Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012 Litany Lane Blog: Parable, Matthew 13:31-35, St Peter Chrisologus, Ravenna Italy

Monday, July 30, 2012
Parable, Matthew 13:31-35, St Peter Chrisologus, Ravenna Italy

Good Day Bloggers! 
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week! 

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7..

We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift knowledge and free will as well, make the most of it. Life on earth is a stepping to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012

Today's Word:  parable  par·a·ble  [par-uh-buhl]]

Origin:  1275–1325; Middle English parabil  < Late Latin parabola  comparison, parable, word < Greek parabolḗ  comparison, equivalent to para- para-  + bolḗ  a throwing

1. a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson.
2. a statement or comment that conveys a meaning indirectly by the use of comparison, analogy, or the like.

Today's Gospel Reading - Matthew 13: 31-35

Gospel  - Matthew 13,31-35
Parable Workers in the Vineyard
Jesus put another parable before them, 'The kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the biggest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air can come and shelter in its branches.' He told them another parable, 'The kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.' In all this Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables; indeed, he would never speak to them except in parables. This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet: I will speak to you in parables, unfold what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.

• We are meditating on the Discourse of the Parables, the objective of which is that of revealing, by means of comparisons, the mystery of the Kingdom of God present in the life of the people. Today’s Gospel presents to us two brief parables, the mustard seed and the yeast. In these Jesus tells two stories taken from daily life, which will serve as terms of comparison to help the people to discover the mystery of the Kingdom. When meditating these two stories it is not necessary to try to discover what each element of the stories want to tell us about the Kingdom. First of all, one must look at the story itself, as a whole and try to discover which is the central point around which the story was constructed. This central point will serve as a means of comparison to reveal the Kingdom of God. Let us try to discover which is the central point of the two parables.

•Matthew 13,31-32: The parable of the mustard seed. Jesus says: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed” and then immediately he tells the story: a mustard seed which is very small is cast into the ground; being very small, it grows and becomes larger than other plants and attracts the birds which come and build their nests on it. Jesus does not explain the story. Here applies what he said on another occasion: “Anyone who has ears to hear, let him hear!” That is, “It is this. You have heard, and so now try to understand!” It is up to us to discover what the story reveals to us about the Kingdom of God present in our life. Thus, by means of this story of the mustard seed, Jesus urges us to have fantasy, because each one of us understands something about the seed. Jesus expects that the persons, all of us, begin to share that which each one has discovered. Now, I share three points that I have discovered on the Kingdom, beginning with this parable: (a) Jesus says: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed”. The Kingdom is not something abstract, it is not an idea. It is a presence in our midst (Lk 17,21). How is this presence? It is like the mustard seed: a very small presence, humble, which can hardly be seen. It is about Jesus, a poor carpenter, who goes through Galilee, speaking about the Kingdom to the people of the towns. The Kingdom of God does not follow the criteria of the great of the world. It has a different way of thinking and of proceeding. (b) The prophecy evokes a prophecy of Ezekiel, in which it is said that God will take a small twig of the cedar and will plant it on the mountain of Israel. This small twig of cedar “will bring forth branches and will bear fruit and will become a magnificent cedar. Under it all the birds will live, every kind of birds will rest under it. All the trees of the forest will know that I am the Lord, who humiliated the tall tree and exalted the low one; I dry the green tree and make the dry tree come to life. I the Lord have spoken and I will do it” (Ez 17,22-23). (c) The mustard seed, even if very small, grows and gives hope. Like the mustard seed, in the same way the Kingdom has an interior force and it grows. How does it grow? It grows through the preaching of Jesus and of the disciples in the towns of Galilee. It grows up until today, through the witness of the community and becomes good news of God which radiates light and attracts persons. The person, who gets close to the community, feels welcomed, accepted, at home, and builds in it her nest, her dwelling. Finally, the parable leaves in the air a question: who are the birds? The question will receive an answer later, in the Gospel. The text suggests that it is a question of the pagans who will be able to enter into the Kingdom (Mt15,21-28).

