Trip Planner:   Europe  /  Italy  /  Emilia-Romagna  /  Province of Ravenna  /  Ravenna  /  Historic Sites  /  Basilica San Vitale

Basilica San Vitale, Ravenna

(4.9/5 based on 2,600+ 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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12 days in Italy BY A USER FROM ISRAEL June, relaxing, romantic, beaches, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 51 days in Italy BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Emilia-Romagna BY A USER FROM ISRAEL September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Ravenna BY A USER FROM ITALY May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Italy & City of San Marino BY A USER FROM IRELAND March, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: March, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Italy & San Marino BY A USER FROM ITALY March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 20 days in Italy & San Marino BY A USER FROM ITALY May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 20 days in Northwest Italy BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 31 days in Emilia-Romagna BY A USER FROM CANADA September, culture, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 1 day in Ravenna BY A USER FROM PERU April, culture, historic sites, museums, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 60 days in Europe BY A USER FROM INDIA May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Ravenna BY A USER FROM CANADA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Undoubtedly, this Pearl of artistic and cultural treasures of Emilia province relief. Sightseeing in the old town (San Vitale, s. Apollinare, Diocesan Museum, etc.) are within walking distance. The main streets, partly closed to traffic, are quiet and relaxing, of course lined with bars, restaurants and shops. The General ambiance is relaxed and relaxing. The monuments (to visit preferably with one ticket) are easily accessible and the staff of the ticket booths and surveillance are friendly. In some days are available free guides and this is a welcome surprise. Ultimately about can spend a great weekend Arts and culture.
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  • The Basilica of San Vitale and the mausoleum of Galla Placidia are part of a mini circuit which also includes the museo arcivescovile and Sant'Apollinare new. Cumulative ticket sold at few steps from Basilica. Wonderful mosaics. History steps from the Riviera. RECOMMENDED.
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  • Beautiful example of antiquity of Ravenna. Gorgeous mosaics even on a gloomy day. Always with the nose in the air xd.
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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.