Sunday, March 1, 2015


Castel Sant'Angelo
Lungotevere Castello, 50
metro -  Linea A Lepanto
bus #40 or #64 from Termini

Castel Sant'Angelo was commissioned by the Emperor Hadrian between 135 and 139 AD as a mausoleum for himself and his family.
It was only later that it was known as Castel Sant'Angelo from the legend of the vision of the Archangel Michael appearing on the building with his sword, to give a sign that the end of the plague of 590 was near.
In the 14th century the Popes began converting the tomb into a castle fortress and prison and connected it to St Peter's Basilica with a covered passageway called the Passetto di Borgo.
In the early 16th century Pope Leo X commissioned Raffaelo da Montelupo to create a marble statue of St Michael holding his sword to be placed on the spot that the angel had appeared.
It was replaced in 1752 by Flemish sculptor, Peter Von Verschaffelt who made a giant bronze statue of the angel. Raffaelo da Montelupo's original marble statue is in the Courtyard of the Angel.
The frescoes in Castel Sant'Angelo are stunning. Pope Paul III commissioned artist Perino del Vaga to decorate the Pauline Hall, the Love and Psyche Room, the Perseus Room and Loggia of Paul III in the mid 16th century. The work was carried out by del Vaga and the pupils from his studio between 1545 and 1547.
In 1925 Castel Sant'Angelo became a state run museum which now holds furniture, objects and weapons and a collection of paintings. The Blessing of Christ by Carlo Crivelli, St Jerome by Lorenzo Lotto, Luca Singnorelli's Virgin with Child and Saints and Luca Longhi's Portrait of a Young Woman with Unicorn. (Which is thought to have been a painting of Giulia Farnese, the lover of Pope Alexander VI, Roderigo Borgia) are among the collection.
After wandering through the rooms you can climb the stairs to the balcony below the angel for one of the best views of Rome.





Open every day from 9am until 7pm during summer and 9am until 2pm during winter. Closed public holidays.


Ponte Sant'Angelo
The Bridge of Angels

Originally called the Ponte Aeluis, it was first constructed over The Tiber in 136 AD to connect the city of Rome to Hadrian's Mausoleum and until the Middle Ages it was the bridge most used by pilgrims travelling to St Peter's Basilica.
In the 17th century Bernini designed the angels for the bridge, each carrying a symbol of Christ's Passion. 
Only two sculptures were personally created by Bernini, The Angel with the Crown of Thorns and the Angel with the Superscription the others where completed by artists from his studio.

List of Angels
Angel with the Column
Angel with the Whips
Angel with the Crown of Thorns *(original in Sant'Andrea delle Fratte)
Angel with the Sudarium (Veronica's Veil)
Angel with the Garment and Dice
Angel with the Nail
Angel with the Cross
Angel with the Superscription *(original in Sant'Andrea delle Fratte)
Angel with the Sponge
Angel with the Lance






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Getting Around

I found walking around Rome was the best way to see everything but the metro, trams and buses are an easy and cheap option also.

Most buses and metros do get crowded and tickets must be bought before boarding and validated when you first get on but it is a great way to get around and see Rome if you are short on time or suffer from sore feet.

Buses #40 and #64 starts at Termini and ends near St. Peter's traveling past other places of interest, returning the same way.

Bus #75 takes you past the Colosseum

Bus #910 takes you to Villa Borghese


#64 & #40 Express Bus

Pantheon

Piazza Venezia

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

Campo de'Fiori

St. Peter's


The Electric buses that are around Rome can travel into the older parts of the city and wind around the narrow streets. Bus #116 travels though the streets of Centro Storico.


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Purchasing Bus and Metro tickets.

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These are a few of my favourite books about Rome

The Cardinal's Hat by Mary Hollingsworth
This book tells the story of one of the sons of Lucrezia Borgia who became a cardinal during the 16th century.

The Tigress of Forli by Elizabeth Lev
I love this book telling the story of Caterina Sforza who was fighting against the Borgia pope to retain the rights of her land and her freedom.

The Popes by John Julius Norwich
A detailed but easy and enjoyable book to read about the history of the papacy and the popes.

The Pope's Daughter by Caroline P Murphy
This book describes in beautiful detail, the life and times of Pope Julius II daughter, Felice della Rovere.

The Families Who Made Rome by Anthony Majanlahti
I love this Book! It explains the families who made Rome what it is as we see it today and also looks at their triumphs, scandals and failures.

Rome by Robert Hughes
This book explains Rome from its beginning and expands on the Renaissance and Baroque until present times.

The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr
Another of my favourite reads about a lost Caravaggio painting and the search for its provenance.