• Matthew 13,33: The parable of the yeast. The story of the second parable is the following: A woman took a bit of yeast and mixed it with three measures of flour, till it is leavened all through. Once again, Jesus does not explain, he only says: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast...” Like in the first parable, it is up to us to discover the significance which this has for us today. The following are some points which I have discovered and which have made me think: (a) What grows is not the yeast, but the dough. (b) It is a question of something of a house, well known to a woman in her house. (c) The yeast is mixed up with the pure dough of flour, and contains something fermented. (d) The objective is to have all the dough fermented, and not only one part. (e) The yeast is not an end in itself but serves to make the dough grow.

• Matthew 13,34-35: Why Jesus speaks in parables. Here, at the end of the Discourse of the Parables, Matthew clarifies the reason which urged Jesus to teach the people using the form of parables. He says that it was in order that the prophecy would be fulfilled which said: "I will open the mouth to use parables; I will proclaim hidden things since the creation of the world”. In reality, the text that has been quoted is not of a prophet, but rather it is a Psalm (Ps 78,2). For the first Christians the whole of the Old Testament was a great prophecy which announced in a veiled way the coming of the Messiah and the fulfilment of the promises of God. In Mark 4,34-34, the reason which urged Jesus to teach the people by means of parables was to adapt the message to the capacity of the people. With these examples taken from the life of the people, Jesus helped the persons to discover the things of God in the life of every day. Life then became transparent. He made them perceive that what was extraordinary in God is hidden in the ordinary and common things of daily life. People understood the things of life. In the parables they received the key to open them and to find in them the signs of God. At the end of the Discourse of the Parables, in Matthew 13,52, as we shall see later, another reason will be explained why Jesus chose to teach with parables.

4) Personal questions
• Which point of these two parables did you like best or which struck you more? Why?
• Which is the seed that without being aware has grown in you and in your community?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,

Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane

Saint of the Day:  St. Peter Chrisologus

Feast Day: July 30
Patron Saint of : Failures, Widows, Europe Sweden

Polycarp, Vincent of Saragossa,
Pancras of Rome, Saint Chryslogus
Peter Chrysologus (Greek: Ἅγιος Πέτρος ὁ Χρυσολόγος, Petros Chrysologos meaning Peter the "golden-worded") (c. 380 – c. 450)[2] was Bishop of Ravenna from about AD 433 until his death.[3] He is revered as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church and was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XIII in 1729.  Peter was born in Imola, where he was ordained a deacon by Cornelius, Bishop of Imola. He was made an archdeacon through the influence of Emperor Valentinian III. Pope Sixtus III appointed Peter to the See of Ravenna in about the year 433, apparently rejecting the candidate elected by the people of the city. The traditional account, as recorded in the Roman Breviary, is that Sixtus had a vision of St. Peter and St. Apollinaris, the first bishops of Rome and Ravenna respectively, who showed Sixtus a young man and said he was the next Bishop of Ravenna. When the group from Ravenna arrived, including Cornelius and his archdeacon Peter from Imola, Sixtus recognized Peter as the young man in his vision and consecrated him as a bishop.

Known as The Doctor of Homilies, Peter was known for his short but inspired talks; he is said to have been afraid of boring his audience. After hearing his first homily as bishop, Empress Galla Placidia is said to have given him the surname Chrysologus, by which he is known. Galla Placidia was to become the patroness of many of Peter's projects. Peter spoke against the Arian and Monophysite teachings, condemning them as heresies, and explained topics such as the Apostles' Creed, John the Baptist, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the mystery of the Incarnation, in simple and clear language. Peter advocated daily reception of Holy Communion. He urged his listeners to have confidence in the forgiveness offered through Christ.  He was a counsellor of Pope Leo I. The monophysite Eutyches appealed to Peter to intervene with the pope on his behalf after he was denounced at a synod held in Constantinople in 448. The text of Peter's letter in response to Eutyches has been preserved in the Acts of the Council of Chalcedon; in it, Peter admonishes Eutyches to accept the ruling of the synod and to give obedience to the Bishop of Rome as the successor of Saint Peter. In the eighth century Felix of Ravenna preserved 176 of his homilies.

Death and veneration

St Peter died in the year 450 or later, when on a visit to his birthplace. Older reference books say he died on December 2, but a more recent interpretation of the ninth-century "Liber Pontificalis Ecclesiae Ravennatis" indicated that he died on July 31. When in 1729 he was declared a Doctor of the Church, his feast day, which was not included in the Tridentine Calendar, was inserted in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints for celebration on December 4. In 1969 his feast was moved to July 30, as close as possible to the day of his death, July 31, which is occupied by the feast day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. A contemporary portrait of St Peter Chrysologus is found in the mosaics of the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista in Ravenna, Italy, where he is depicted among the members of the eastern and western imperial family, showing his extraordinary influence.

