Stopping in Ravenna on the way from Venice to Florence

On an upcoming three week trip to Italy in May, we are beginning with Venice for three days and then travelling by train to Florence for three days. Has anyone experienced breaking up this train trip by stopping in Ravenna for several hours, and then finishing the train journey to Florence on the same day? We have considered a day trip from Venice to Ravenna, but it would be expensive, i.e. approximately 110 euros per person for the transportation and guide. Thanks!

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3297 posts

Ravenna (RA) is not on the train line from Venice (VE) to Florence (FI). Padua (PD), Ferrara (FE) and Bologna (BO) (in this order) are. RA would require a detour. Basically it would require a train from VE to FE then change train from FE to RA (2.5 hours in total). Then at the end of your visit, go from RA go to BO then change train and go from BO to FI (2+ hours in total). PD, FE and BO are also nice to visit, if you've never been.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2811 posts

Just to agree with everything Roberto said. All the towns he mentioned are worth visiting (well, I didn't like Bologna at all, but apparently I'm the only one). And while Ravenna is not on the same train line as the others, you can certainly visit it for a few hours, as you are proposing. One thing in your post confuses me:
"We have considered a day trip from Venice to Ravenna, but it would be expensive, i.e. approximately 110 euros per person for the transportation and guide." There's no need to hire a guide, if you have a good guidebook. You can just book train tickets and go yourself. Get a cab at the Ravenna station to San Vitale, and start your mosaic seeing there, then work your way back to the station.

Posted by Chris
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
15 posts

Thanks for your replies. As for the comment about the day trip option, I was looking into tours that would include direct transportation, i.e., by car, as that would be an efficient way to go back and forth to Ravenna for part of a day while we are staying in Venice. I think if the times works out, then it might be best to go by train to Ravenna (by way of Ferrara) and then on to Florence (by way of Bologna) on the day that we already have planned to travel from Venice to Florence. This way we will see Ravenna and some beautiful mosaics, and get to our destination on the same day.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2431 posts

The TI office in Ravenna will help you route your day. If you have time, take a taxi to Sant'Apollinare in Classe (just a few kilometers outside of Ravenna),a beautiful basilica with mosaics. Also be sure to visit Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna and the San Vitale complex. Ravenna is very compact, you should have a great daytrip.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2811 posts

"I think if the times works out, then it might be best to go by train to Ravenna (by way of Ferrara) and then on to Florence (by way of Bologna) on the day that we already have planned to travel from Venice to Florence. This way we will see Ravenna and some beautiful mosaics, and get to our destination on the same day." Good plan!

Posted by Sherry
San Jose, CA
1139 posts

If there's any way you can arrange an overnight in Ravenna, you might want to consider that. I had 2.5 days and didn't make it to all sites I wanted to visit (although I do enjoy spending time getting to know a site). However, there's easily enough in Ravenna to keep you busy for a day. Although what you are planning is certainly possible, in my mind, there is a 'hit and run' feeling to it... not much time to experience Ravenna.