I’m not ashamed to admit this – when I walked into this basilica, I almost started to cry (we walked through to the mausoleum and then came back, otherwise I would have cried there).  American literally has nothing on this history or artwork.  The basilica has Byzantium roots although, as seen in the first photo, it has frescoes inside il duomo and the arches.  Otherwise, it contains mosaics which completely surround the altar (one of which is the second photo).  What’s interesting about the basilica is that the walls were originally made of marble but way back when, the marble was needed for another endeavor (I cannot remember what) and so was taken off the walls.  But it wasn’t completely taken off – there are bits and pieces of marble that still make up the inside walls.  It was beautiful and very impressive.  One last fun fact, Milan used to have all kinds of mosaics like these but they were torn down to make way for new artistic styles, like the Baroque style, thus Ravenna has become one of the prominent Byzantium mosaic cities.  (taken 9.13.2014)