Mar 7, 2015

Castel Sant'Angelo

The charming of Rome at night. Castel Sant'Angelo with its chunky round keep, is an instantly recognizable landmark. Originally a mausoleum for emperor Hadrian, it was converted into a papal fortress in the 6th century and named after an angelic vision that Pope Gregory had in 590. Thanks to a secret 13th-century passageway to the Vatican palaces, it provided sanctuary to many popes in time of danger, including Pope Clemente VII who holed up here during the 1527 Sack of Rome. Its upper floors boast lavishly decorated Renaissance interiors, including, on the 4th floor, the beautifully frescoes Sala Paolina. Two stories further up, the terrace, immortalized by Puccini in his opera Tosca, offers great vires over Rome. When you will be here, don't miss also to admire the amazing bridge, Ponte Sant'Angelo, built during Hadrian Empire across the River Tiber in 136 to provide an approach to his mausoleum, then decorated by Bernini with his splendid angel sculptures in the 17th century. The three central arches of the bridge are part of the original structure: the end arches were restored and enlarged in 1892-94 during the construction of the Lungotevere embankments

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