della Rassegna Biennale di Mosaico Contemporaneo

Dear friends, the dates of Contemporary Mosaic Festival are finally online! 6th October- 24th NovemberOPENING: 5thOctober 2019 For further information about the Festival check the website of Mar ( During the Festival, Koko mosaico will be open everyday from 9 am till 7 pm, giving the chance, as always, to visit the laboratory or to attend one of our mosaic courses.Here is the activities schedule: - from 7th to 11th October, mosaic courses at Koko mosaico.The available courses are: Ravenna’s technique, micro mosaic or advanced course in contemporary techniques. Entries spots open! In these dates we are also available for short workshops such as half day or full- day courses. - from 14th to 18th October, mosaic courses at Koko mosaico.The available courses are: Ravenna’s technique, micro mosaic or advanced course in contemporary techniques. Entries spots open! - from 20th to 26th October, mosaic courses in Sicily in collaboration with the Australian artist Helen Bodycomb. This course is fully booked, entries closed. - from 1st to 3rd November, short classes, you can choose between half day course or full- day class. Entries spots open! - from 6th to 22nd November, mosaic courses at Koko mosaic in collaboration with the English artist Martin Cheek. These courses are fully booked, entries closed. - from 25th to 29th November, mosaic courses at Koko mosaico. The available courses are: Ravenna’s technique, micro mosaic or advanced course in contemporary techniques. Entries spots open!  For further information:

Guided tour of Koko Mosaico!

Koko Mosaico together with Ravenna Incoming organise guided tours of the atelier.The tour starts every Saturday morning at 11.30To participate is really easy, to book click this link: Booking is mandatory: our tour will be confirmed when it reaches a minimum number of participants and to assure you the best experience the tour also has a maximum number of participants.The cost is of € 5 per person, children up to the age of 10 are free!  Koko Mosaico is a world full of colours and creativity, but especially history!During the visit you will have the chance to learn and to touch by hand all the traditional materials that the laboratory still uses. We will also show you how we cut them by using the hammer and the hardie.Last but not least, you will be able to admire all the artworks created by Arianna Gallo and Luca Barberini. For informationUfficio Informazioni San FrancescoPiazza San Francesco 7 - RavennaTel. + 39 0544 482838 - 

Special contemporary mosaic workshop in Canada!

Join us for this 2 days mosaic class, suitable for all levels, with Ravenna's master mosaic artist Arianna Gallo.You will be working directly onto mortar using traditional stained glass, smalti and vitreous glass with pounded leading plaster.The class dates to choose from are:- Saturday and Sunday 27/28 July- Tuesday and Wednesday 31st July/1st August- Thursday and Friday 2/3 AugustThe course cost is $ 400, which includes all your supplies, tools and instructions create an 8"x 8" mosaic.The course will take place here:Cheeky Monkey Glassworks427 N Terminal Ave, Nanaimo, BC V9S 4J8\CanadaCall us at 250 754 5254 to reserve your spot with a 50% deposit.For more information contact:Brenda 250 754 5254 Koko mosaico 0544/465190


The trainees, followed by the teachers Enrico Poggiali, creator of the course, and Arianna Gallo, mosaic artist, will actively participate in all the phases of the work and will learn the basics of the floor mosaic (opus tessellatum), from the cutting of the materials to the preparation of the project, from the setting of the tesserae to the final cementing of the sections. Working in groups and on site, the students will create a permanent flooring inside the "Balneum", a Roman bath previously built in the Dimora Energia laboratory in Rimini. At the end of the course a certificate of attendance will be issued.Cost: € 350 (taxes, tuition and use of the tools included in the price)Duration: from Friday 1st June to Sunday 3rd June, for a total of 24 hoursGoal: to create a mosaic floor inside the "Balneum" of Dimora Energia.Location: Dimora Energia Laboratory, at EX-GATE, via Luigi Tonini 24, RiminiYou can register by April 20th, 2018, by contacting us via @ mail:

Vermiculatum class in Brussels

OPUS VERMICULATUM CLASSInstructor: Arianna Gallo                                   Dates: June 18-19Timetable: Saturday: 9:00-13:00 and 14:00-18:00; Sunday 9:00-12:00Cost: €   230   The price includes instruction 8h a day, all materials, use of tools, the mosaic you have created, all taxes and insurance.                             To book please contact: or jice.artmosaico@gmail.comWHAT STUDENTS WILL LEARN: The workshop's focus is the special technique of direct application onto a temporary frame filled with clay.We will make a small detail from an opus vermiculatum mosaic of the Roman period.You can choose between a few examples of Italian vermiculatum mosaics belonging to the first century AD.First we will learn how to cut marble and stone into tiny tesserae using the traditional tools: hammer and hardie.During the course you will design and make a mosaic of approximately 5 cm x 5 cm (2x2 inches).                                                                 Keeping your design simple and choosing the smaller size mosaic substrate will help you to finish your mosaic by the workshop’s end. Materials, substrates and all necessary tools are provided.WHAT IS OPUS VERMICULATUM?It is the technique employed in the execution of the most refined mosaics (emblemata) in both the ancient Greek and Roman periods.                                                                                     The term vermiculatum (from the Latin vermiculus, little worm) refers either to the tiny, worm-like tesserae (from 1 to 4 mm) or to tesserae no longer square but irregular in shape, as well as to the wriggling following of shapes by flowing lines of small tesserae.SCHEDULEFirst day:Lecture#1: Presentation of the workshop. Focus on the technique with a slideshow of the making of the "Alexander the Great " mosaic.Selection of the vermiculatum detail to recreate in mosaic.Tracing the image with a special water-soluble pen.Selection of the marble and stone, according to the detail you've chosen.Cutting lesson: how to use the martellina and the tagliolo; how to cut marble and stone into tiny pieces and into the right shapes.Preparation of the temporary support and filling it with clay.Imprint the traced design onto the surface of the moist lime by laying the tracing paper on top of it.Execution of the mosaic.Application of the water-soluble glue.Removal of the clay from the interstices and the backs of every single tesserae.Preparation of the permanent support and cement for the new setting bed. (We will have to wait about 10 hours for the cement to dry.)Second day:Lecture #2: the various types of floor mosaics in the ancient Roman world. How many opus do you know?Removal of the glue from the surface of the mosaic.Smoothing of the surface with a diamond sponge.Grouting.Finishing touches on the mosaic, awarding the certificates, and group photo.Looking forward to seeing you very soon!Warm wishes,Arianna Gallo