Official Tourist Information Site
of Ravenna

Pine Forest of Classe

Via Fosso Ghiaia - Classe

Located south of Ravenna, in the area between Classe and Cervia, the PINE FOREST OF CLASSE is one of the largest free-access green lungs and natural reserves of the Adriatic Coast, and is also part of the Po Delta Park.

The pine forest owes its existence to the Camaldolese monks, who stayed in the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe. Since the year 1000 the monastic community preserved the pine forest in order to safeguard the profitable incomes of the pine nut business.

The beautiful Pine Forest of Classe is today a property of the Municipality of Ravenna, and is considered a historical institution, so much so that the tree representing it — the stone pine — is depicted in the city’s coat of arms.


The pine forest is an oasis of peace for visitors and nature lovers, with rest and observation areas over the wetlands and its birdlife that you can reach on foot or by bike.

Century-old trees and plants, such as holm oaks, downy oaks and hornbeams grow here, not to mention the dense undergrowth that offers products often used to prepare local recipes, like asparagus, privet, blackthorn, sorbs and medlar.

However, the vegetation of the forest alternates with dry meadows and flooded lowlands of brackish or sweet water – like the oases of Ortazzo and Ortazzino next to the Bevano river mouth.

One of the most fascinating features of the Pine Forest of Classe is undoubtedly its still “wild” appearance. The safeguard of this environment, linked to the Po Delta Park, has attracted many bird species, such as nightingales, wood nuthatches, robins, tawny owls, along with a multitude of amphibians and reptiles.


Considering the dirt paths, the best way to visit the Pine Forest of Classe is on foot or by bike – especially MBT ones. There are also many equestrian trails that are open all year round and allow visitors to access the most precious natural areas.

Inside the pine forest, there are various itineraries departing from Parco I° Maggio in Fosso Ghiaia. Along the trail, you will also find the 18th-century Casa delle Aie, a historical building that was once a dormitory for the seasonal pine nut collectors (the so-called “pinaroli”), today a popular meeting place.

Finally, a mention goes to the Cubo Magico Bevanella Visitor Centre, access point of the Po Delta Park that organises many exursions and guided tour on foot, by bike and in a canoe through the pine forest and to the oases of Ortazzo and Ortazzino.



Dante’s Oak and the “Dense forest” of poets and painters

The first poet to use the Pine Forest of Classe as a source of inspiration was Dante Alighieri. During his exile in Ravenna, he usually went and walk in these very places, in search for tranquillity and inspiration.

In the pine forest, it is possible to follow an itinerary dedicated to him, which leads the visitor in the places that inspired the poet for some of the verses of Purgatorio canto XXVIII (vv. 19-21): “just like the wind that sounds from branch to branch, along the shore of Classe, through the pines, when Aeolus has set Sirocco loose.

Some years later, it was Giovanni Boccaccio‘s turn. In the pine forest of Classe, he set his Decamerone‘s novel Nastagio degli Onesti, which was transformed a hundred years later into a series of magnificent paintings by Sandro Botticelli, today displayed in the Prado Museum of Madrid and in Palazzo Pucci in Florence.

The romantic poets, travellers of the grand tour in Italy, loved the fascinating and heart-breaking atmosphere of this pine forest. One of the best-known ones was Lord George G. Byron, who mentioned it in his important work Don Giovanni.

In most recent times, legend has it that the Pine Forest of Classe was the scene of a wild race of Gabriele D’Annunzio and Eleonora Duse, both naked. Word is that the race then ended in Ca’ delle Aie, romantic love nest of a passionate night between the poet and his lover that caused an uproar in Ravenna at the time.

Further information

Opening times

Winter and spring (from the second Sunday of October to the second Sunday of May): 7.30 am – 5 pm (solar time) 7.30 am – 7 pm (summer time)
Summer (from the second Sunday of May to the second Sunday of October): 7.30 am – 7 pm

Free of charge

Free access.


The pine forest is not easily accessible to people with physical disabilities.

How to get there

The Pine Forest of Classe is located east of the state road SS 16 (Adriatica) near the towns of Classe, Fosso Ghiaia and Savio.

By car: you can access the pine forest through two access points.
The first one is in Fosso Ghiaia, and allows you to reach I° Maggio Park (equipped with barbecue areas and tables for open-air lunches), Casa delle Aie in Classe, and finally the Ponte delle Botole bridge, starting point of many trails, such as the Dantesque loop trail called “Le Querce di Dante” (Dante’s oaks).
The second one is in Via Sila, on the southern border of Fosso Ghiaia, and leads to Casa delle Bufale, starting point of the equestrian trail.

You can also access the pine forest from two points in Via della Sacca, the road leading to the Bevano river mouth: just after the level crossing and near the banks of the Fosso Ghiaia canal.

By bike: the pine forest is easily reachable from Ravenna by following the trail behind the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe, which runs along the first part of the Ravenna/Rimini railway.

A cura della Redazione Locale

Ultima modifica: 8 February 2024

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