We just returned from Ravenna, where a campaign is underway to get that city chosen as "European City of Culture." I am wondering if someone can urge the population to be a little more pleasant to tourists who come there if they'd really like get this tourist "plum." Clearly, there's more to Ravenna than the ancient past, as the outskirts of the city show, but we found workers in cafes, hotels and restaurants unable or un-willing to try to communicate with non-Italian speakers. In fact, some people were quite impatient with our efforts to be understood and ACCURATE information on sights' opening hours was very hard to come by. The vibe was more NYC than La Dolce Vita. We met just one person (a woman who worked in the ticket office at San Vitale) who seemed interested in helping us to see the best of the city. This woman went so far as to speak with us at another of the UNESCO sites, where she had obviously just come from her lunch, to see if we'd managed to see what we wanted to see. She could teach her fellow citizens a thing or two!
And a tip for whoever is in charge of the fabulous Baptistry: replace the water in the center font with mirrors. You'll get the effect of water AND give people another way to study the ceiling!