Once the capital of the western Roman Empire, Ravenna, in northeastern Italy, is home to eight basilicas, churches, and mausoleums dating from the 5th to 8th centuries that are recognized by the United Nations for the “supreme artistry” of their mosaics. At the city’s Mosaic Art School, Italian artists Luciana Notturni and Brunetta Zavatti teach the techniques of the ancient Roman and Byzantine mosaic masters through intensive weeklong workshops.
WHAT YOU’LL DO: Create a traditional Roman mosaic and a modern mosaic, using both the double-reverse and direct techniques; cut Venetian smalti glass and marble; attend an art history lecture; view Byzantine and contemporary mosaic exhibits.
HIGHLIGHTS: Choose your mosaic pieces from 3,000 possible colors. Visit Ravenna’s 5th-century Galla Placidia mausoleum to gaze at mosaics of starry skies, doves, and saints. Dine on the region’s tagliatelle alla Bolognese.
Mosaic Art School, (877) 766-7242, five-day workshop from $1,079, not including lodging or meals. Photo by Crystal Thomas. This appeared in the December/January 2010 issue.