Castel Sant'Angelo National Museum
The Castel Sant'Angelo is actually a tomb, Hadrian's Mausoleum. The Roman Emperor built it for himself and his family; their ashes were placed there in 138 AD. Other emperors are also buried there, but the tomb became a fortress in 401 AD; in 410 it was raided and the ashes were scattered. It is likely that Hadrian himself ended up in St. Peter's where a lot of the finest ornamentation of the mausoleum and other Roman buildings were taken.
It was named Castel Sant'Angelo after 590 AD when the Archangel Michael is said to have appeared on top of the building, signifying the end of the plague. From the 14th century, the popes turned the place into a residential castle, connecting it with St. Peter's by a fortified corridor. Since 1925, it has been a museum. The complex maze of rooms and corridors now house beautiful furnishings, paintings, sculptures, archaeological finds and historic weapons.
This was a fantastic introduction to the different facets of Rome. Our wonderful guide, Louise, was very knowledgeable and gave fascinating accounts of the religious, ancient and art history of Rome as well as the associations with Dan Browns book. As well as visiting many sights on foot, we also crossed the city by coach a couple of times which meant we were introduced to many sights that we could return to later. Finishing at Castel Sant'Angelo was fantastic as we could stay there after the tour finished and admire the amazing views of Rome from the top. We did the tour on Palm Sunday and were lucky enough to be in St Peter's Square when Papa Frankie was saying mass. A wonderful opportunity that Louise facilitated by adapting the tour to suit everyone's needs and wishes. Would highly recommend.
Great tour! Our Guide was so entertaining and informative. We loved the Castel San Angelo visit. The panoramic view on top was breathtaking! We got beautiful pictures. Great job Viator.
Karinna is the best tour guide, and we were thrilled to have her again on this tour!!! One of the very best tour guides we've had so far on our trip. We saw so much more of Rome and learned more of the history behind the stories. Would highly recommend this tour!!! The view from the top of Castel Sant'Angelo is wonderful! The start in the Chigi chapel was a fun start to the day, and the tour was one of our trip highlights. If you've not done this, it's a must do!
The most beautiful way to approach the Castel Sant'Angelo is to walk across the bridge Ponte Sant'Angelo with its white marble sculpture angels by Bernini. The bridge is easily reached on foot or by taxi from the center of Rome. You can also start at St. Peter's and, walking with your back to the Basilica, you'll find the Castel Sant'Angelo beside the Tiber River.