Basilica di San Vitale
Mausoleo di Galla Placidia
In the same complex as Basilica di San Vitale, the small but equally incandescent Mausoleo di Galla Placidia was constructed for Galla...
Tucked around the side of San Vitale, this school offers a variety of mosaic-making courses, for beginners, experienced artists and...
Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra
Not nearly as impressive as the Unesco site mosaics, but still worth a look for serious aficionados, these 6th-century floor mosaics...
Economical prices, formidable home cooking and an attractive front terrace that's good for people watching mean this bustling trattoria...
Via Fiandrini · interesting places nearby
Basilica di San Vitale information
Sometimes, after weeks of trolling around dark Italian churches, you can lose your sense of wonder. Not here! The lucid mosaics that adorn the altar of this ancient church consecrated in 547 by Archbishop Massimiano invoke a sharp intake of breath in most visitors. Gaze in wonder at the rich greens, brilliant golds and deep blues bathed in shafts of soft yellow sunlight.
The mosaics on the side and end walls inside the church represent scenes from the Old Testament: to the left, Abraham prepares to sacrifice Isaac in the presence of three angels, while the one on the right portrays the death of Abel and the offering of Melchizedek. Inside the chancel, two magnificent mosaics depict the Byzantine emperor Justinian with San Massimiano and a particularly solemn and expressive Empress Theodora, who was his consort.