Attractions

Top Choice Christian Site in Parma

Battistero

Overshadowing even the cathedral, the octagonal pink-marble baptistery on the south side of the piazza is one of the most important such structures in Italy. Its architecture is a hybrid of Romanesque and Gothic, an…
Top Choice Church in Ravenna

Basilica di San Vitale

Sometimes, after weeks of strolling around dark Italian churches, you can lose your sense of wonder. Not here! The lucid mosaics that adorn the altar of this ancient church consecrated in 547 by Archbishop Massimian…
Top Choice Church in Ravenna

Basilica di Sant'Apollinare Nuovo

An old legend states that Pope Gregory the Great once ordered the Apollinare's mosaics to be blackened as they were distracting worshippers from prayer. A millennium and a half later, the dazzling Christian handiwor…
Top Choice Cathedral in Parma

Duomo

Another daring Romanesque beauty? Well, yes and no. Consecrated in 1106, Parma cathedral's facade is classic Lombard-Romanesque, but inside, the gilded pulpit and ornate lamp-holders scream baroque. Take note: there…
Top Choice Historic Site in Brisighella

Via Degli Asini

Hidden behind a colourful patchwork of warped homes, this low-slung, wood-beamed, delightfully uneven medieval walkway dates to 1290. It's unique in Italy for the fact it began life as a defensive wall that was late…
Top Choice Historic Building in Ravenna

Mausoleo di Galla Placidia

In the same complex as Basilica di San Vitale, the small but equally incandescent Mausoleo di Galla Placidia was constructed for Galla Placidia, the half-sister of Emperor Honorius, who initiated construction of man…
Top Choice Church in Bologna

Basilica di Santo Stefano

Bologna's most unique religious site is this atmospheric labyrinth of interlocking ecclesiastical structures, whose architecture spans centuries of Bolognese history and incorporates Romanesque, Lombard and even anc…
Top Choice Castle in Ferrara

Castello Estense

Complete with moat and drawbridge, Ferrara's towering castle was commissioned by Nicolò II d'Este in 1385. Initially it was intended to protect him and his family from the town's irate citizenry, who were up in arms…
Top Choice Cathedral in Modena

Duomo

Modena's celebrated cathedral combines the austerity of the Dark Ages with throwback traditions from the Romans in a style known as Romanesque. The church stands out among Emilia-Romagna's many other ecclesial relic…
Top Choice Church in Ravenna

Basilica di Sant'Apollinare in Classe

This signature early Christian basilica, lighter than Ravenna's other churches, is situated 5km southeast of town in the former Roman port of Classe. Its magnificent central apse mosaic, featuring Ravenna's patron S…