Trip Planner:   Europe  /  Italy  /  Emilia-Romagna  /  Province of Ravenna  /  Ravenna  /  Religious Sites  /  Basilica San Vitale
Basilica San Vitale, Ravenna
(4.9/5 based on 2,400+ reviews on the web)
Considered a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture, Basilica San Vitale was built during the 6th century and is today inscribed on the World Heritage List. The church contains what are possibly the finest mosaics in Europe, the largest and best preserved examples of this art form outside of Constantinople. These mosaics were executed in the Hellenistic-Roman tradition, which focused on lively and imaginative depictions, with rich colors and a vivid portrayal of landscapes, plants, and birds. One of the site's two major mosaic panels depicts Emperor Justinian I flanked by his court officials, while the other shows his wife, Theodora, with a train of her court ladies. This site is of extreme importance in Byzantine art, as it is the only major church from its time period to have survived virtually intact to the present day. After your first visit, hold on to your ticket: it’s valid for seven days.  Put Basilica San Vitale and other Ravenna attractions into our Ravenna trip generator, and watch your holiday take shape.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • You can't get away from Ravenna without visiting San Vitale! It is a spectacular place for art lovers. The entrance fee includes other 4 sight, very comfortable and convenient.
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  • Definitely deserves a visit. Very nice mosaics. I would make more sense to protect the floors at least a glass that allows to admire them, but without damaging them. To see
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  • Vaguely reminiscent of Aachen. Central-Plan church with a large treasure trove of mosaics in the apse.
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Google
  • Although it is referred as basilica, it is not. Architecturally a basilica is rectangular. The church of San Vitale (built between 526 and 547 AD) is octagonal, an early Byzantine art and architecture having several Roman elements. The church is most famous for its wealth of Byzantine mosaics, the largest and best preserved outside of Constantinople. The church is of extreme importance in Byzantine art, as it is the only major church from the period of the Emperor Justinian I to survive virtually intact to the present day. The visit to this beautiful building is most recommended._
  • By far the most impressive mosaic works I've seen in Italy (and I've traveled through dozens of sites in Italia). With the 5-museum pass, visit them in reverse order, from smallest to largest, saving the most grand for last.
  • Important Byzantine church from the 6th century AD. Very interesting architecture and beautiful mosaics.
  • Great murals inside. Worth a visit
  • Spectacular mosaics in an architecturally unique early Christian church.