Ravenna is without doubt one of the most important Italian, European and Mediterranean Early Christian cities, so much so that it was made capital three times between the fifth and sixth centuries.
But for visitors there is still a lot to discover. Its history dates back to the sixth century B.C. when the first pile-dwellings were built on the small islands of the Valle Padusa and when the whole area became increasingly important with its first infrastructures during the Roman domination.
These included the port, strongly desired by Octavian Augustus in the first century B.C. as the Po Valley outlet and the base for a 250-boat military fleet controlling the eastern seas. This was partly due to an imposing connecting canal (Fossa Augustea) between the Po and the city basin south of the city.