My heart sank when I saw a large Celebrity Cruises shore excursion tour group under the mosaics in San Vitale. However, their guide was excellent, explaining and pointing out interesting details in the mosaics. Speaking English non-stop with a lovely melodic Italian accent, she probably missed the retired guy behind me who observed to his friend in a heavy American East Coast accent that on this shore excursion he hasn’t seen a single thing worth photographing. The wives were happily snapping away.
The guide was so good that I interrupted my sightseeing in San Vitale to make sure I arrived with the group in the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia for more of the same. As it happens with such tour groups, they moved on quickly and a few minutes later we only had to share San Vitale with two quiet couples trying to work out the mosaics with the help of inadequate guidebooks.