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Basilica San Vitale

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Address: Via San Vitale, 48121 Ravenna, Italy
Phone Number: +39 0544 541688
Website
Today
9:30 am - 5:00 pm
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Description: History As a symbol of the Archiepiscopal Chancellery of Ravenna, San...
History As a symbol of the Archiepiscopal Chancellery of Ravenna, San Vitale is one of the greatest works of late Roman art. Famous for its mosaics commissioned by Archbishop Maximian (546/556 AD), the basilica is a place of contemplation. While the body descends its steps the spirit rises to the Truth. A masterpiece to be admired for its evident beauty and its hidden, precise, evocative theological argument.
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Most recent review
Marvellous mosaics

Remarkable very old octagonal church with brillint mosaic display. Hard to believe they were completed almost 1.5 millenia back. Mausoleo de Galla Placida just through the church... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 21, 2015
David H
,
Parkes
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916 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Parkes
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2015 NEW

Remarkable very old octagonal church with brillint mosaic display. Hard to believe they were completed almost 1.5 millenia back. Mausoleo de Galla Placida just through the church is stunning in a much smaller way with a much closer perspective. The tickets are sold in a shop in the street out the front of the basilica and if you think you... More 

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Scotland, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
15 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

Number one of Ravenna's mosaic. You might be not a religious person at all, you might not understand all deep meanings of the images, but the beauty and harmony of the work will stay with you for a long while

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United States
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
45 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2015

These are some of the best mosaics in the world. The soft glow through alabaster windows provides the most magical lighting, making the tesserae shimmer. The images tell Biblical stories of sacrifice, leading up to the mosaics depicting offerings made by Emperor and Empress Justinian and Theodora above the altar space – the fact that political figures would insert their likenesses... More 

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In the middle of the country
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2015

Unchanged colours despite the age, amazing to see how all these mosaics were made and put together. History to be respected.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Tampa, Florida
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 attraction reviews
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2015

This is what Byzantine architecture is all about. It's heavy. It's dark. And it's got it all over Gothic.

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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2015

An exquisite basilica, the mosaics are breathtaking and the marble columns with incredible natural patterns are sublime. A must see!

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Verona, Italy
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
13 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2015

San Vitale architecture is curious, with its unusual octagonal shape that at a first glance is a little bit deceiving and makes it difficult to find a "direction" in the church ... But then the astonishing mosaics come into play, and you will be captured by their vivid colours, strong symbology, historic meaning. Their "quasi-naive" style makes them unique. Absolutely... More 

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Armidale, Australia
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
22 attraction reviews
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2015

San Vitale is almost beyond description, it is so beautiful in its simplicity and the mosaics are awe inspiring. Cliched terms I know but words really cannot fully justify the beauty that is San Vitale. Possibly the best thing I did in Italy!

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Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
523 reviews 523 reviews
226 attraction reviews
277 helpful votes 277 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2014 via mobile

This basilica is possibly one of the most beautifully mosaic decorated churches. Plan to spend quite a long time enjoying the walls ceiling and floors. Stunning. Ravenna is the site of several UNESCO sites, several of them being associated with beautiful mosaic art. There is a multi-site ticket available for €9.50.

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
North Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
559 reviews 559 reviews
266 attraction reviews
409 helpful votes 409 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2014

The churches with mosaics are the main event in Ravenna. The ticket includes admission to several churches, so be sure to visit a few. If you can only visit one, the Basilica San Viatale is the best choice.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?