Here is one of the largest and most majestic monuments of the Camaldolese Order: a complex whose construction works continued for no less than three hundred years, starting in 1515, when the monks left Classe after the destructions of the Franco-Spanish War of 1512 (with the tremendous “battle of Ravenna”). The Classense Library, filled with an extraordinarily rich collection (eight hundred thousand books, 750 manuscript volumes, precious codexes and maps), is also a truly architectural and artistic gem. The Aula Magna stands out above everything else, adorned with statues, stuccos, and finely carved wooden bookcases; decorated with frescoes and paintings by Francesco Mancini, commissioned by Abbot Pietro Canneti between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Then the large refectory, the old sacristy (Sala Muratori), and the monumental cloisters. The first cloister, perhaps a bit dark, has a Baroque façade by Giuseppe Antonio Soratini and 24 columns. The second, elegant and impressive, was designed by Tuscan architect Giulio Morelli, and built between 1611 and 1620. It has 32 Istrian stone pillars. In the middle there’s a cistern designed in the early eighteenth century by Domenico Barbiani and surrounded by large trees. Quintessentially, the library is a place for reading and studying, hence of utmost silence. However, there were exceptions as early as the late seventeenth century; a booklet printed in Ravenna, precisely in 1677, mentioned of at least two “concerts” held in the library, the first entitled “Gli amori di Antioco e di Stratonica (The Loves of Antiochus and Stratonica); the second “La virtù trionfante” (The Triumphant Virtue) by D. Andrea Rossini of Venice. The Cloisters “debuted” at the Festival in 2004, hosting the melologue “Francesca da Rimini”, text by Nevio Spadoni and music by Luigi Ceccarelli. They have become a regular and much appreciated venue for many chamber music events and small but prized ensembles.
Via A. Baccarini 3 – Ravenna
Tel. +39 0544 482112