Basilica San Vitale, Ravenna

#1 of 96 in Things to do in Ravenna
Must see · World heritage site · Religious Site · Historic Site
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.  It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to Basilica San Vitale and many more Ravenna attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's Ravenna sightseeing planner.
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  • You will be left astonished. It is an unique octagonal church with the apse covered in fantastic mosaic  more »
  • This wonderful church leaves you speechless. Mosaics are wonderful. Quite unique, in Italy, as a church with an octagonal layout. It is visited together with the adjacent Galla Placidia mausoleum...  more »
  • Most beautiful basilica ever. I’ve never seen anything as intricate. A ten euro ticket for five sights, but I could pay ten euros for just the basilica and still feel it’s worth it. Mosaics are insanely amazing.
  • One of the most stunning and humbling sites you can visit if your tastes run to late Roman Empire, early Christianity. The mosaics are quite possibly the best, and most ornate, anywhere.

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