Santi Vitale e Agricola in Arena

Dedicated to two early Bolognese martyrs

Crypt of SS. Vitale e Agricola

The story of the 4th-century martyrs of Bologna, SS. Vitalis and Agricola, who died in 304 in the city's Roman amphitheatre under Emperor Diocletian, was first mentioned in 394 by St Ambrose, the bishop of Milan, who did much to popularize their cult. Agricola was a Christian who converted his slave Vitalis. Vitalis was executed, and Agricola tortured to recant his religion, then crucified.

The church of San Vitale, a Romanesque work that originally stood outside the city walls, was rebuilt in the 16th century by the Benedectines, but retains its original early Romanesque crypt and the Renaissance Cappella di Santa Maria degli Angeli. According to tradition the church was built on the spot where the amphitheatre stood.

Practical Info

Via San Vitale 50

Hours Mon-Sat 8.15am-noon, 3.40pm-7.30pm; Sun and hols 9am-12.30pm, 4-8.30pm

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