Its precious mosaics, dating from the fall of Rome, are considered the finest from ancient times. The light that sneaks through the thin alabaster panels brings a glow and a twinkle to the early Christian symbolism. The process is much the same as in ancient Roman times. The colored glass and gold leaf pieces are broken with a hammer, then artfully set in wet cement. The results are almost as beautiful today as they were in Justinian times, as the Ravenna tradition of fine mosaic work lives on to this day.