Wonder  }  Location

The Classense Library

A treasure chest of knowledge and beauty

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Where is


Via Alfredo Baccarini, 3, 48121 Ravenna RA, Italia (4m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

The historic Classense Library, housed inside a beautiful Camaldolese abbey dating back to the 1500s, is one of Ravenna's many prides; and how could it not be? In fact, the library has so many wonders inside, such as cloisters, mosaic floors, beautiful frescoes, the Sala Dantesca, the Aula Magna in which ancient manuscripts and globes are kept, and so much more that you just have to discover! For animal lovers, it will also be nice to know that an octogenarian tortoise and some affectionate, round cats live inside and wander around while users visit the facility, study or read books. In short, a magical and evocative place that is definitely worth visiting, not least because it is located in the historic center of the city!

A bit of history

The history of the Classense Library begins in Classe, as the name suggests, which is a locality located about 5 kilometers away from the historic center of the city. In 1512, following the famous Battle of Ravenna, the Classe monastery was sacked and the location was moved inside the walls of Ravenna for security reasons. However, the prestigious book collection belonging to the monks became the city's Civic Library only in 1803, after the enactment of a Napoleonic law mandating the suppression of monastic property.


Few know that the library preserves a most precious treasure, namely the only manuscript containing Aristophanes' 11 comedies: the Ravennate Codex 429, dating from the mid-10th century and arrived in the West in 1423 at the hands of John Aurispa, who saved it from the imminent fall of Constantinople.

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Eleonora Podestà

A library housed within an ancient Camaldolese abbey is a marvel you don't encounter every day!


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