The emperor Hadrian built the Ponte Sant’Angelo in 136 to provide an approach to his mausoleum, but it was Bernini who brought it to...
Battelli di Roma
From April to October runs cruises along the Tiber. There's also a bus–boat combination tour (€35), and, on Thursdays, Fridays and...
Complesso Monumentale Santo Spirito in Saxia
Originally an 8th-century lodging for Saxon pilgrims, this ancient hospital complex was established by Pope Innocent III in the late...
On the main approach road to St Peter's Basilica, this auditorium plays host to performances of the Orchestra Sinfonica Roma...
Alfredo e Ada
For a taste of authentic Roman cooking, head to this much-loved trattoria with its wood panelling and spindly, marble- topped tables....
Castel Sant'Angelo information
Lonely Planet review
With its chunky round keep, this castle is an instantly recognisable landmark. Built as a mausoleum for the emperor Hadrian, it was converted into a papal fortress in the 6th century and named after an angelic vision that Pope Gregory the Great had in 590. Nowadays, it houses an eclectic collection of paintings, sculpture, military memorabilia and medieval firearms.
Many of these weapons were used by soldiers fighting to protect the castle, which, thanks to a secret 13th-century passageway to the Vatican (the Passetto di Borgo ), provided sanctuary to many popes in times of danger. Most famously, Pope Clemente VI holed up here during the 1527 sack of Rome.
The castle's upper floors are filled with lavishly decorated Renaissance interiors, including, on the 4th floor, the beautifully frescoed Sala Paolina. Two storeys further up, the terrace, immortalised by Puccini in his opera Tosca , offers great views over Rome.
Additional fees may be charged during temporary exhibitions.