The small village of Classe has developed around the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare. The ancient Civitas Classis, instead, was located further north, close to the present flow of Fiumi Uniti rivers. Its name derives from Castrum Classis, which was the permanent military camp of the Roman fleet, set up by Caesar Augustus Octavian for the control of the east coast, the position of which is still uncertain.
Between the 1st and 4th century a.C. the territory of Classe counted many cemetery areas, where during the 1st century the first bishop of Ravenna Apollinaris was buried too. The Basilica of Sant'Apollinare was erected in 6th century on the site of his martyrdom, that was included in the list of the eight UNESCO World Heritage sites of the city of Ravenna for its marvellous mosaics.
During the last century, Classe was the seat of an important sugar factory, that was then abandoned for many decades. Currently, the building is undergoing radical restoration works in view of the opening of the great Archaeological Museum of the city of Ravenna.
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Last modified date: 23/12/2015