Basilica di San Francesco, Ravenna, Ravenna

4.1
#5 of 11 in Historic Sites in Ravenna
Church Tourist Spot
Built between the 9th and 10th centuries in the Early Christian style, Basilica di San Francesco, Ravenna is an understated Catholic church with a fascinating twist. Changing sea levels resulted in the original floor of the church flooding, so the mosaic floor and crypt lie underwater. The sunken crypt sparkles with coins strewn across the floor, and large goldfish swim through the waters. For an extra euro, you can illuminate the floor for a better view. The church also houses a beautiful pipe organ. For Basilica di San Francesco, Ravenna and beyond, use our Ravenna tourist route planner to get the most from your Ravenna vacation.
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495 reviews
  • Aside from the sunken mosaic floor which really does have goldfish swimming around, the alabaster windows in the church are quite gorgeous. Free and not crowded.  more »
  • We queued to go down the steps and look through the little window into the crypt. The goldfish swimming around were a surprise. The church felt nice, a true place of worship, not too ornate.  more »
  • The flooded crypt here is worth a look. Apparently subsidence has caused this area to fill with water. We saw goldfish swimming about. Dark and a bit creepy but I have never seen anything like it befo...  more »

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Where to stay in Ravenna

Famous for its ancient mosaics, Ravenna is packed with boutique hotels and luxury resorts. Stay near the center of the city for easy foot access to numerous museums, galleries, and World Heritage archeological sites. A less expensive alternative to brand-name hotels, small B&Bs located just minutes from the tourist-driven central districts offer access to secure parking and private yards. Alternatively, you can explore a host of self-catering apartments and private cottages in the picturesque countryside surrounding the city.
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