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To See: Castel Sant'Angelo


Castel Sant'Angelo is located on the right bank of the River Tiber, very close to the Sant'Angelo bridge, almost at the entrance of the Vatican (Lugotevere Castello, 50). This castle originally intended to be the mausoleum of the Emperor Hadrian and his family, began to be built in 135 by Hadrian's ordinance and was completed in 139 by Emperor Antoninus Pius.

Between the years 270 and 275, during the construction of the Wall of Aureliano, the mausoleum was fortified and it was united to this wall, that surrounded the city of Rome defending it of the barbarian invasions. From this moment the building gradually became a fortress until centuries later the papacy acquired it to use it of refuge before the possible dangers. A secret passageway (currently still exists) communicates the Castel Sant'Angelo with the Vatican.

The enclosure consists of a square of 89 meters in diameter, in which rises the tower of 64 m in diameter. At the top of the fortress you can admire a bronze statue of an angel by the sculptor Pieter Verschaffelt. The statue represents the angel who according to how much the legend appeared in the superior part of the fortress in the year 590 and that miraculously ended with the plague that had infested the city of Rome. After this event the building was renamed Castel Sant'Angelo.

In 1925 it became the Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant'Angelo. At the moment one can access 5 of its floors in which you can see, among other things, grain warehouses, the papal dependencies, the cells where the remains of the successors of Hadrian and an arms exhibition are conserved. On the terrace you can enjoy wonderful views of the whole city.



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