Castel Sant'Angelo' s Evening Spectacular!

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Flag of Italy  , Lazio,
Wednesday, September 2, 2009

While preparing for our trip, I noticed how many excursions popped up related to Dan Brown's novel Angel and Demons and the Di Vinci Code. I must admit I loved both books but enjoyed the Angels and Demons the most. Yes, I know it was unrealistic! But what fan of doesn’t remember Robert Langdon’s search for that underground tunnel in the Castel Sant’Angelo that leads our protagonist back to the Vatican and directly into the pope's chambers. The Castel Sant’Angelo was originally built as a mausoleum for the emperor Hadrian in 139 AD, rises above the Tiber River. Later it was transformed into a prison and torture facility.

Well—I came across an event that caught my fancy that didn’t seem touristy just intriguing. During the summer months, ordinary people can actually trace the route that was used to smuggle popes and their cronies from the Vatican to Castel Sant’ Angelo.  The opportunity to walk the  "Il Passetto di Borgo" is only one of the events that visitors to Rome can enjoy at the annual “Lively nights on the terraces of Castel Sant’Angelo.”

The more I read about the celebration I knew we were going one of our nights we were in Rome. Boy, was I glad I had booked tickets before we came via Flashbooking on the internet (8 Euros each). The doors open at 8:45 in the evening and we leisurely strolled toward the Tiber and Ponte Sant'Angelo. To our surprise, mass consisting of 4-5 people abreast stretched half way across the bridge waited to buy tickets (10 Euros at door). We were able to walk right in as we already had our passes in hand.

Five floors designed with winding ramps, papal apartments, terraces and clandestine corridors, lead live music, cabaret, magic shows, exhibitions + food and wine. We began with the “Il Passetto di Borgo” is a tunnel that soon turns into a walkway, with gashes in the wall for light and air. You walk back the same way you started. Upon our return we searched out one of the terraces and order a Prosecco and admired the vista and enjoyed the jazz.

The evening was magical. We wandered through the 3 terraces that had different types of entertainment. One was set up just for children and included puppet shows, and magicians. Another exhibit included the model for ancient building and further along rooms filled with exquisite jewelry crafted by Italian artisans.

Nighttime in Rome from the Terrace on the Castel Sant’angelo was a unique and spectacular experience not to be missed it you can time your trip with the event.
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