Church of San Giovanni Evangelista in Ravenna, Italy was built in the fifth century AD by the Roman imperial princess Galla Placidia. In the Middle Ages the Benedictines annexed to it an important monastery. In the 14th century both the church and the monastery were renovated in the Gothic style: of that intervention the portal is visible today. In 1747 the church was almost entirely stripped of its mosaics; the only remaining are two fragments of the original 5th century floor, with the first recorded Christian use of hooked crosses. Other mosaic fragments found under the bombs belong to 12th century floor and depict the crusades and the funeral of a fox. Heavily bombed during World War II, the building was later restored

References: Courtesy of the Catholic Online, and Courtesy of Wikipedia,

Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


Today's Snippet:  Ravenna, Italy

Ravenna [raˈvenna]  (Romagnol: Ravêna) is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. It was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until that empire collapsed in 476. It then served as the capital of the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths until it was conquered in 554. Afterwards, the city formed the centre of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna until the invasion of the Franks in 751, after which it became the seat of the Kingdom of the Lombards. Although an inland city, Ravenna is connected to the Adriatic Sea by the Candiano Canal. Ravenna is located in North-East of mainland Italy, between the Adriatic and the Apennines, far 75 km from the regional capital Bologna.It is the location of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ancient era

The origins of Ravenna are uncertain. The first settlement is variously attributed to (and then has seen the co presence of) the Thessalians, the Etruscans and the Umbrians, afterwards its territory was settled also by the Senones, especially the southern countryside of the city (that wasn't part of the lagoon), the Ager Decimanus. Ravenna consisted of houses built on piles on a series of small islands in a marshy lagoon – a situation similar to Venice several centuries later. The Romans ignored it during their conquest of the Po River Delta, but later accepted it into the Roman Republic as a federated town in 89 BC. In 49 BC, it was the location where Julius Caesar gathered his forces before crossing the Rubicon. Later, after his battle against Mark Antony in 31 BC, Emperor Augustus founded the military harbor of Classe This harbor, protected at first by its own walls, was an important station of the Roman Imperial Fleet. Nowadays the city is landlocked, but Ravenna remained an important seaport on the Adriatic until the early Middle Ages. During the German campaigns, Thusnelda, widow of Arminius, and Marbod, King of the Marcomanni, were confined at Ravenna.

Ravenna greatly prospered under Roman rule. Emperor Trajan built a 70 km (43.50 mi) long aqueduct at the beginning of the 2nd century. In AD 402, Emperor Honorius transferred the capital of the Western Roman Empire from Milan to Ravenna. The transfer was made partly for defensive purposes: Ravenna was surrounded by swamps and marshes, and was perceived to be easily defensible (although in fact the city fell to opposing forces numerous times in its history); it is also likely that the move to Ravenna was due to the city's port and good sea-borne connections to the Eastern Roman Empire. However, in 409, King Alaric I of the Visigoths simply bypassed Ravenna, and went on to sack Rome in 410 and to take Galla Placidia, daughter of Emperor Theodosius I, hostage. After many vicissitudes, Galla Placidia returned to Ravenna with her son, Emperor Valentinian III and the support of her nephew Theodosius II. Ravenna enjoyed a period of peace, during which time the Christian religion was favoured by the imperial court, and the city gained some of its most famous monuments, including the Orthodox Baptistery, the so-called Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (she was not really buried there), and San Giovanni Evangelista.

The late 400s saw the dissolution of Roman authority in the west, and the last person to hold the title of emperor in the West was deposed in 476 by the general Odoacer. Odoacer ruled as King of Italy for 13 years, but in 489 the Eastern Emperor Zeno sent the Ostrogoth King Theodoric the Great to re-take the Italian peninsula. After losing the Battle of Verona, Odoacer retreated to Ravenna, where he withstood a siege of three years by Theodoric, until the taking of Rimini deprived Ravenna of supplies. Theodoric took Ravenna in 493, supposedly slew Odoacer with his own hands, and Ravenna became the capital of the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy. Theodoric, following his imperial predecessors, also built many splendid buildings in and around Ravenna, including his palace church Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, an Arian cathedral (now Santo Spirito) and Baptistery, and his own Mausoleum just outside the walls.

