The basilica of San Vitale

The few times that I’ve walked down Via Nazionale in Rome, I’d noticed an obviously old, rather plain, building nestled down a set of steps, metres below current street level.  This time, I decided to explore and found that it was the Basilica of San Vitale, a church that has been on this spot since 400 AD. The portico that you can see below is thought to be the oldest part of .the building.  Although currently on the Via Nazionale beside the Palazzo degli Esposizioni that you can just see to the left of the picture below, it was originally on the Vicus Longus, a street running from the Baths of Diocletian, specifically San Bernardo alle Terme, to the Forum of Augustus. After centuries when the area had fallen out of favour, with the development of Via Nazionale after Rome joined the new Italy, the church found itself more centrally-located once more

san vitale

Detail from the door..

doorIMG_3124

The Church is dedicated to Saint Vitale (Vitalis), his wife Valeria and their two sons, wealthy citizens in Milan who may have been killed there for their conversion to Christianity.

It’s quite a simply-structured building – no side chapels, and a single nave.  Here’s the view of the spectacular altar:

blog3

blog4

blog5

Scenes of martyrdom, such as this one were common..

blog6

It was 8th January, but they were still commemorating the Epiphany period:

with their crib/presepio:P1010476

And, with Silent Night: unusual for those of us from the UK to hear Christmas carols playing in January.

San Vitale #roma

A post shared by marilyneb (@marilyneb1) on

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The basilica of San Vitale

  1. Pingback: The basilica of San Vitale – Minerva’s pencil case | Public Sector Blogs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s