San Pietro in Vinculis Church Salerno

The San Pietro in Vinculis Church is located in one of the main squares of Salerno, the Piazza Portanova. It was founded in the 16th century, in order to give suppoort to condemned prisoners about to be executed in the piazza.

San Pietro in Vinculis Church Salerno

Useful information

Address: Piazza Sedile di Portanova, 2 – Salerno. Opening hours: Mass is celebrated several times a day. Ticket price: Free.


San Pietro in Vinculus Church
San Pietro in Vinculus Church

The reason the church was built in the Piazza Portanova is precisely because this square is where the condemned were executed. This is testified by a plaque that was placed here in 1766. Helping condemned prisoners was considered one of the seven works of mercy. One day a year, on the feast o fth eBirth of Mary, the church had the right to ask for release of one prisoner, on the condition that he or she had repented.

Since 1958, the Chiesa di San Pietro in Vinculis has been run by the siters ‘Daughters of the Church”.


The paintings present in the church were mostly made between the 17th and 19th centuries. Since they were often altered, or even painted over, it is often impossible to say when exactly they were painted, or by whom.

The church probably used to have a wooden, coffered ceiling. The ceiling frescoes depict events from the lives of the saints Peter and Paul.

The biggest attraction is the altar piece by Michele Ricciardi. It was painted in 1724 and depicts “Domine Quo Vadis?”. When St. Peter tried to escape Rome, he ran into Jesus on the Via Appia Antica. Jesus’ words convinced him to return to Rome and stand with his followers. The Domine Quo Vadis Church in Rome was built at the exact spot where the two met.

Nicola Luciano painted the “Apparation of the Madonna and Child to Sant’Antonio” (1759) and, probably, the oval canvas “Enthroned Madonna and Child”.

Andrea Ingenito was responsible for the “San Giuseppe with the Madonna and Child”. Nothing is known about Ingenito, except that he was a local artist, who might have lived in the 19th century.

The modern wall panels depicting the “Last Supper” and the “Supper at Emmaus” were painted by Alfonso Grassi in the 1960s.

San Pietro in Vinculis Church, Salerno