a VirtualTourist member
hello--we arrive ravenna 4/16/11 via cruise ship for 1 day--ship tours SO expensive--are there local tour operators/ taxis on pier to take passengers to area sites? suggestions for what to do? are US$ accepted or will we need euros?--thanks
It is always best to use the legal currency wherever you visit. Whilst you may find a few operators (and shops etc) which will accept USD you can be certain that you will get a poorer exchange rate than if you used the legal currency.
You will of course find taxis waiting when your cruise docks, but I doubt there will be tour companies touting for custom. Imo it's best to research what's available in terms of tour operators/guides before you arrive somewhere and then book in advance. E.g.
Professional guides are also listed on the official tourist information website;
Or you could simply explore Ravenna by yourselves. You'll find lots of information about historical sites, monuments, museums etc (including opening times) here:
Here we are, only a few hours into the new year and I have already learned something new - that cruise ships go to Ravenna! One lives and learns!! I really don't think that you need a professional guided tour for Ravenna and you would do much better to do it on your own - it's all quite compact. The town of Ravenna has a very good walking tour map, which I am sure you can download, there will certainly be something similar online, and I'd just go with this. Then you can go as fast or as slowly as you like, within your time frame. Perhaps you should have a taxi from the port to the main town.
Oh yes, and definitely use euros.
I agree, hawk, I had no idea that cruise ships (a few anyway) stopped at Ravenna!
I see that they stop at the Port of Ravenna at Marina di Ravenna, which is a 13 kilometer (9 mile) drive to the city center of Ravenna. So the taxi fare (wild estimate!) on the meter would be upwards of 20 euro each way, unless the city has a fixed fare (I doubt) or allows double fares because it's an extraurban trip (I hope not).
There is a bus that makes this run twice an hour all day:
from the port to town: from 88:24 to 20:18, the bus leaves at 24 and 54 minutes after the hour, one way trip is about 29 minutes.
from town to the port: from 07:58 to 19:58, the bus leaves at 28 and 58 minutes after the hour, one way trip is about 26 minutes.
Note there are earlier trips in the morning both ways that become completed and I don't imagine you'll be ready to leave before 8:30 anyway.
Complete schedule in Italian at
I don't know the fare but buses are cheap in Italy.
Like in most of Italy, bus tickets are sold in bars and tabacchi (tobacco stores) - I am sure that the purser or concierge on the ship will know - ask sweetly because they want to sell you an expensive excursion, of course ;-). It is also normal in Italy that once you buy the bus ticket, that you have to validate the ticket by placing in a box to be date/time stamped - big fines if you forget this.
As noted above, the city center is compact and FLAT, thus very easy to walk around in. The tourist office used to have a program where they would provide bicycles for tourists - go see my Ravenna page and look at the tips to see the URL for the tourist office so you can look it up (I know they discontinued it once - maybe it's back on again).
The only thing of note that is really out of town is St. Apollinare in Classe an old and famous church out near the old Roman port. "classis" = "fleet" in Latin, this was the home the Roman navy in the upper Adriatic. Note that the port is totally silted up (in ancient times), so there's nothing really to see, but the church is nice and full of the typical Byzantine (in the Greek sense, not the obscure sense) art that is all over Ravenna.
I assume there is a bus out to Classe - I'll go look it up if you think you'll have time...but, really, you will find umpty-bumpty things to see just in the city center...
I doubt you'll find any merchants willing to accept USD but as someone mentioned even if you do you'll get fleeced. Get Euro before you go. You can easily do a self guided tour. Just get a good guidebook or download info from the net. Ravenna is very small,as others mentioned,and compact. The main sight is the mosaics in San Vitale and a few hours will be more than enough time. If your ship can't provide a tourist map most of the ticket offices have good ones. You can also get combo tickets for sights. For lunch try Ca da Ven. There's also a good one right around the corner from there but can't remember the name. They have a four foot waiter type of statue out front and serve some pretty unique dishes. Piadinna and Polenta are some regional foods to try. Polenta with Porchinni mushrooms and cheese is pretty good.
There are great half day food tours in Bologna and Parma... Parma is 1 1/2 hour by car. Google Golosa Parma.