MOSAIC TOUR: THE MOSAIC RICHES OF RAVENNA AND ROMAGNA
Tour the mosaic riches of Ravenna and Romagna
The tour runs from Monday October 12th to Thursday October 15th, 2015
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.
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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.
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