Ravenna Campus

Museums and Archaeological Sites

Ravenna is a town of artistic and cultural traditions, a land full of history: Byzantium, the Lombards, the da Polenta overlords, Venetian and surreptitious Papal influence. Famed for its monuments (eight of them world heritage sites), cherished and preserved, it offers scope for getting to know the ancient world.

Here is a list of some museums and archaeological sites at Ravenna.

UNESCO Monuments in Ravenna
In December 1996 the inscription of the early Christian monuments of Ravenna in the World Heritage List was sanctioned by UNESCO: the Basilica of San Vitale, the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, the Baptistery of the Arians and the Orthodox, the Basilica of Sant 'Apollinare Nuovo and in Classe, the Archbishop's Chapel and the Mausoleum of Theodoric.

National Museum

Via Fiandrini - tel. 0544.34424

The National Museum contains some important collections of lesser art forms including burial steles and inscriptions, various archaeological exhibits, a collection of fabrics (from Coptic to Renaissance), a prize collection of ivories, many icons, a coin section and a fascinating collection of ancient weapons.

Ravenna Town Art Museum

Via di Roma, 13 - tel. 0544.482477-2356

The Museum hosts many major art exhibitions and contains three permanent collections: the ancient collection with works from the 14th-18th century; the modern collection of works from the early 19th to mid-20th century; the contemporary collection of works from the mid-20th century till the present day.

Archiepiscopal Museum

Piazza Arcivescovado, 1 - tel. 0544.541688

The Ravenna Archiepiscopal Museum dates back to the first half of the 18th century when the then Archbishop Maffeo Nicolò Farsetti decided to find a home for many inscriptions on marble. These came from the floor of the ancient Ursiana Basilica which was being partly demolished in his day to make room for the present Cathedral of Ravenna. As well as inscriptions it contains: ancient portions of masonry, such as the Roman Tower (called the Salustra Tower), the St. Andrews Chapel, the Archiepiscopal Chapel with its splendid mosaics, the 6th-century ivory throne attributed to Archbishop Massimiano, and an ancient liturgical calendar.

Dante Museum

Via Dante Alighieri 4, tel. 0544.30252

A museum to the memory of Dante Alighieri at the place where Ravenna, Italy and indeed a whole world community has collected mementoes to the culture that has grown up over the centuries around the poet, his place of burial and the neighbouring buildings.


Complex of San Nicolò, entry from via Rondinelli 2 - tel. 0544.213371

TAMO is a large innovative multi-purpose exhibition centre in the heart of Ravenna. The Complex houses a permanent exhibition of mosaics from Ravenna and its neighbourhood (ranging in time from the 1st to the 9th century AD), tracing the great history and tradition of mosaic art in this area. There is also a space for temporary exhibitions, two teaching laboratories geared to theory and practice and use by schools. The permanent exhibition in the magnificent church of San Nicolò takes a theme-based approach to the history of mosaics: floor decoration; light; the ecclesia, palatium, domus; techniques and tools of the trade; cartoons; materials; casts and moulds.

The Stone-carpeted Domus

Church of St. Eufemia, via Barbiani - tel. 0544.32512

The so-called Stone-Carpeted Domus is one of the most important archaeological sites in Italy to be discovered in recent decades. It covers a large area some 3 metres below street-level stretching underneath the 18th-century church of Santa Eufemia. It comprises 14 rooms paved in colourful marble mosaics once belonging to a private 5-6th century Byzantine building. Some of the most beautiful and interesting decorations – geometrical, floral and figurative – are thought to be unique of their kind: the “Dancing Spirits of the Four Seasons” – a rare depiction of tutelary spirits dancing in a ring -, or the figure of the “Good Shepherd” seen in a different light from the usual Christian representation of it. The Domus was inaugurated by Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, President of the Republic, in October 2002 and received the Bell’Italia Award in 2004.

The Classe archaeological zone

Via Marabina, 8 – Classe (RA) – tel. 0544.67705

The archaeological site stands where once the ancient town of Classis had its port. A series of warehouses were built along the banks of a canal and faced onto a street paved in Euganean trachyte. The complex was probably built in the early 5th century at the time when Honorius chose to move the Western Imperial Residence to Ravenna (402 AD). That was a time when the imperial purveyors will have needed infrastructure capable of handling, storing and distributing a large amount of wares and victuals converging on the town as it became a capital.

Cripta Rasponi

Palazzo della Provincia, Ravenna, entry from Piazza San Francesco – tel. 0544.1670148

A stone’s throw from Dante’s Tomb, RavennAntica has restored to the public one of the prettiest corners of our town: the Rasponi Crypt and Hanging Gardens of the Palazzo della Provincia. The crypt is actually a chapel and never contained the Rasponi family dead. It is the oldest surviving nucleus of the Palazzo Rasponi complex, probably dating from the end of the 18th century.