Silenzio, per favore (Dennis Aubrey)


The people of Ravenna are justly proud of their great mosaic-filled basilicas. They were built fifteen centuries ago and still amaze us with their beauty and architectural perfection. When we visited with Angelico Surchamp last week, at the mention of Ravenna his eyes lit up and he said rapturously, “Ah, San Vitale”.

A sign of this local pride is that the churches are filled with school children of all ages on field trips. The younger ages all wear baseball caps of a certain color to identify them as a group. The older groups are less formal. As can be expected, the groups enter the church quietly, but the noise steadily mounts to almost deafening levels until a stentorian male voice speaks, greatly amplified electronically. Silenzio, per favore!

Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna (Emilia-Romagna) Photo by PJ McKey

Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna (Emilia-Romagna) Photo by PJ McKey

The noise level drops for awhile and then rises steadily again, only to be reminded again, Silenzio, per favore!

Basilica di San Vitale, Ravenna (Emilia-Romagna) Photo by PJ McKey

Basilica di San Vitale, Ravenna (Emilia-Romagna) Photo by PJ McKey

The crowds of the children and their bustle are two of our fondest memories of the Basilica di San Vitale and the Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo. Even if they make it harder for us to shoot.

8 responses to “Silenzio, per favore (Dennis Aubrey)

  1. Ah Ravenna, not so well known but really spectacular
    Thanks for reminding us of a great day there,and like you the enthusiasm of the youth was everywhere. Another great post
    Brian

  2. I am still smiling! The beautiful colors of the mosaics blend so well with the colorful outfits of the visiting students. As a docent at the Tucson Museum of Art I tour many children of all ages. They are all wonderful as we introduce these kids from all levels of society to the art of the museum, but my favorite age level is 5th and 6th graders. However I have to admit that the reactions of the 5 & 6 year olds are amazing and fun. (This from a retired High School art teacher who never wanted to teach at a grade school level.)

  3. Wonderful that the children are exposed to the beauty and history. As lovely as the photos are when there are no people in them, every once in awhile having a bunch of youngsters is lovely too.

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