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Often in Rome it is possible to find buildings that display outward signs of the different phases of their construction during different periods of history, from ancient times to the medieval period, the renaissance to modern times. Castel Sant’Angelo is one of the finest examples of these buildings. During its long lifetime it has served as an emperor’s mausoleum, an unassailable fortress and a Papal residence; it is one of the city’s great treasures. The emperor Hadrian had requested that the construction be based on the model of the great tombs of the oriental sovereigns, and decided that his own should be located as near as possible to the sun; he never could have imagined that his mausoleum, a solitary temple on the banks of the river, centuries later would have become one of the most important buildings in the city. Utilized as a fort and a prison during the medieval period, it did not take long before the Popes realized how useful it would be to have a safe escape route near the Vatican and so began the construction of the so-called “passetto”, a long corridor added onto the existing city walls to connect the Papal palaces to the castle. Nonetheless it was the renaissance period that was most important in the history of the castle: during the 16th century, in fact, Pope Leo X, Clement VII and, above all, Pope Paul III transformed what was still just a basic fort into a genuine palazzo, with mythological themed frescoes, courtyards, terraces and loggias from where they could enjoy the splendid views of the city. Tracing the story of the castle from the ancient period to the present, we can imagine the emperors and the Popes, artists and prisoners that crossed the threshold into this majestic structure.




Professional Guide


Entrance tickets

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Starts: 9:30 or 15:00

Ends: 12:30 or 18:00

Duration: 3 hours



Group: Max 6 adults

Private: Max 6 adults

Group Price: NA

Private Price: 240€

Meeting Point:


lungotevere Castello 50