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"Night and dayYou are the oneOnly you beneath the moonand under the sunWhether near to me or farIt's no matter darlingwhere you are, I think of you."
It is said that Cole Porter was inspired by the Mausoleum of Galla Placida for the composition of his song "Night and Day". Whether it is reality or legend, it is certain that inside this small monument you feel wrapped in a beautiful starry night, and daylight is dazzling when you exit from this small treasure as to awaken from a dream.
Outside it is simple and without frills, nothing lets you prefigure the wonder that lies inside. Then, entering in the mausoleum the atmosphere of a quiet night envelops you. The warm
light that filters from the alabaster windows slightly lights up the sky of wonderful mosaic, dominated by the dark blue and gold of 570 stars.
The mausoleum was commissioned by Galla Placidia (386-452), the sister of Honorius, the Western Roman Emperor who moved the capital from Milan to Ravenna, but never held her remains which are probably in Rome.
The representations inside the mausoleum celebrate the victory of life over death; at the center of the dome the cross of Christ triumphs as a path to resurrection and eternal life.
The arches are decorated with tiles of rich colors, red, yellow, green, blue ... a real explosion of color.
The doves depicted on the lawn between the Apostles symbolize the souls in front of the source of divine grace. Over time they have become a symbol of our city as well.
Two lunettes stand out above the others: the lunette of the Good Shepherd that represents a beardless Christ between the sheep and the Saint Lo renzo martyr lunette.
The Good Shepherd scene is remarkable for the sinsity and royalty in which he is represented, in an unnatural pose but far from rigid and hieratic iconography.
Around him sheep in a field of vivid green tiles.
Saint Lorenzo instead comes into the scene running, with the cross of Christ on his shoulder, as he approaches the point of martyrdom. As Christ triumphed with the cross, so Lorenzo will
have salvation from the cross. Beside him the Gospels symbol of the Faith.
Do not rush to get out, take another minute, enjoy the magical night of Galla Placida that fascinated D'Annunzio, Porter and many other visitors ... in this garden of mosaic there are
deer, fruit, apostles, enchanting colour ..... the stars.
Then, suddenly, the light.