National Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome

National Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome (must see)

Standing on the right bank of the River Tiber in Rome, the beautifully kept cylindrical tower of Castel Sant’ Angelo is a home to the eponymous museum. Commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, the building initially served as a mausoleum for the emperor and his family. In the 5th century AD, it was turned into a fortress and, in the 14th century, converted again, this time into a castle and a prison combined. It also served as a hideaway for the popes during the periods of unrest, wars, etc. For that purpose, there is a walking path to the castle, with the papal apartments in it, leading straight from the Vatican City. The remnants of war, such as canons and armor, are there to be seen even today; however, over time, the apartments became more decorated, some quite cutely actually.

There is a good deal of walking around this museum involved, but it seems like a good way to pass an hour or two embarking on an excursion through centuries, which is also quite easy to navigate on one's own. There is also a special tour offered into the Passetto, a hidden passageway taken by popes from Vatican into the castle, which is quite fascinating.

To wrap up the experience on a pleasant note, visitors are advised to check out the on-site coffee shop which, apart from decent coffee itself, offers some truly amazing views of St. Peter's Basilica and, if you care to climb all the way up to the rooftop terrace, a spectacular panorama of Rome and Vatican City. It is, therefore, highly recommended to pick a bright day to appreciate these views to the maximum or to come in the evening and see the city in its night ambiance.

Why You Should Visit:
An interesting combination of war times, art, religion, and pure history.
The bridge leading to it has beautiful statues, as well.

Tip:
Climb up all the way to the top for spectacular panoramic views of Rome and Vatican City!
You may bring water and snacks to the castle, or have a snack/espresso at the café upstairs.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-7:30pm
CLOSED: Jan 1st, May 1st, Dec 25th

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Rome. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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National Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo on Map

Sight Name: National Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo
Sight Location: Rome, Italy (See walking tours in Rome)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Rome, Italy

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Hidden Art Treasures in Rome

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
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Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles

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