Basilica di San Francesco - Ravenna Intorno

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Ravenna Intorno
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Basilica di San Francesco - Ravenna

piazza San Francesco, Ravenna
Opening hours: info +39 0544 35404
Phone: +39 0544 33667

 The basilica originates from the fifth century and was dedicated to the Saints of the Apostles. 

Nothing, however, remains of the primitive edifice, as between the tenth and eleventh centuries, it was completely restructured and a beautiful square campanile was added. 

Today, the basilica, divided in three naves, presents a façade of simple lines, made in humble brick, and decorated in the centre with a small mullioned window. 

Inside, beneath the main altar – consisting of a sarcophagus from the tenth century – one can look through a small window to admire the crypt of the oratory supported by pilasters. The vision is striking because the floor is constantly submerged under water, which preserves fragments of mosaics from the primitive Neonian Church. 

The basilica assumed the current name –San Francesco– in 1261, after the Franciscan Minor Conventual community led by the Archbishop Filippo Fontana, who lived there. It is also known as “the Church of  Dante” since the supreme poet struck up a rapport with the Franciscans during his stay inRavenna(from 1318 to 1321). They went on to celebrate the poet’s funeral in the basilica where they gave him a large sepulture in their cemetery and closely guarded his tomb and relics in the following centuries. 

The cloisters of the basilica are, today, the seat of  the Dante Centre of the Order of  Friars Minor Conventual,of the Dante Museumand of the Dante Alighieri Society.