Santa Croce church and archeological area

The Church of Santa Croce (5th century) and the surrounding archaeological site are situated in the city centre of Ravenna, inscribed as UNESCO cultural property in 1996. The archaeological site, characterised by the presence of floor mosaics is exposed to outdoor climatic threats and the whole area suffers from the subsidence phenomena (level 1 to 1.5 m. below the original one), characteristic of the entire subsoil of the city.

The complex is characterized by a church of the 5th Century AD and the remains of some Roman domus, of which a rich mosaic is preserved. Now a separate building, the Church of Santa Croce was once connected to the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, contiguous to Basilica of San Vitale, both Unesco World Heritage sites.

This, together with the basin conformation, favours a constant presence of water and damp, currently avoided by an obsolete and ineffective pumping system. Increase in floods frequency and the continuous exposure to environmental factors, such as the increase in precipitation patterns and marine ingression, can weaken the material, increasing the risk of loss in case of extreme weather events. It is also in an earthquake prone area.


An urban Open Lab to test innovative system of water pumps powered by solar energy and complemented by a preventive alarm system based on a network of sensors, which will mitigate flooding and subsidence events. Furthermore, consolidation techniques will be tested in relation to seismic activity in the area.

It will provide different engagement activities such as: i) Master Class for students regarding diagnostic and restoration activities; ii) guided involvement of citizens of diagnostic and restoration campaigns to develop the Open Lab as an archaeological plus scientific touristic attraction.

An international open call for suppliers will be launched as opportunity for showcase their technological solutions.
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