It feels a bit odd calling my trip to Ravenna a pilgrimage, an antiquated word that implies superstition or the Middle Ages. I’m a Christian, but I’m also living in the 21st century. Planning for this Ravenna trip (excursion? outing? jaunt?) began on the second to last night of our Italy trip. It was such a last minute change to our itinerary and a change made with such conviction (along with some lack of consideration to Alyssa) that the trip didn’t really make much sense.
I saw an exhibit of Byzantine religious art at the Met in NYC, and one thing that stood out was that the crucifixion was relatively less important. There were lots of scenes of Christ's life, but they'd end with a small scene, not a larger emphatic image of Jesus on the cross. My friend suggested the Eastern Christianity was triumphant while Christianity in the west was beleaguered.
A read a book on Ravenna rather recently, and the story was fascinating. Pagan Rome still existed while Byzantine and Gothic kingdoms jostled for roles in the Christian world. If nothing else, Galla Placida's daughter writing mash notes to Atilla the Hun was hilarious. I doubt I'll ever get the Ravenna, but as it soon became a backwater, it has some magnificent art well preserved.
A pleasant reflection on Ravenna. Those who have not been may enjoy the panoramic scenes in the amuz app (iOS and apple silicon macs)