The Basilica of San Pietro in Sylvis

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The Basilica of San Pietro in Sylvis sits about a half-kilometer from the city of Bagnacavallo in the province of Ravenna. It is the oldest and best-preserved among the parishes of Romagna. A perfect example of proto-Romanesque architecture, it is datable to the 6th-7th centuries, as the style of two ornamental arcades of the tabernacle suggest. Three centuries after the construction of the Basilica, a cylindrical campanile was built, which was demolished in 1668 when considered dangerous. It was rebuilt after the restoration of the church in 1933. In 1605, marble inscriptions dedicated to Jupiter were found (today conserved in the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara), which indicate the existence of an older pagan temple.

The building is constructed of varying sizes of brick, with the apse oriented to the east. The west-facing façade is sparse and unadorned, with the exception of the buttresses that repeat on the exterior the spatial articulation of the building’s three aisles.
The apse is semicircular on the inside, polygonal on the exterior, recalling models from Ravenna, with three rounded arch windows. Its Giottesque frescoes from 1320-25 are notable, with scenes from the Crucifixion, attributable to Pietro da Rimini.
The simple brick interior maintains stylistic continuity with the exterior. The nave is much more spacious than the aisles, which are divided by sixteen pilasters, eight per side, forming nine rounded arcades. The double-trussed nave roof is of a deeply colored wood. The staircases lead to the raised presbytery over the crypt, two meters above the level of the church.
The church’s most evident modification, although it is almost entirely unaltered from its original form, is visible in the crypt, which was built later. Of massive dimensions, its pavement is about a half-meter lower than the level of the church. In the center is an 7-8th century altar, containing a Greek marble slab.


Additional Info

  • Address: Via Pieve Masiera - Bagnacavallo - 48012 (RA)
  • Province:
  • Phone: +39 0545 280898
  • Opening Days and Time: Ingresso gratuito.
    Orari: dal 1° maggio al 30 settembre: ven e sab, 16.30 - 18.30; dom, 9.30 - 12.00 e 16.30 - 18.30. Dal 1° al 31 ottobre: ven e sab, 14.30 - 16.30; dom, 10.00 - 12.00 e 14.30 - 16.30. Dal 1° novembre al 31 marzo: ven, 14.30 - 16.30; dom, 10.00 - 12.00. Dal 1° al 30 aprile: ven e sab, 16.30 - 18.30; dom, 9.30 - 12.00 e 16.30 - 18.30
    Giorni di apertura: aperture su richiesta in altri giorni e orari
  • Guided Tour:
    Per visite guidate contattare l'associazione Rabisch (Tel: +39 338 6357868  -
    Si offrono visite per gruppi di studenti, adulti e disabili. Guide disponibili in lingue straniere.
  • Recommended Restaurants:
Last modified on Thursday, 16 February 2012 18:17