If, like us, you have booked a Mediterranean cruise leaving from Venice (Ravenna), you might have assumed you should be flying into Venice Airport. Well, you would be making a mistake as Venice is not the closest airport to Ravenna Italy. The closest airport to Ravenna Italy is actually Federico Fellini International Airport (RMI) in Rimini.
But Isn’t Our Cruise Leaving From Venice?
Venice banned large cruise ships from sailing into the city in March 2021, and now most cruise ships have chosen to depart from Ravenna. Most cruise lines have subsequently started referring to the port as Venice (Ravenna).
This is definitely taking poetic license to the extreme as Ravenna is actually about a 2-3 hour journey South from Venice. Then to add insult to injury, Ravenna Port is even a good distance away from Ravenna town!
We learned this the hard way when we did a Greeks Isles and Croatia cruise on the Brilliance of the Seas in 2022.
We had planned to spend three days in Venice after our cruise, so we booked return flights to Venice from the UK. However, it wasn’t until a few weeks later I checked a map and quickly realized how far Ravenna was away from Venice. Doh!
With hindsight, I would have flown to a closer airport to Ravenna on the way out to reduce our travel time. Fortunately, there are multiple airports near the city.
The City of Ravenna Italy
Ravenna is a stunning city. It dates back hundreds of years and is adorned with ancient mosaics and historical sites. Its rich history and stunning architecture will delight you and I definitely recommend spending a couple of days there before your cruise, is you can.
We stayed in the M Club De Luxe B&B which is literally just beside the main gate into the City and was the perfect location for us. The B&B was perfect and I would recommend it to anyone. We used Booking.com and this link will give you a list of hotels in Ravenna.
The owner was so helpful as well and helped us organize a taxi to the port. Our ship was leaving on a Sunday and most taxi drivers in Ravenna have the Sunday morning off to attend church!
The Closest Airport to Ravenna Italy Is Rimini
The closest airport to Ravenna is actually Federico Fellini International Airport (RMI) in Rimini. It’s about 34.8 km from Ravenna.
It’s not the largest of airports though, but it does have connections from a number of European cities.
It can be a handy choice for some cruise passengers if your airline offers that connection. European budget airline Ryanair flies there from London Stansted.
Rimini is a bustling city in its own right, known for its sandy beaches and vibrant nightlife. If your travel plans allow, you might even consider spending a day or two in Rimini before heading to Ravenna.
The Nearest Airport To Ravenna For Most International Travellers is Bologna
Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport (BLQ) is probably the much better option for most International travelers as Bologna airport will offer more flight connections. It’s 84.1 km from Ravenna and offers a wider range of flights.
Forty-six different airlines offer routes in an out of Bolgna. This includes Air France, British Airways, Easyjet, Iberia, KLM, Luthansa and Ryanair. Many of these airlines code-share with US air carriers like Delta and American Airlines.
Bologna, the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, is known for its delicious cuisine and historic architecture. I was kicking myself for not flying Bologna.
Other Airports Near Ravenna to Consider – Venice Marco Polo, Venice Treviso or Florence
Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE), Venice Treviso and Florence Peretola Airport (FLR) are other options to consider of course.
Venice Marco Polo is the main airport and is served by most major airlines. However, we flew into Venice Treviso as it is served by the main budget airline in Europe – Ryanair.
They’re all quite far from Ravenna and will involve a 3 to 3-and-a-half-hour train journey. However, both Venice and Florence are iconic Italian cities, brimming with art, culture, and history, and should be on anyone’s bucket list to visit.
If you have to pick one from the other, for me it would be Venice every single time. It is such a fantastic city and you almost feel you have been dropped back in time. It’s incredible.
Getting to Ravenna from the Airport
Once you’ve landed at your choice of nearby Airport, you’ll need to get to Ravenna.
From Rimini, you can catch a train or bus to Ravenna. Both options are reasonably priced and offer a chance to see the Italian countryside.
From Bologna, there are also train and bus services to Ravenna. The average travel time is about 1 to 2 hours, depending on traffic and the specific route.
If you’re coming from Venice or Florence, the most convenient option is to take a train to Bologna, then switch to another train to Ravenna. The Italian rail system is very efficient and comfortable, making it a popular choice for travelers.
The train station is right in the center of Ravenna, and all the main hotels are within walking distance.
This was the route we took and we were able to book our train tickets using Trainline.com
Are There Any Direct Flights to Ravenna?
Unfortunately, there are no direct flights to Ravenna, as the city itself does not have an airport.
Finding the Best Flight Deals
Compare routes and prices to find the best fit for you. Be flexible with your travel dates on either side of your cruise if possible, as prices can vary significantly from day to day. Also, consider signing up for price alerts, which will notify you when fares drop for your chosen route.
What is The Best Time to Visit Ravenna
We were there in mid-August so it was very warm and quite crowded at times. The cruise itinerary we had selected was only available on this date, so we didn’t have the luxury of picking other dates.
If you do have some flexibility, the best time to visit Ravenna is definitely during the “shoulder seasons” of April to June and September to October. During these months, the weather is typically very pleasant, and the city is less crowded with tourists.
This means you’ll have a better chance of enjoying the city’s attractions without large crowds. Plus, you might find better deals on accommodations and flights during these periods.
Must-See Attractions in Ravenna
I was really surprised by Ravenna. I didn’t realise how important a city it was to Italian culture and history.
Don’t miss the Basilica of San Vitale, a stunning church dating back to the 6th century. The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, with its intricate mosaics, is another must-see. And of course, you can’t miss the “Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna,” a collection of religious buildings and monuments that have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
You can buy a daily ticket that covers all the important sites from local vendors in town.
Getting to Ravenna Port to meet your Cruise Ship
Ravenna port is approximately 20 miles or so out of the City. You will need to take a taxi. Be very careful if your cruise leaves on a Sunday. Most of Ravenna’s taxi drivers are in Church on a Sunday morning, and many do not work on a Sunday at all. So book ahead!
Because we were concerned about the Taxi, we ended up being first at the Terminal and first on the ship. Time to make a hole in that Royal Caribbean Drinks Package LOL.
Local Currency and Exchange Rate
Italy uses the Euro (EUR). It’s a good idea to have some local currency on hand for small purchases, as not all places accept credit cards.
Tipping will be expected in restaurants and for porters etc and you should tip in Euros, not US Dollars. 10% is fine in restaurants. For Taxis, a couple of Euros is fine.
Don’t be Tempted to Skip Venice
I know Venice is quite far from Ravenna, and you might be tempted to skip it and fly in and out of Bologna. But if you have never visited Venice before I would definitely encourage you to think long and hard about that one. It is so beautiful and different from any other City in the World.
When you walk out of the main train station in Venice and see the Grand Canal for the first time – you’ll be so glad you made that decision.
Money saving tip! The cheapest food in Venice is Pizza. Eat Pizza and drink beer and you will save a small fortune! It is much cheaper than wine and other pasta dishes.
Remember – Don’t Assume You Fly To Venice to Cruise From Ravenna
Remember, the closest airport to Ravenna Italy is in Rimini, followed by Bologna. Always check for travel advisories and visa requirements and use trusted websites to find flight deals.
Consider renting a car for more flexibility. And visit Ravenna during off-peak seasons for a better experience. Safe travels, and enjoy your time in Ravenna!
P.S. Have you considered an International cellular plan for your mobile phone for your visit to Europe? Well, you could think outside the box and use cheap and cheerful walkie talkies for cruise ships. That way you can keep in touch with friends and family on board. Then just use free in-port Wi-Fi to contact home using Facetime or Whatsapp.
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