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story.lead_photo.caption Visitors admire the marble sculpture "The Piety", made in 1499 by Italian sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti, inside St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. Like elsewhere in Europe, museums and art galleries in Italy were closed this fall to contain the spread of COVID-19, meaning art lovers must rely on virtual tours to catch a glimpse of the treasures held by famous institutions such as the Uffizi in Florence and the Vatican Museums in Rome. However, some exquisite gems of Italy's cultural heritage remain on display in real life inside the country's churches, some of which have collections of renaissance art and iconography that would be the envy of any museum. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Visitors admire the marble sculpture "The Piety," made in 1499 by Italian sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti, on Dec. 14, 2020, inside St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. Like elsewhere in Europe, museums and art galleries in Italy were closed in the fall to contain the spread of COVID-19, meaning art lovers now must rely on virtual tours to catch a glimpse of the treasures held by famous institutions such as the Uffizi in Florence and the Vatican Museums in Rome. However, some exquisite gems of Italy's cultural heritage remain on display in real life inside the country's churches, some of which have collections of renaissance art and iconography that would be the envy of any museum.

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