Castel Sant’Angelo is not hard to find thanks to the fearsome bronze statue of Archangel Michael crowning its rough, round exterior. While this monument is often overshadowed by the neighboring Vatican, it has plenty to offer. In fact, it even has an important connection with the Vatican and not just metaphorically. When you get yourself Castel Sant’Angelo admission ticket, you are in for a visit of a secret underground tunnel and peek into the lesser-known side of the Vatican.
So, what are you getting into?
Originally a mausoleum for the famous emperor Hadrian, the structure was later converted into a fortress and used as a sanctuary for the popes. [readmore]
Today, it houses the Castel Sant'Angelo National Museum (Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant'Angelo) and features an eclectic collection of paintings, sculptures, military memorabilia and even firearms. It’s only a stone’s throw away from the Vatican, but far from being as overcrowded.
For instance, visitors have the opportunity to peek inside the secret tunnel connecting the fortress with the Sistine Chapel. This is the very tunnel popes, like the Pope Clement VII, used to escape the Vatican when it was under attack! Many of the weapons on display were used by the Swiss guards to defend the Vatican. Furthermore, after having explored its many corridors and chambers, you can access the terrace and enjoy lovely views of the eternal city.Read more
A dress code is required to enter places of worship and selected museums. No shorts or sleeveless tops allowed. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. You may risk refused entry if you fail to comply with these dress requirements
The tickets have to be colected at Visit Europa Today Office before the visit
One of the biggest delights of booking the Castel Sant’Angelo admission online is saving time hustling around the ticket office on the spot and simply sailing straight in to visit the castle.
What’s most interesting, visitors can discover the traces and legacy of all three uses of the Castel Sant’Angelo: the mausoleum of Hadrian; the defensive power of the fortress and the beautiful interiors that used to house papal apartments.
Furthermore, there is not one but several terraces on the upper level where you can admire the panorama. However, the best view if from the large terrace under the building's crowning statue of an angel. Plus, if you get tired, you can grab some refreshments in a small cafe as well.
Do you want to learn a bit more about the place during your visit? Upgrade to the Castel Sant’Angelo Ticket with an audio tour.
The Castle of Holy Angel has quite an exciting history. Commissioned by Hadrian, its first function was supposed to be a family mausoleum. However, during the build-up of the Aurelian Walls, the mausoleum was fortified. In other words, it became part of the defensive city wall.
Hence, as time went by, the mausoleum slowly turned into a fortress. Still, its name “Sant’Angelo” didn’t come around until the 6th century. Thanks to Pope Gregory the Great’s angelic vision on the top of the fortress, the Vatican changed its name and turned it into a papal fortress.
So, what happened? Pope Gregory had the vision when he was crossing the bridge of Hadrian, leading the penitents’ procession to the St. Peter’s Basilica. This particular procession was a prayer and a plea to end the plague seizing Rome at the time. The pope, as well as the rest of the participants, saw the apparition of Archangel Michael on top of the fort, wiping his flaming sword and putting it back into the sheath. The pope interpreted this as a message from God that the plague was about to end. Curiously, it did.
Passetto di Borgo is the secret corridor that connects the fortress with the Sistine Chapel. The most famous story tied to this clandestine passage is that of Pope Clement VII and his Swiss Guards. When the army of Charles de Bourbon attacked the Vatican during the sack of Rome in the 16th century, they used it to escape.
Indeed, this unassuming fortress has much to offer. Book your Castel Sant’Angelo admission today! You won’t regret it!