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“Has to be seen!”

Basilica San Vitale
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$79.93*
and up
Ravenna 3-Hour Private Guided Tour
Ranked #1 of 84 things to do in Ravenna
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: 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.
Oxford, U.K
Level Contributor
42 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Has to be seen!”
Reviewed May 2, 2013

At this time of the year, it is not crowded and the mosaics are one of the 'must-see' sights of the Western World! Awesome!

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank tappi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Poole, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
84 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Beautiful!”
Reviewed April 30, 2013

This must be seen. The design is unique but the mosaic floor (so Roman) and walls by the altar (so amazing) offer so much to be appreciated. How could these have been done so long ago as they look so fresh and tell such lovely stories. And they are accessible, unlike so many places where you are stuck behind a rope or moved on quickly. Just beautiful.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank SarahG57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Verona, Italy
Level Contributor
32 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“A mustn't miss site”
Reviewed April 28, 2013

Beautiful Byzantine mosaics. Go at lunchtimes to avoid the crowds and probably best not to go on Sundays.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank aprilevent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crowborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Spectacular historic site”
Reviewed April 22, 2013

The atmosphere of this building is quite special, we were lucky to have it without any groups so it was particularly good, the age and quality of the mosaics is amazing.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank Christine Susan J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake District, Northern England
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Bightest Star of Ravenna”
Reviewed April 19, 2013

In many ways, the city of Ravenna may cast a sense of despondency on the unsuspecting traveller disembarking from the train. No immediate sense of medieval - simply contemporary civil dross. And yet, and I mean and yet! The Basillica San Vitali and its mausoleum ( Gallia Placida) alone could be considered worth the trip. In many ways, this early sixth century basillica was a model for the spectacular Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. It is octagonal and clearly byzantine in its design and decor. Perhaps rather plain and relatively uninspiring from the exterior, once you step inside a wonderous world opens up.

Lush mosaics adorn the walls and ceilings in an abundance of rich colours which burn themselves into ones eyes through the mists of bygone mythologies. The Emperor Justinian, together with the Empress Theodora (the dancing girl) and their counterparts provide a naive representation of early medieval faces and poses. Magnificent images of paradise and and the magi adorn walls and ceilings in unforgetable richness. Both the dome and geometrically intricate marble floor motifs are spellbinding and worthy of lengthy contemplation. The almost perfect scale of columns and dome lure one into an exquisite and sensual aura of long-diminshed contempletative thoughts and sensibilities. The highly figured marble columns vault skywards - adorned with striking patterns and imprints which convey the detailed and meticulous selection of materials used throughout the building. And then you step ouside and the Gallia Placida hails you into another more concentrated, but no less intense celestial marval.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank alasn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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