What a lovely little Italian town is Ravenna. My Italian friends say “oh, che belli mosaici!!” (pronounced moh-ZAI-ih-chee). And yes, the mosaics here are unbelievably beautiful.
The little tiles of Ravenna are abundant and extant. Colorful and glimmering – golden little chips festooning the ceilings, the walls. Beautiful, indeed. Ravenna has it – and it knows it. You can buy a pass for five noteworthy locations – each slightly different in meaning to the church, its rulers, the people. All with stunning mosaics.
I didn’t take a lot of pictures because a) I only have an iPhone, b) I don’t want to see sights through a viewfinder. But c) most importantly: if I want a quality image of what I’m looking at – it’s called a “postcard”. You buy them in the bookstore. The professional photographer used proper lighting. They’re only a euro.
However – I am fairly certain there are no postcards of the highlight of MY tour of Ravenna. The illuminated and animated nativity inside the Basilica di San Francisco. For just one euro – I purchased such damn good entertainment. Believe me when I tell you this picture just doesn’t do justice to the excitement of that nativity. It lasted for minutes – The sky gently lightens then darkens then gets all starry until it just gets ONE STARRY — if you know what I mean.
You gotta look closely. Mary tilts her face. Then at a snail’s pace slightly lifts up while pulling down the blanket to show the Baby Jesus. A shepherd in the background smiles to the heavens. One of the Magi lifts his gift (not sure if it was Balthasar, Caspar or Melchior) which I am here to tell you was better than a scene from “Avatar!”
And just as I was about to walk away (though it was still illuminated, I was trying to dodge a beggar inside the Apse) — what catches my attention but a nearly indiscernible movement from the cow in the Manger! Right below his cud, was an infinitesimal movement of moss. That damn mucca was chewing. Yep! Of course, I was unable to capture this drama on my phone. You are gong to have to trust me.
Can’t make this shit up.
Oh one more thing. A Vespa with a yellow suitcase-looking box. Pizza Delivery ala Ravenna!
Next on my Viaggio in Italia: Bologna. And that ain’t no baloney.