Ravenna's new city museum, located in an 1899 sugar-extraction plant just down the road from Basilica di Sant'Apollinare in Classe, welcomes you with its striking, mosiac-lined straircase entryway. Inside, small but well-done exhibits trace Ravenna's history in timeline fashion, with impressive ceramics, pottery, weaponry and mosaics, along with a brief multimedia presentation on the building's former use.

You wouldn't go out of your way to visit here, but if you are already in Classe for Basilica di Sant'Apollinare, it's a worthwhile introduction to the history of your surroundings.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ravenna attractions

1. Basilica di Sant'Apollinare in Classe

0.25 MILES

This signature early Christian basilica, lighter than Ravenna's other churches, is situated 5km southeast of town in the former Roman port of Classe. Its…

2. Museo d'Arte della Città di Ravenna

2.81 MILES

Arranged in a converted 15th-century monastery abutting a public garden, Ravenna's permanent art collection is backed up by regular temporary expos. The…

3. Museo TAMO


This newer museum doubles-down on Ravenna's extraordinary history of mosaic work by chronicling 12 centuries of history, using technology and multimedia…

4. Basilica di Sant'Apollinare Nuovo

3.03 MILES

An old legend states that Pope Gregory the Great once ordered the Apollinare's mosaics to be blackened as they were distracting worshippers from prayer. A…

5. Tomba di Dante

3.09 MILES

A son of Florence, Italy's Sommo Poeta (supreme poet), Dante Alighieri, was expelled from the city of his birth in 1302 for political reasons and spent…

6. Museo Arcivescovile

3.15 MILES

A museum with a difference, this religious gem is on the 2nd floor of the Archiepiscopal Palace. It hides two not-to-be-missed exhibits: an exquisite…

7. Battistero Neoniano

3.19 MILES

Roman ruins aside, this is Ravenna's oldest intact building, constructed over the site of a former Roman bathing complex in the late 4th century. Built in…

8. Duomo

3.19 MILES

Consecrated in 1749, Ravenna's baroque cathedral was built atop the remains of a much earlier church. Artefacts from the original 5th-century cathedral…