Thursday, June 23, 2016

San Pietro in Vincoli

where: Piazza di San Pietro in Vincoli
open: 8-12:30 & 15:00-18:00
getting there: metro Linea B/Cavour

Not far from the Colosseum and the Parco del Colle Oppio is the Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli.
A church was first built here in the 5th century and rebuilt over the centuries. In the 11th century it was dedicated to Saint Peter and from then on it housed the chains worn by Saint Peter before he was crucified.
The church is visited today mainly because it holds Michelangelo's Moses from 1513. Originally the Moses was designed to be a part of the forty statue funeral monument for Pope Julius II in Saint Peter's Basilica, but while still working on the tomb Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to work on the Sistine Chapel ceiling instead. The tomb was reduced in size and replanned for Saint Pietro in Vincolo.
It is thought that Michelangelo depicted Moses with horns because of a wrong translation from the original Hebrew. The statues of Moses, Leah and Rachel, and Pope Julius II were the only other statues completed by him for the church. The statues of the Prophet and Sybil were by Raffaello da Montelupo and the Madonna and Child by Schierano da Settignano, followers of Michelangelo. 
Other artistic works to visit in the church are Guercino's altarpieces, Saint Augustine, in the first chapel on the right and Saint Margaret (1644) in the chapel near the high altar.
The Deposition by Cristoforo Roncalli, is in the second chapel on the left and the frescoes from 1557 at the high altar by Jacopo Coppi. 
Looking above is the beautiful nave ceiling, the Miracle of the Chains, frescoed in 1706, by Giovanni Battista Parodi.
A handy guide book is available in the bookshop inside the church.

Moses - Michelangelo

Cristoforo Roncalli

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Getting Around

I found walking Rome was the best way to see everything.

The metro, trams and buses are also an easy and cheap option.

Buses and the metro can get crowded. Tickets must be bought before boarding and validated.

Beware of pickpockets.

Buses 40 (express) and 64 start at Termini and end near Saint Peter's, traveling past places of interest, returning the same way.

Some stops along the 64 route are:


Piazza Venezia

Via Nazionale

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

Bus 75 takes you past the Colosseum to Trastevere

Bus 910 takes you to Villa Borghese

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These are a few of my favourite books about Rome

The Cardinal's Hat by Mary Hollingsworth
This book tells the story of one of the sons of Lucrezia Borgia who became a cardinal during the 16th century.

The Tigress of Forli by Elizabeth Lev
I love this book telling the story of Caterina Sforza who was fighting against the Borgia pope to retain the rights of her land and her freedom.

The Popes by John Julius Norwich
A detailed but easy and enjoyable book to read about the history of the papacy and the popes.

The Pope's Daughter by Caroline P Murphy
This book describes in beautiful detail, the life and times of Pope Julius II daughter, Felice della Rovere.

The Families Who Made Rome by Anthony Majanlahti
I love this Book! It explains the families who made Rome what it is as we see it today and also looks at their triumphs, scandals and failures.

Rome by Robert Hughes
This book explains Rome from its beginning and expands on the Renaissance and Baroque until present times.

The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr
Another of my favourite reads about a lost Caravaggio painting and the search for its provenance.

other sites I trust for information on Rome are:
Rome Art Lover
Churches of Rome wiki