Basilica of San Vitale

Rome, Italy

The Basilica of Sts. Vitalis, Valeris, Gervase and Protase is commonly named Basilica di San Vitale. It was built in 400 with funds provided by Vestina, a wealthy dowager, and was consecrated by Pope Innocent I in 401/402. The dedication to St. Vitalis and his family (Saint Valeria, his wife, and Sts. Gervasius and Protasius, their sons) is dated to 412.

San Vitale was restored several times, the most important being the rebuilding by Pope Sixtus IV before the Jubilee of 1475, and then in 1598, 1938 and 1960. The church is currently located several metres under the level of the street (via Nazionale), that it faces.

The portico is the most ancient part of the church, possibly dating back to the 5th century. It was altered at the end of the 16th century. The inscription on the portico, with the arms of Pope Sixtus IV, dates from this time. Pope Pius IX built the staircase to the 5th century portico in 1859.

The church has a single nave, with walls frescoed with scenes of martyrdom, among which a Martyrdom of St Ignatius of Antioch, in which a ruined Colosseum is depicted. The apsis, original of the 5th century, is decorated with a fresco by Andrea Commodi, The Ascent to Calvary.

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Address

Via Nazionale 195, Rome, Italy
See all sites in Rome

Details

Founded: 400 AD
Category: Religious sites in Italy

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

bibin chacko (3 years ago)
Like it tired travelling will rested and cooled feel interior has good work better for praying atmosphere all most done
Nicky bonavia (3 years ago)
Very nice church never saw like it . Must visit.
Rasp Berry (3 years ago)
The church is so old that it is bellow street level now, reflecting the surface change from the time it was build (year of 401.) One of the oldest churches in Rome, and by outside look you can tell it is roman basilica. Unfortunately from inside the church everything is renovated in 1603. into rather plain baroque church with nothing significant..
Jenny Jackson (3 years ago)
This was an amazing find. I was blown away when I walked in the door It is truly somewhere to visit.
Marc Albert (3 years ago)
This is another great find that is somewhat off the beaten path. It's easy to walk right by as the church is situated below street level. The church gives the impression of being much older than it really is. If you love frescos you'll definitely want to pay a visit. Don't forget to notice the wooden front door that contains intricate carvings. It is in magnificent condition.
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