Official Tourist Information Site
Municipality of Ravenna

Classis Ravenna – Museum of the City and of the Territory

Via Classense, 29 - Classe
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The museum CLASSIS RAVENNA is one of the most important archaeological museums in Italy: it is a real journey in the history of Ravenna.

Along with the nearby Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe and the Ancient Port, Classis Ravenna is the third piece of the Archaeological Park of Classe.

Just a few hundreds metres from the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe, the museum stretches over a 2,800 sqm surface. It is the result of an articulate project of industrial archaeology that restored and renovated a former abandoned sugar factory.

To welcome the visitors is a glittering staircase decorated with a 33 metre-long wave in mosaic in shades of blue created by Laboratorio di Restauro del Mosaico Antico of Fondazione RavennAntica: it is an amazing artwork that allures you up to the museum’s entrance, highlighting the strong connection between Ravenna and the sea, since forever.

What to see

Once inside, you immediately start your dizzy journey in the millennial history of the Byzantine capital: from its origins, you will arrive up to the Middle Ages. A timeline will lead you all the way through the museum, keeping track of your journey; step by step you will find all the main information of the different time periods.

Looking at the different sections, you will see ancient findings, dating back to the pre-Roman age or the Etruscan-Umbrian period. Your journey continues across the Roman era, from the Classical Age to Late Christianity. Then, after a small digression in the Gothic and Byzantine era, you will finally reach the Middle Ages.

Besides the most common items — such as urns and oil lamps coming from the diggings of the Ancient Port of Classe — you will see face to face statues, memorial stones, polychrome mosaics, further livened up by multimedia reconstructions, films and much more. A floor mosaic not to be missed is the one coming from the legendary so-called Theodoric’s Palace.

The exhibition doesn’t follow just a progressive timeline, but it also focuses on some fundamental aspects of the city’s ancient history. This is the case of the section of Ravenna as a multiethnic city; to the artworks it preserves; or, again, to the city’s growth and urban development.

A special chapter is for the tight relationship between Ravenna and the sea. It is not by chance that the museum is located in Classe. The city of Classe was namely the ancient site of the Roman fleet, as well as an important port that in the Late Christian period has made Ravenna a power of the Mediterranean.

Lastly, the itinerary offers an insight on the Basilica of San Severo, a very suggestive place of the ancient civitas Classis, which in the last years has been the focus of an archaeological project that will turn it into the fourth tessera of the Archaeological Park.



The Museum of the Territory is also a symbol of its development

The building chosen as the new Classis Ravenna museum is an example of industrial archaeology, a modern building with a vibrant personality and significant cultural significance, like a monumental shrine to the glorious memory of the territory.

The building is a former sugar refinery dating back to the end of the 19th/beginning of the twentieth century, for the processing of beet, whose cultivation went on to join the rice monoculture. It was entirely restored and transformed at the end of 2018 into a large exhibition space for people coming from the city centre to Classe to visit the archaeological area, which also includes the Ancient Port and the Basilica di Sant’Apollinare in Classe.

Sugar beet cultivation was first experimented in 1896 and in 1899 the factory was built based on a design by technicians from Prague.

In August 1900 the plant was already processing 350 thousand kilograms of sugar beet per day and just three years later it produced 4.2 million kilograms of sugar, making it the seventh biggest sugar factory in Italy. Except for forced closures between the two world wars due to constant technological restructuring, mergers and company amalgamations, the Classe sugar refinery continued to operate until 10 July 1982, when it was closed by order of the Prefect of Ravenna.

The last room of the Classis Ravenna museum is therefore dedicated to the history of the building, with photographs, documents and even video interviews with the people of Ravenna who were managers, workers or proud witnesses of this model of economic development, made up of history intertwined with the deep culture and incredible vitality of this territory.

Further information

Opening times

Until 22 August
Monday and Tuesday: 10am – 2pm
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 10am – 6.30pm.
Saturday and Sunday. 10am – 6.30pm
***Exclusively for people with pre-booked ticket taking part in the events, the museum is open late on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 7pm – 8.45pm

Last admission: 30 minutes before closing time. Advanced booking is highly recommended

From 23 August 
Every day: 10am – 6.30pm

Last admission: 30 minutes before closing time. Advanced booking is highly recommended


From 6 August 2021, access to the monument is allowed only on presenting the EU Digital COVID Certificate (Green Pass) or an equivalent certificate issued by the health authorities (or negative test result performed in the last 48 hours), compulsory for everyone over the age of 12.

For further information, see: Covid-19 updates: information for tourists


Entrance fee

Ticket: €5
Audio guide: €1

Combined ticket (Museum Classis + Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe): €8; concession €7 (18-25 years); concession €5 (7-17 years).

Free of charge

Children under 6 years old; people with disabilities and accompanying people, tourist guides, soldiers, Carta Bianca holders and accompanying people; group chaperons, ICOM and employees of the Ministry of Culture.


The Museum Classis is entirely accessible to people with disabilities.

How to get there

The museum is about 6 km South of the city centre of Ravenna, in the city of Classe, in the direction of Rimini. It is easy to reach on foot and by train, thanks to the nearby railway station.

By bus: route no. 4 departing from the Ravenna railway station. Find your bus on:

By bile: the museum is connected with the city through an efficient cycle lane.

Bus or car parking area: a large car and bus parking area is to not far from the area, as well as an equipped camper resting area.

A cura della Redazione Locale

Last edit:25 August 2021