The Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome, Italy

Another day, another basilica. In Rome, basilicas are more than just places of worship. They are art and history museums, displaying some of the most beautiful art and important artifacts, and they’re free to visit.

Unassuming entrance

The Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli is gorgeous, like the rest of them here, but has two very special items. The first are the chains that kept St Peter bound in Jerusalem. They are carefully displayed in the sanctuary.

Perhaps more famous than even St Peter’s chains is the Michelangelo sculpture of Moses, as the focal point of Julius II’s funeral monument. It is an incredible sculpture in the center of a larger piece of art.

The rest of the basilica has beautiful pieces of art as well.

Every basilica in Rome has it’s special reasons to visit, but this one is extra special. Michelangelo’s Moses is so impressive that it’s worth the visit alone.

Pro tip: the church is closed to visitors from 12:30 to 3 pm, so plan your visit accordingly. I recommending doing as the Italians do and taking a post-lunch nap before visiting in the afternoon.

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