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Official Tourist Information Site
Municipality of Ravenna

Ancient Port of Classe

Via Marabina, 7 - Ravenna
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Just a few kilometres South of Ravenna, the site of the Archaeological Park of Classe raises in all its grandeur. It is composed of the port and business area of the ancient city of Classe. ciao

It’s a park open to the public of about 10,000 sqm. It offers a synchronous visit experience to the ancient port of Classe of the period between the fifth and the sixth century a.D.

A bit of history

The settlement of Classe raised around the 27 b.C., on an initiative of Emperor Augustus. As a matter of fact, the emperor decided to set the military fleet in Ravenna, in order to safeguard the eastern part of the Mediterranean. The long canal port made of several basins was able to host up to 250 military ships.

After the capital of the Western Roman Empire moved from Milan to Ravenna, the settlement underwent some changes. At the beginning of the fifth century a.D., the port was reorganized in order to fully pursue its business aims; it had namely to receive, preserve and redistribute the great amount of goods and foodstuffs that arrived in the city.

In that moment, the Civita Classis that we still see today in the mosaic of the Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo (sixth century a.D.) the site of the centre of Classe and its port originated.

The port became an important seaport on the Adriatic, the sea front door to the whole Po valley.

Sadly, the golden age didn’t last long though, less than two centuries. The economic crisis, the fall of the commercial traffic and the silting of the communication canals led to the decay of the area starting from the eighth century a.D.,

What to see

There are two ways to visit the Archaeological Park of Classe:

  • freely, following the itinerary marked by information panels;
  • with a professional guide, booking a guided tour.

Along the itinerary, you will see a series of panels that show the history of the Ancient Port of Classe, from its origins to its decay.

Walking along these remains of history, you can see the openings to the sea and the cobbled-stone Roman street used for the mooring. Moreover, you can enter those that once were the warehouses where the goods were storaged.

The installation of five perspectival panels are a reconstruction of those buildings. Melting with the actual surrounding landscape, they give a glimpse of what it used to look like during the port’s period of splendour.

During the recovery works, many objects such as marbles, lamps, amphoras, and valuable items are today exhibited inside the museum Classis. Along with the Ancient Port of Classe, the museum Classis Ravenna gives an accurate and updated picture of this area’s histsory between the fifth and the sixth century a.D.

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The new setting of the archaeological site

The entire area of the Ancient Port of Classe has been recently subject to a valuable and multidisciplinary enhancement work, which involved the site recovery, its process of securing, works on the water channel system, the safeguard of biodiversity and, of course, the restoration of the real archaeological area, with a deepened focus on the epoch between the fifth and the sixth century a.D.

Inaugurated just a few years ago, the area is easy to reach by bike, departing from the city centre, thanks to a comfortable cycle lane.
In summer, many Ravenna people come here to take part in interesting guided tours, as well as concerts and performances on the green laws that side the canal.

Today, the Ancient Port is the first stop of the Archaeological Park of Classe, which includes also the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe and the Classis Museum. The Park is a 360° journey in the history of Ravenna and the entire territory.

Further information

Opening times

In summer 2021, the archaeological site can be visited only by appointment, booking at least seven days in advance. To book call +39 320 9539916 or write an e-mail to info@parcoarcheologicodiclasse.it

Entrance fee

Admission (single ticket): €4

Cumulative ticket
Classis Museum + Basilica Sant’Apollinare in Classe + Ancient Port of Classe: €12

Book Basilica tickets onlinewww.parcoarcheologicodiclasse.it
It is possible to book up to 30 minutes before arrival.
Tickets are collected at the ticket office of the Classis Ravenna Museum.

Free of charge

Under 18, people with disabilities and accompanying people, Amici di RavennAntica members, licensed tour guides, journalists, all the categories included in the regulations in law of the museums and state sites.

Accessibility

The Archaeological Park is completely accessible for people with disabilities

How to get there

The area is about 5 km South of the city centre of Ravenna, in Ponte Nuovo, in the direction of Classe / Rimini.

By Bus: route no. 4 and no. 176, departing from the railway station of Ravenna

By Bike: the area is connected with the city through an efficien cycle lane.

Bus and car parking area: near the par is a wide car and bus parking area that is easy to reach by the nearby railway stations of Ravenna and Classe.

A cura della Redazione Locale
E-mail: turismo@comune.ravenna.it

Last edit:1 September 2021

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