Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra (House of the Stone Carpets)

Historic Site and Museum in Ravenna

Domus Dei Tappeti Di Pietra
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Simone Masini

The Domus of the Stone Carpets is a remarkable archaeological site located in the basement of the late-baroque Church of Sant’Eufemia in Ravenna, Italy. It is considered one of the most important archaeological discoveries in Italy in recent decades.

Discovery and Significance:

  • The site was discovered between 1993 and 1994 during the construction of an underground park in Via D’Azeglio.
  • The complex of buildings at the site dates back to various periods between the 1st and 6th centuries AD.
  • The most prominent feature of this archaeological site is the presence of “stone carpets,” which refer to marble and mosaic floors with elaborate decorative designs.

Historical Layers:

  • The excavations revealed a 700-square-meter complex known as the “Byzantine palace.” This complex consists of 14 rooms and 2 courtyards.
  • It is believed to date back to the 6th century AD and was likely owned by a wealthy family in Ravenna during that period.
  • The archaeological site also includes various layers of history, ranging from the late Roman Republic to the Byzantine era.
  • Among the findings are residences dating back to the High Roman Empire, a 1st-century thermal plant and residence, a 4th-century building, an early medieval residence, and a necropolis likely associated with the nearby Church of Sant’Eufemia, which served as the foundation for the 18th-century church.

What to See:

  • Visitors can explore the site via raised walkways that allow them to walk around the entire perimeter and admire the stunning floor mosaics.
  • The museum setup highlights the rich Byzantine residence with the merging of two originally separate buildings, separated by a paved Roman road that is still visible.
  • The entire complex is adorned with marble inlays and polychromatic tesserae (mosaic tiles) featuring intricate patterns and figurative elements.
  • One of the standout features is the large banquet hall with a mosaic representation known as the “Dance of the Geniuses of the Seasons.” This mosaic portrays figures representing the seasons, including Autumn, Spring, Winter, and Summer.
  • Another notable area is the reception hall, characterized by the extension of the mosaic beyond the frame of the first flooring.
  • The site also includes representations of a shepherd, possibly a Good Shepherd, which may harken back to an even older structure.

The Domus of the Stone Carpets offers a captivating journey through history, with its well-preserved architectural features and stunning mosaic decorations that provide valuable insights into the life and culture of Ravenna during various historical periods.

The Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra (House of the Stone Carpets) appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Ravenna!

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Visiting Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra (House of the Stone Carpets)


Every day: 10 am – 6.30 pm



Address: Chiesa di Sant'Eufemia-Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra Via Gian Battista Barbiani, 16 48121 Ravenna RA Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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