The Mausoleum of Theodoric.
Theodoric and his followers were Arian Christians, but co-existed peacefully with the Latins, who were largely Orthodox. Ravenna's Orthodox bishops carried out notable building projects, of which the sole surviving one is the Capella Arcivescovile. Theodoric allowed Roman citizens within his kingdom to be subject to Roman law and the Roman judicial system. The Goths, meanwhile, lived under their own laws and customs. In 519, when a mob had burned down the synagogues of Ravenna, Theodoric ordered the town to rebuild them at its own expense. Theodoric died in 526 and was succeeded by his young grandson Athalaric under the authority of his daughter Amalasunta, but by 535 both were dead and Theodoric's line was represented only by Amalasuntha's daughter Matasuntha. Various Ostrogothic military leaders took the kingship of Italy, but none were as successful as Theodoric had been. Meanwhile, the orthodox Christian Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, opposed both Ostrogoth rule and the Arian variety of Christianity. In 535 his general Belisarius invaded Italy and in 540 conquered Ravenna. After the conquest of Italy was completed in 554, Ravenna became the seat of Byzantine government in Italy.

From 540 to 600, Ravenna's bishops embarked upon a notable building program of churches in Ravenna and in and around the port city of Classe. Surviving monuments include the Basilica of San Vitale and the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe, as well as the partially surviving San Michele in Africisco.

Exarchate of Ravenna

Justinian I, Byzantine Emperor,
San Vitale (Ravenna)
Following the conquests of Belisarius for the Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century, Ravenna became the seat of the Byzantine governor of Italy, the Exarch, and was known as the Exarchate of Ravenna. It was at this time that the Ravenna Cosmography was written.

Under Byzantine rule, the archbishop of Ravenna was temporarily granted autocephaly from the Roman Church by the emperor, in 666, but this was soon revoked. Nevertheless, the archbishop of Ravenna held the second place in Italy after the pope, and played an important role in many theological controversies during this period.

Middle Ages and Renaissance

The Lombards, under King Liutprand, occupied Ravenna in 712, but were forced to return it to the Byzantines. However, in 751 the Lombard king, Aistulf, succeeded in conquering Ravenna, thus ending Byzantine rule in northern Italy.

King Pepin of France attacked the Lombards under orders of Pope Stephen II. Ravenna then gradually came under the direct authority of the popes, although this was contested by the archbishops at various times. Pope Adrian I authorized Charlemagne to take away anything from Ravenna that he liked, and an unknown quantity of Roman columns, mosaics, statues, and other portable items were taken north to enrich his capital of Aachen. In 1198 Ravenna led a league of Romagna cities against the Emperor, and the Pope was able to subdue it. After the war of 1218 the Traversari family was able to impose its rule in the city, which lasted until 1240. After a short period under an Imperial vicar, Ravenna was returned to the Papal States in 1248 and again to the Traversari until, in 1275, the Da Polenta established their long-lasting seigniory.

One of the most illustrious residents of Ravenna at this time was the exiled poet Dante. The last of the Da Polenta, Ostasio III, was ousted by the Republic of Venice in 1440, and the city was annexed to the Venetian territories. Ravenna was ruled by Venice until 1509, when the area was invaded in the course of the Italian Wars. In 1512, during the Holy League wars, Ravenna was sacked by the French. After the Venetian withdrawal, Ravenna was again ruled by legates of the Pope as part of the Papal States. The city was damaged in a tremendous flood in May 1636. Over the next 300 years, a network of canals diverted nearby rivers and drained nearby swamps, thus reducing the possibility of flooding and creating a large belt of agricultural land around the city.

