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Basilica of San Vitale

Listen to opera, join a historical tour or admire breathtaking 6th-century mosaics at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Eastern art blends with Catholic tradition in the Basilica of San Vitale, considered one of the most important destinations for early Christian art in the country. This octagonal church in central Ravenna is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors come from around the world to see its stunning mosaics, cavernous interior and the maze depicted on the church floor. Join a guided tour of the Basilica of San Vitale to learn about its history or attend a musical event to hear the church’s heavenly acoustics. 

Examine the church’s exterior before entering. Like several of the 5th- and 6th-century religious sites in Ravenna, the church was built as an octagon and features a seamless blend of Eastern art and architectural styles from the West. Explore the church on your own to admire the many mosaics within. Join a guided tour to learn the stories behind each piece. Walk through the presbytery vault to see a medallion depicting the Lamb of God and stop at the apse to see an image of Christ the Redeemer alongside the founder of the church, Bishop Ecclesius. 

Spend time admiring your surroundings in the main choir. The high mosaics feature many central Byzantine figures. See panels depicting Abraham and his wife Sarah, Moses climbing Mt. Sinai with the Twelve Tribes of Israel and John and Luke with their animal symbols, the eagle and ox, respectively. 

Throughout the year, the Basilica of San Vitale hosts orchestral and operatic performances. Book a seat early to avoid disappointment as the church has a very limited capacity compared to many concert halls. Listen as the celestial tones reverberate between the centuries-old walls.

The Basilica of San Vitale is located in central Ravenna and is best reached on foot. Find some street parking in the area. Buses pass by the church regularly. The church is closed on Christmas and New Year’s. The admission fee can be coupled with other UNESCO World Heritage listed sites in Ravenna.


Guide to Exploring Basilica of San Vitale


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See all 252 Properties near Basilica of San Vitale
Hotel Centrale Byron ¥7,823
Hotel Centrale Byron

Hotel Centrale Byron

via IV Novembre, 14, Ravenna, RA
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in Ravenna, this hotel is steps from Piazza del Popolo, Torre Civica, and Teatro Comunale Alighieri. Church of San Giovanni Battista and Dantes Museum are also within 5 minutes. Ravenna Station is 9 minutes by foot.

    NH Ravenna ¥7,190
    NH Ravenna

    NH Ravenna

    Piazza Mameli 1, Ravenna, RA
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in the historical district, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Church of San Giovanni Evangelista, Arian Baptistry, and Basilica of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo. Torre Civica and Piazza del Popolo are also within 10 minutes. Ravenna Station is only a 3-minute walk.

      Hotel Bisanzio ¥7,565
      Hotel Bisanzio

      Hotel Bisanzio

      Via Salara 30, Ravenna, RA
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in the heart of Ravenna, this hotel is steps from Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Basilica of San Vitale, and Torre Civica. Church of San Giovanni Battista and National Museum of Ravenna are also within 5 minutes. Ravenna Station is 10 minutes by foot.

        Palazzo Galletti Abbiosi ¥7,079
        Palazzo Galletti Abbiosi

        Palazzo Galletti Abbiosi

        Via di Roma 140, Ravenna, RA
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in the heart of Ravenna, this hostel is steps from Basilica of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo, Church of San Giovanni Evangelista, and Arian Baptistry. Teatro Comunale Alighieri and Museo D'Arte della Citta are also within 5 minutes. Ravenna Station is only a 5-minute walk.

          Roma ¥6,416
          Roma

          Roma

          Via Candiano 26, Ravenna, RA
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in the heart of Ravenna, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Basilica of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo, Museo D'Arte della Citta, and Church of San Giovanni Evangelista. Planetarium Ravenna and Rasponi Crypt are also within 10 minutes. Ravenna Station is only a 5-minute walk.

            Astoria ¥5,633
            Astoria

            Astoria

            Circonvallazione alla Rotonda dei Goti, 26/28, Ravenna, RA
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Ravenna, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Rocca Brancaleone, Mausoleum of Theodoric, and Church of San Giovanni Battista. Church of San Giovanni Evangelista and Mausoleum of Galla Placidia are also within 10 minutes. Ravenna Station is 10 minutes by foot.

              Mosaico Hotel ¥6,680
              Mosaico Hotel

              Mosaico Hotel

              Via Darsena 9, Ravenna, RA
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of Ravenna, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Mausoleum of Theodoric and Rocca Brancaleone. Church of San Giovanni Battista and Basilica of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo are also within 15 minutes. Ravenna Station is 12 minutes by foot.

                Hotel Diana ¥8,970
                Hotel Diana

                Hotel Diana

                Via Girolamo Rossi, 47, Ravenna
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Ravenna, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Church of San Giovanni Battista, Torre Civica, and Mausoleum of Galla Placidia. Piazza del Popolo and Basilica of San Vitale are also within 10 minutes. Ravenna Station is 9 minutes by foot.