Castel Sant’Angelo: Discover one of Rome’s hidden treasures

Discover one of Rome’s hidden treasures: Castel Sant’Angelo. This fascinating historical monument offers spectacular panoramic views of the city and houses a collection of intriguing artifacts.

In this article, we’ll take you on a tour of the main attractions of Castel Sant’Angelo, explain why this place is so popular among tourists, and reveal an interesting fact about its history. We’ll also provide practical tips on how to get there, where to stay nearby, and the activities to do in the surrounding area.

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Castel Sant'Angelo: Discover one of Rome's hidden treasures

What can you see at Castel Sant’Angelo?

Castel Sant’Angelo offers a variety of tourist attractions, including:

  • The Pope’s Loggia, a balcony that offers stunning views of Rome.
  • The historical apartments of the Pope, adorned with frescoes and stucco decorations.
  • The Papal Prison, where prisoners were once detained.
  • The collection of weapons and armor, with historical pieces ranging from ancient times to the modern era.
  • The Museum of Music, which displays ancient and rare instruments.
  • The Courtyard of Honor and the Bastions, which are impressive examples of military architecture. Visitors can also explore the history of the castle and its usage through the centuries, as well as enjoy panoramic views of the city from the top.

Why is Castel Sant’Angelo so popular ?

The Castel Sant’Angelo is an important historical and cultural monument in Rome, attracting many tourists each year due to its fascinating history and impressive architecture.

Originally built as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian, the castle has been used over the centuries as a military fortress, prison, papal residence, and museum. Today, the Castel Sant’Angelo is an iconic landmark of the city, offering stunning panoramic views of Rome and immersion into the history of the city and the papacy.

Visitors are also drawn to the collection of art objects, weapons, and armor on display in the castle, as well as cultural events held on-site.

Interesting fact about Castel Sant’Angelo

In the 16th century, Pope Clement VII ordered the construction of a secret corridor connecting the Vatican to the castle, to allow for a quick escape in case of emergency. This corridor was first used in 1527 during the sack of Rome by the imperial troops of Charles V, when Pope Clement VII escaped from the Vatican to take refuge at the Castel Sant’Angelo. The secret passage, known as the Passetto di Borgo, is still visible today and can be visited during certain guided tours of the castle.

How to get to Castel Sant’Angelo?

There are several ways to get to the Castel Sant’Angelo. If you are in the historic center of Rome, you can easily walk to the castle by crossing the Ponte Sant’Angelo bridge over the Tiber River.

You can also take the Metro line A and get off at the Lepanto or Ottaviano station, then walk about 10-15 minutes to the castle. If you prefer public transportation, several city buses also stop near the castle, including lines 23, 34, 49, and 87.

Finally, if you are driving, there is a public parking lot near the castle where you can park for a fee.

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What are the accommodations options near Castel Sant’Angelo?

There are a variety of accommodation options near the Castel Sant’Angelo, suitable for different budgets and preferences. Here are some suggestions:

  • Luxury hotels: There are several luxury hotels near the Castel Sant’Angelo, such as the Hotel de Russie, Hotel Eden, and Hotel Ponte Sisto. These hotels offer spacious rooms, spa and wellness facilities, and spectacular views of the city.
  • Mid-range hotels: There are also many mid-range hotels in the area, such as Hotel Adriatic, Hotel Sant’Angelo, and Hotel dei Mellini. These hotels offer comfortable rooms, friendly service, and modern amenities.
  • Apartments and vacation homes: If you prefer a more independent option, you can also rent an apartment or vacation home near the Castel Sant’Angelo. Sites like Airbnb and offer a variety of options, ranging from simple studios to spacious apartments with multiple bedrooms.
  • Hostels: For budget-conscious travelers, there are also hostels near the castle, such as Rome Downtown Hostel and Mosaic Central Hostel. These hostels offer economical dormitories as well as private rooms at affordable prices.

What are the other activities to do near Castel Sant’Angelo ?

There are plenty of activities to do around the Castel Sant’Angelo that cater to different interests. Here are some suggestions:

  • Visit St. Peter’s Basilica: The magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica is just a short walk away from the Castel Sant’Angelo. This iconic Catholic church is famous for its stunning architecture, beautiful artworks, and historical significance.
  • Explore the Vatican Museums: The Vatican Museums, which house an impressive collection of art and artifacts from ancient times to the present day, are also nearby. The highlight of the museum is undoubtedly the Sistine Chapel, with its breathtaking ceiling painted by Michelangelo.
  • Walk along the Tiber River: The Tiber River is a beautiful place to stroll along, with scenic views of the city and plenty of cafes and restaurants along the way. You can also take a boat tour of the river for a unique perspective of the city.
  • Shop and dine in Prati: The Prati neighborhood, located just north of the Vatican, is known for its stylish boutiques, cozy cafes, and excellent restaurants. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon shopping, people-watching, or enjoying a leisurely meal.
  • Explore Trastevere: The charming Trastevere neighborhood, located on the other side of the Tiber River, is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Its narrow streets, lively piazzas, and historic buildings create a charming atmosphere that’s perfect for exploring on foot.
  • Visit Piazza Navona: The picturesque Piazza Navona, with its magnificent Baroque architecture and charming fountains, is another popular attraction in Rome. It’s a great place to soak up the atmosphere, enjoy some gelato, and people-watch.

See all our articles about things to do in Rome

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