Modern age

Mosaic of Jesus Christ,
6th century
Church of Sant'Apollinare,  
Ravenna, Italy,
Apart from another short occupation by Venice (1527–1529), Ravenna was part of the Papal States until 1796, when it was annexed to the French puppet state of the Cisalpine Republic, (Italian Republic from 1802, and Kingdom of Italy from 1805). It was returned to the Papal States in 1814. Occupied by Piedmontese troops in 1859, Ravenna and the surrounding Romagna area became part of the new unified Kingdom of Italy in 1861. Eight early Christian monuments of Ravenna are inscribed on the World Heritage List. These are:
  • Neonian Baptistery (c. 430)
  • Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (c. 430)
  • Arian Baptistry (c. 500)
  • Archiepiscopal Chapel (c. 500)
  • Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo (c. 500)
  • Mausoleum of Theodoric (520)
  • Basilica of San Vitale (548)
  • Basilica of Sant' Apollinare in Classe (549)

The early Christian religious monuments in Ravenna are of outstanding significance by virtue of the supreme artistry of the mosaic art that they contain, and also because of the crucial evidence that they provide of artistic and religious relationships and contacts at an important period of European cultural history.

In the reign of Augustus the port of Classis was established at Ravenna. Following the barbarian invasions of the 5th century, Honorius made it his capital. His sister, Galla Placidia, lived in Ravenna during her widowhood in the first half of the 5th century, and made it a centre of Christian art and culture. With the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476, Ravenna entered into a period of prosperity and influence. It was taken by Belisarius in 540 and remained the centre of Byzantine control in Italy until 752. Its subsequent history was one of decline and stagnation. After 1441 it was under Venetian and then papal rule.

The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, built in the second quarter of the 5th century, has a plain bare exterior lightened by pilasters that meet in arches and is crowned by a brick dome concealed by a small quadrangular tower. The interior is lavishly decorated. The lower part is clad in panels of yellow marble and the remainder is entirely covered in mosaics. The building is in the western Roman architectural tradition.

The Neonian Baptistery, built by Bishop Orso in the early 5th century, was decorated with mosaics by his successor, Neone, around 450. The interior consists of four apses, articulated into two orders of arches, rising to the great cupola. The large mosaic medallion at the apex of the dome shows the Baptism of Christ by John the Baptist. This is the finest and most complete surviving example of the early Christian baptistry.

The Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo was built in the early years of the 6th century. Inside the interior is divided by 24 marble columns into a nave and two aisles, with a rounded apse. At the present time mosaics cover the two side walls at the foot of the nave, from the ceiling to the tops of the supporting arches, in three decorated fascias. Those in the upper two fascias are in traditional Roman style whereas those in the third show strong Byzantine influence.

The Arian Baptistery, built by Theodoric next to his cathedral, was reconsecrated with the overthrow of the Arian heresy in 561 and became an oratory dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It is a small brick building, octagonal in plan with four flat sides and four with protruding apses. Only the dome retains its mosaic decoration. The iconography of the mosaics is of importance in that it illustrates the Trinity, a somewhat unexpected element in the art of an Arian building as the Trinity was not accepted in this doctrine.

The Archiepiscopal Chapel, the private oratory of the orthodox bishops, was built around 500. The chapel is in the shape of a Greek cross with an apse on the eastern arm; it is covered by a cross-vault and preceded by a rectangular vestibule. The Iower part of the walls is covered with marble, with mosaics above.

The Mausoleum of Theodoric wasbuilt by Theodoric shortly before his death in 526. It is in two storeys, the lower 10-sided with a niche and a small window in each side. The significance of the mausoleum lies in its style and decoration, which owe nothing to Roman or Byzantine art, although it makes use of the Roman stone-construction technique of opus quadratum , which had been abandoned four centuries before. It is the unique surviving example of a tomb of a barbarian king of this period.

The Church of San Vitale was completed around 547. It was fronted by a large quadroportico, converted into a cloister when the church became part of a Benedictine monastery. There are two storeys, the upper one encircling the dome. The apse, which is semi-circular on the interior and polygonal on the outside, is flanked by two small rectangular rooms terminating in niches and two semi-circular sacristies.

The Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe was built in the first half of the 6th century, commissioned by Bishop Ursicinus. The narthex is incorporated in the central body of the facade, framed by two pilasters.

