4 star rating: Recommended 2 Reviews

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  • Address: Piazza di San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome, Italy
  • Hours: April-September 7am-12:30pm & 3:30pm-7pm; October-March 7am-12:30pm & 3:30pm-6pm

Rome ATTRACTIONS See all

Church of St Peter in Chains Tours

The Church of St Peter in Chains, also known as San Pietro in Vicoli, is a basilica for both art lovers and pilgrims. The church was originally built in the fifth century to house the chains that bound St Peter when he was imprisoned by the Romans in Jerusalem, which eventually made their way to Rome, where they arrived in two parts. One part of the chain was sent to Eudoxia, the wife of emperor Valentinian III, and when compared to shackles held by Pope Leo I, legend says they miraculously fused together to form a single chain, which is now kept in a big bronze and crystal urn under the main altar. 

The church is maybe best known for Michelangelo’s statue of Moses, a part of a never completed funeral monument for Pope Julius II. Forty statues were planned, but Julius’ constant efforts to immortalize himself with giant projects soon had Michelangelo’s attentions diverted to the painting of the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Michelangelo begrudgingly obliged but above all saw himself as a sculptor rather than a painter, and was unhappy about only being able to work on his beloved marble sporadically. In the end, only a few of the planned statues were completed before his death. 

This leads back to the Moses statue, the most prominent figure of the whole composition. It is recognized as one of Michelangelo’s best works, with Moses looking more brushed than chiseled with two controversial horns protruding from his head, the result of a mistranslation of a biblical passage from Hebrew to Latin, where a word was wrongly interpreted as “horns” instead of the traditional beams of light. It is unknown whether Michelangelo was aware of this and what his intentions were. He definitely had a taste for pranks though, as it is said that he hid his own profile and those of his patrons in the tangles of Moses’ beard.

Practical Info

From April to September, the church is open daily from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. In fall and winter, it closes a bit earlier at 6 p.m. While St Peter in Chains is only a short walk from the Colosseum, the closest metro stop is Cavour. Walk up the flight of stairs, turn right into the piazza and you will see the basilica to your left.

Tours & Tickets

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2.5-Hour Rione Monti Private Guided Walking Tour, Rome, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

2.5-Hour Rione Monti Private Guided Walking Tour

Explore the historic Monti district of Rome with a 2.5-hour private, guided walking tour. Located on three of the seven hills of Rome, the Monti district is ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $305.65
San Clemente the historical triple-deck and his underground Small-Group Tour, Rome, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

San Clemente the historical triple-deck and his underground Small-Group Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

A 2.5-hour tour for those who want to experience the treasures of Rome off the beaten path. You will be introduced to art and architecture from antiquity ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $53.52
Classical Rome City Tour with Trevi Fountain and Pantheon, Rome, Cultural Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Classical Rome City Tour with Trevi Fountain and Pantheon

4 star rating: Recommended 316 Reviews

Spend your morning on this classic Rome tour, seeing all the top attractions in Rome’s ‘centro storico’ – its historic center. By both coach and foot, visit ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: Flexible

From USD $39.25
Imperial Rome Afternoon Tour, Rome, Bus & Minivan Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Imperial Rome Afternoon Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 206 Reviews

Discover the history of Imperial Rome on this 3-hour afternoon tour by coach and foot! As the capital of the Roman Empire, Rome boasts an array of ancient ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $68.98
St Peter and St Paul Basilica Walking Tour, Rome, Bus & Minivan Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 4

St Peter and St Paul Basilica Walking Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

Explore some of the religious history of Rome through two of its most important saints with this 3-hour tour focusing on Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Visit the ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $112.98
Underground and Michelangelo with final Wine Tasting, Rome, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 4

Underground and Michelangelo with final Wine Tasting

If you love Michelangelo, Italian Wines and also curious about the incomparable underground world of the Eternal City, this tour will fall in love you!  ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $89.20
Wine Tasting Tour in Rome, Rome, Underground Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Wine Tasting Tour in Rome

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Are you looking for a relaxing, fun and informative wine tasting experience? Enjoy with us a 3.5 hours wine tasting small group walking tour ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $116.55
Ancient Rome with St. Peter in Chains Private Walking Tour, Rome, Wine Tasting & Winery Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Ancient Rome with St. Peter in Chains Private Walking Tour

This 3.5 hour private, walking tour is a wonderful opportunity to explore Ancient Rome as well as see a hidden treasure of Rome, Michelangelo's Moses, housed ...  Read more

Location: Roma, Italy
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $86.82
Rome - Electric Bicycle Small Group Tour of the Eternal City, Rome, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Rome - Electric Bicycle Small Group Tour of the Eternal City

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Discover 3000 years of history riding through historical main sites and visiting hidden, and not, wonders of Rome on this electric bike tour. You can gain ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $59.47
Winery&Ancient Highlights Tour in Mini Cabriolet in Roman Castle with wine testing and lunch, Rome, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Winery&Ancient Highlights Tour in Mini Cabriolet in Roman Castle with wine testing and lunch

Departure from your hotel in Rome to higlights Ancient tour of Rome ( Colosseum , San Peter , Saint Angels Castle , Trastevere ) and start to the Roman Castle ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $309.22

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