Hi friends, welcome back to my Italy series! After spending the morning taking pictures and trekking to Bonci Pizza, Jon and I headed to Castel Sant’ Angelo on the banks of the Tiber River. This structure was built as a tomb for Emperor Hadrian in AD 139 because at the time, tombs weren’t allowed in Ancient Rome. The bridge in front was also commissioned by Emperor Hadrian so he could easily cross the river and visit the site. The emperor’s ashes were buried here along with his family members and a few subsequent Emperors.
There is a legend that the archangel Michael appeared above the building holding his sword to signal the end of the plague in AD 590. After that, the mausoleum was turned into a palace renamed for the angel. During the Dark Ages it was used as a fortress and prison.
In 1277 the pope requested an approximately half-mile corridor be built to connect Castel Sant’ Angelo to the Vatican in case of any invasions. The corridor is officially named the Passetto di Borgo, and you can see it starting in the bottom right where it looks like a wall. In 1527 Pope Clement VII used the passage to escape the troops of Emperor Charles V.
On top of Castel Sant’ Angelo is the archangel, Michael.
Inside there are a few exhibits, some artwork, and papal apartments to see.
We loved the views of Rome and the Vatican the most.
If you’re short on time I’d recommend at least walking by Castel Sant’ Angelo, but if you have time it’s worth checking out this sight for the sweeping views of Rome.
Posts in this series:
- Where to Stay & Eat
- Piazza Michelangelo & Ponte Vecchio
- Uffizi Gallery
- Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella, Accademia
- Climbing the Duomo
- Duomo Museum, Bell Tower, & Baptistry
- Palazzo Vecchio & Tuscon Wine Tour