Port of Classe

porto di classe

The Roman port of Classe was one of the main port stops in the ancient world. Located at the mouth of the port-channel about 4 km from the city of Ravenna, it reached its peak in the 5th century, a period during which Ravenna, the capital, and Civitas Classis played a crucial role as a commercial and military outlet to the sea. The urban layout of streets and buildings from that period is still visible today.

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The History

Ottavian Augustus began the construction of the military port around 27 BC to station the military fleet near Ravenna, tasked with protecting the eastern part of the empire. Concurrently, he had canals built that allowed ships access from the sea.

The suburb of Classe developed near the barracks and warehouses close to the encampment of the naval soldiers, the classari. The town expanded from its original core already in the 2nd century. Due to geological phenomena, the area became marshy over the next two centuries. By the early 4th century, this phenomenon was so pronounced that it rendered much of the facilities unusable.

In 330, Emperor Constantine I decided to relocate the military fleet’s base to the new capital of the empire, Constantinople. The port was reactivated in the 5th century, laying the groundwork for renewed growth of the Classe area, which in the following century rose to the status of a city.

The archaeological site of Classe

The excavations, which began in the 20th century, have uncovered the area of the port-channel with its related facilities, a district linked with commercial and industrial buildings, and a paved road.

The path through the archaeological area covers about 10,000 square meters and starts from the Visitor Center, continuing through the area along the paved road, flanked by a series of warehouses for loading/unloading goods, the foundations of which can still be seen.

The route also crosses a bridge-walkway that connected the two areas of the port channel: the district on the island and the commercial district.

Image Copyright: By Clawsb – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Port of Classe Hours

From September 4, 2023, the park is closed to the public.

Open upon request for groups booked through the RavennAntica Booking Center.

Tickets

Ticket price: full €5 – reduced €4 (groups and students aged 18-25).

Free for minors under 18, disabled persons, and journalists.

Guided tours for groups are available by reservation. For information, call (+39) 0544.478100.

Good to know!

In front of the archaeological park, there is free parking available. The path is barrier-free and features numerous informative panels with graphic overlays and reconstructions that show non-existing architectural elements superimposed on the ruins, providing an idea of what the area would have looked like at the time.

How to get to Port of Classe

ON THE TRAIN

Ravenna station served by Trenitalia

BY BUS

By bus from Ravenna, line 4 and line 176. Search for your bus. www.startromagna.it

BY CAR

From Bologna: take the A14/E45 from Strada Statale Porrettana/SS64 and Via Tazio Nuvolari.
Follow A14/E45 and A14dir in the direction of Via Classicana/Strada Statale Adriatica/SS16 in Ravenna.
Take the SS16 exit from A14dir.
Follow Via Classicana/Strada Statale Adriatica/SS16 and Via 56 Martiri until Via Marabina 7.

From Rimini: take A14 from Viale Ventitré Settembre 1845, Strada Statale Adriatica/SS16 and Via Tolemaide.
Follow the A14 and SS3bis in the direction of Via Classicana/Strada Statale Adriatica/SS16 in Ravenna.
Take the SS16 exit from SS3bis.
Take Via Dismano/SS71 in the direction of Via Marabina.

 

Contacts

Tel: +39 320 9539916

Email: prenotazioni@ravennantica.org

Where to sleep in Ravenna

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