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Basilica San Vitale

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Address: Via San Vitale, 48121, Ravenna, Italy
Phone Number:
+39 0544 541688
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Open now
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Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour


As a symbol of the Archiepiscopal Chancellery of Ravenna, San Vitale...


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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Ravenna 3-Hour Private Guided Tour
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Private Day Tour of Ravenna and Ferrara
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Mosaics Guided Tour and Cooking Lesson at a Restaurant

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 2,613 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 493
  • 39
    Very good
  • 4
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Beautiful mosaics

Beautiful mosaics on the floor and in the apse. I liked the Mausoleum of Galla Placida better, because you are so much closer, but these buildings are about 200 feet apart... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Pine Island, Minnesota
via mobile
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2,613 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 536: English reviews
Pine Island, Minnesota
Level Contributor
43 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Beautiful mosaics on the floor and in the apse. I liked the Mausoleum of Galla Placida better, because you are so much closer, but these buildings are about 200 feet apart, therefore so what! Bundled together, there is no other place on the planet that looks quite like this. I liked both the Basilica of St. Apollinare in Classe and... More 

Thank Dobrador
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
365 reviews
189 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 350 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Both, this basilica and the tomb of Galia Placidia offer the best of Byzantine moasic art. This duo comprises the most important surviving monuments not only of Ravenna but of ancient Byzanz in general - second only to the Hagia Sophia.

2 Thank BTS1972
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
27 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This church is magnificent. It is NOT that impressive from the outside like so many other European churches but the inside is magnificent. There are mosaics from floor to ceiling. You just walk in and stand there in awe. If you go to Ravenna you don't want to miss this.

Thank Aleipho
Sao Jose Dos Campos, SP
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2017

Beautiful, impressive bizantino style mosaics. A bit expensive (9,50 euros per person) for such a small "site", but a must-see.

1 Thank profissaoviajante
Manaus, AM
Level Contributor
132 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2017

The expectations were high, but what I found, was far beyond what I expected - MUCH BETTER! The stunning beauty and breathtaking artwork of the colourful mosaic work covering the walls, arches and ceiling of the basilica, and the Mausoleo di Galla Placid, in the gardens of the Basilica, are a definite "must do/see"attractions, and one understands why it is... More 

Thank Ramesh27
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
34 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2017 via mobile

Ravenna has few small spots that must be seen. This is one of those...beautiful ceiling!! Entrance fee is included in a ticket for multiple attractions.

Thank ricciaitalia
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
50 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2017

History comes alive with glittering mosaics dating back to the reign of Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora (mid 500s CE). It is clear to see why these mosaics make the city of Ravenna famous, the skill is incredible. The church is quite interesting to see too. I recommend buying the pass for the top 5 sites in Ravenna, as the... More 

2 Thank mjsheridan130
Level Contributor
209 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2017

Our guide book says if you only visit one of the mosaic sites in Ravenna, this is the one. We did visit several, but his was definitely the best. The interior is stunningly beautiful (my wife reckons the most beautiful church interior she has ever seen), with the fresco and mosaic sections of the building blending perfectly. Definitely worth standing/sitting... More 

1 Thank malvern09
Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
79 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2017

I'm not absolutely sure, but I don't think there's any other place in Italy, other than Ravenna, where you can admire so many beautiful, impressive mosaics. Worth taking some time to enjoy. As I said, it's best to pay the full price for the 5 sites ( San Vitale, Gala Placidia Mausoleum, plus other 3).

Thank Maria D
Level Contributor
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 31, 2016 via mobile

Very Impressive. The byzantine influence and the mosaics are marvellous. Highly recommended for a visit and spend some time inside the temple to absorb the ancient ambience.

Thank Takis G

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