The little town of CLASSE has grown and developed around the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe (6th century a.D.), built on the martyr’s place of Ravenna first bishop.
It has little in common with the ancient city (Civitas Classis), located up north where the present course of the river Fiumi Uniti is.
The name of this small town refers to ‘Castrum Classis’, which was the fixed Roman military camp ordered by the great emperor Augustus. It was built with the aim to surveil and control the oriental part of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe is one of the most important monuments in Emilia-Romagna. Its marvelous mosaics of Byzantine Age earned the basilica to become part of theUnesco World Heritage.
It’s very easy to reach by bike or on foot. From here, you’ll have the chance to admire some of the most important naturalistic treasures in Ravenna. Some examples as the Oases of the Ortazzo and of the Ortazzino, or the mouth of the river Bevano. But Classe is also the entrance door to the namesake pine forest, one of the most important green lungs in Ravenna, and as such an integral part of the Po Delta Park. The pine forest’s beauty has charmed many great personalities, such as Dante Alighieri, who mentions it in his Commedia (Purgatorio XXVIII, vv. 19-21) and Boccaccio, who set here the novella of Nastagio degli Onesti.
Important treasures from a historical and cultural point of view find in the big Archaeological Park of Classe its most vital focus.
The Archaeological Park is a complex that comprehends, besides the already mentioned basilica, Classis Ravenna – Museum of the City and of the Territory and the Ancient Port of Classe.
The museum is a huge exhibition area hosted inside the former local sugar refinery. It traces back the history of the territory through archaeological finds. The Ancient Port is an open-air archaeological site that once was—as the name itself suggests—the harbour area of the ancient town.
Ravenna is closer than you might expect, about 6 km. You can also reach it by bike, through a cycling path that connects the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe with Ravenna city centre.
The southern seaside resorts of Ravenna (Lido di Dante, Lido di Classe and Lido di Savio) are not too far from Classe, and you can reach the amusement park Mirabilandia through a bus service departing from the train station of the town.