Other attractions include:
  • the sixth-century church of the Spirito Santo, which has been quite drastically altered since the sixth century. It was originally the Arian cathedral. The façade has a noteworthy 16th century portico with 5 arcades.
  • The church of St. John the Evangelist is from the 5th century, erected by Galla Placidia after she survived a storm at sea. It was restored after the World War II bombings. The belltower contains four bells, the two majors dating back to 1208.
  • The St. Francis basilica, rebuilt in the 10th–11th centuries over a precedent edifice dedicated to the Apostles and later to St. Peter. Behind the humble brick façade, it has a nave and two aisles. Fragments of mosaics from the first church are visible on the floor, which is usually covered by water after heavy rains (together with the crypt). Here the funeral ceremony of Dante Alighieri was held in 1321. The poet is buried in a tomb annexed to the church, the local authorities having resisted for centuries all demands by Florence for return of the remains of its most famous exile.
  • The Baroque church of Santa Maria Maggiore (525–532, rebuilt in 1671). It houses a picture by Luca Longhi.
  • The church of San Giovanni Battista (1683), also in Baroque style, with a Middle Ages campanile.
  • The basilica of Santa Maria in Porto (16th century), with a rich façade from the 18th century. It has a nave and two aisles, with a high cupola. It houses the image of famous Greek Madonna, which was allegedly brought to Ravenna from Constantinople.
  • The nearby Communal Gallery has various works from Romagnoli painters.
  • The Rocca Brancaleone ("Brancaleone Castle"), built by the Venetians in 1457. Once part of the city walls, it is now a public park. It is divided into two parts: the true Castle and the Citadel, the latter having an extent of 14,000 m2 (150,694.75 sq ft).
  • The so-called Palace of Theoderic, in fact the entrance to the former church of San Salvatore. It includes mosaics from the true Palace of the Ostrogoth king.
  • The church of Santa Eufemia (18th century), gives access to the so-called Stone Carpets Domus (6th–7th century): this houses splendid mosaics from a Byzantine palace.
  • The National Museum.


The city annually hosts the Ravenna Festival, one of Italy's prominent classical music gatherings. Opera performances are held at the Teatro Alighieri while concerts take place at the Palazzo Mauro de André as well as in the ancient Basilica of San Vitale and Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe. Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Riccardo Muti, a longtime resident of the city, regularly participates in the festival, which invites orchestras and other performers from around the world.

Ravenna in Literature

  • Ravenna is the setting for Thomas Middleton's The Witch.
  • Lord Byron lived in Ravenna between 1819 and 1821, led by the love for a local aristocratic and married young woman, Teresa Guiccioli. Here he continued the Don Juan and wrote the Ravenna Diary, My Dictionary and Recollections.
  • Oscar Wilde wrote a poem entitled "Ravenna" in 1878.
  • Russian Symbolist poet Alexander Blok wrote a poem entitled Ravenna (May–June 1909) inspired by his Italian journey (spring 1909).
  • During his travels, German poet Hermann Hesse came across Ravenna and was inspired to write two poems of the city. They are entitled Ravenna (1) and Ravenna (2).
  • The City of Ravenna is mentioned in Canto V in Dante's Inferno.
  • T.S. Eliot's poem "Lune de Miel" (written in French) describes a honeymooning couple from Indiana sleeping not far from the ancient Basilica of Sant' Apollinare in Classe, (just outside Ravenna), famous for the carved capitals of its columns, which depict acanthus leaves buffeted by the wind, unlike the leaves in repose on similar columns elsewhere.

Ravenna in Film

Michelangelo Antonioni filmed his 1964 movie Red Desert (Deserto Rosso) within the industrialised areas of the Pialassa valley within the city limits.


The beaches of Ravenna hosted the 2011 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, in September 2011.


Ravenna has an important commercial and tourist port. Ravenna railway station has direct Trenitalia service to Bologna, Ferrara, Lecce, Milan, Parma, Rimini, Venice and Verona. The nearest airports are those of Forlì, Rimini and Bologna. By road the city can be reached on freeway A14-bis from the hub of Bologna; on the north-south axis of EU routes E45 (from Rome) and E55 (SS-309 "Romea" from Venice); and on the regional Ferrara-Rimini axis of SS-16 (partially called "Adriatica").

Twin towns — Sister cities

Ravenna is twinned with:
  • United Kingdom Chichester, United Kingdom
  • Croatia Dubrovnik, Croatia, since 1969
  • Germany Speyer, Germany, since 1989
  • France Chartres, France, since 1957
  • Norway Tønsberg, Norway
  • Hungary Szekszárd, Hungary
  • Brazil Laguna, Brazil


  • Courtesy of Wikipedia. 
  •  UNESCO.
  •  Ravenna, Tourismo e Cultura.– Official site – History. (2012-07-28). Retrieved on 2012-07-28.