Places to visit when you come in Rome to stay in a central apartment
A catalogue of beauty to see while you vacation in Rome would be endless. Other than the Coliseum, the Forum, the thermal baths of Cracalla, we would like to suggest two destinations: the papal apartments at Saint Angelo’s Castel and the Vatican.
The most important non-religious building in the area called “Borgo”, is Saint Angelo’s Castel. From the point of the bridge of Victor Emanuele II on the Tiber river the Castle begins its climb of ponderous mole. It holds the national museum of Saint Angelo’s Castel where collections of armour are held, which are very much prized by tourist on vacation in Rome.
This structure was born as Hadrianeum, the monumental tomb of the emperor Adrian, who had it built on banks of the Tiber, right outside of the city, between 130 and 139 bc.
The construction of the protective walls of Aurelian will change the structure of the building. It will become a fortified outpost with the construction of surrounding walls and towers.
When the Aurelian walls were completed the reaction of the mausoleum was an iron grip, and for a long time it remained a protection for a small citizen port which rears up from the opposite side of the bridge, allowing access from the Vatican area to Rome.
During the Middle Ages, this became the main route which allowed access to Saint Peter’s from Adrian’s mausoleum, there was a porch which led right up until the front of the church, it was always crowded with nomads and peddlers who usually sold religious souvenirs.
Index of the Turism in Rome
In the forthcoming centuries and changing times we can see how the structure of the castle has varied until we get the actual appearance we see today, however, the ancient cylinder-shaped tomb is still found in the same place today, in the centre of this structure.
The name Saint Angelo comes from a legend, in 590, during an awful plague, the pope Gregory Magno saw at the very top of the structure an angel who was in the act encasing a sword, this vision marked the end of the disaster.
From the late 1100’s six different angels, or better, archangels had positioned themselves at the very top of the castle. The first, which was made of wood, was completely ruined by the continual exposure to sun, wind and rain. The second, which was made of marble and had bronze wings, was damaged during siege on Rome; the third was made to repeat the design of the second and was destroyed by a bolt of lightning. The fourth was a golden, bronze structure and had to be replaced in the 1600’s when the metals where dissolved down to make cannons, The fifth, which was once made of marble and bronze, lasted almost 200 years before it was replaced with what we see today. It is also made of bronze and was built in 1750. The fifth angel is still intact, within the castle.
Papal apartments were added on when the castle became property of the Vatican. There was a passage constructed, which led to the walls of the Vatican, in order to make Saint Angelo’s Castle even more valuable and functional. It is an armoured passage used by the popes and the higher-level citizens of the Vatican and because it is well-connected to the buildings of the Vatican through a passage, which many believed did not exist, they were able to escape and find refuge for themselves and their treasures. However, around 1550 it became a place used for the imprisonment of traitors within the Vatican, but above all for political prisoners. The passage was used as an alternative to the prison within the Ponte area of “Tor di Nona”.
Located beneath the castle we can find the cells of the prisoners, which were so small that you could neither stay standing nor laying down, and for some prisoners it was necessary to drop them in from the top of the cell in order to enter. Social elites or important prisoners where kept in different cells where there was definitely more space and at a higher level, below the apartments.
At the end of its use it became high-security prison for political prisoners of the Risorgimento. In 1870 the castle became the property of the Italian government and in the twentieth century it was converted into a museum, while its trenches became a public garden.
In these halls you can now find a national museum where vacationers can admire collections of ancient armour, ornaments, paintings and documents pertaining the history of the castle.
You can visit all of the rooms, from the prison to the pope’s apartment and to all of the richly decorate drooms. Remember the Apollo’s hall where you can find fresco painting from the school of P. del Vaga, Leone X’s chapel containing sculptures from the renaissance, the halls of Clemente VII where you can find mater pieces from G. Romano, T. Gatti, L. Signorelli and others. Where Paolo III lodged and where works of R. da Montelupo can be found; where Giulio II of Bramante lodged and the pope’s apartment with the hall decorated by P. del Vaga, D. Beccafumi and others; Adrian’s hall can also be found along with Festoni’s room, where you can see painted on the walls Saint Gerolamo of L. Lotto. Saint Angelo’s Castle is also the location of many temporary exhibitions.
Saint Angelo’s Castle and Saint Peter’s Basilica, which are now part of the Vatican state, are two locations that you cannot miss. These two places have always represented the two souls of the Borgo, that which is temporary and that which is spiritual. Both of these areas contain papal apartments, this area was the only area to receive drinking fountains, one was inspired by the castle (the Cannon Ball Fountain), and the other encouraged by the papal state, the Tiare Fountain. This is situated right outside of the column, on the north side of Piazza San Pietro, and it is represented with the papal stem, a head covering with a three-folded crown and the keys to Saint Peter’s.
A vacation in Rome has to include Saint Peter’s.
Visiting abroad while your in Rome? This is exactly what you can during your stay by entering the borders of the what is the smallest country in the world. We are talking about the Vatican City, began on February 11, 1929, following the atti Lateranensi, independently ranging over 44 acres of Italian territory, enclosed by ancient walls and bordered at Colonnato di San Pietro, Via di Porta Angelica, Piazza Risorgimento and Viale Vaticano. It is currently under the strict sovereignty of the reigning pope, who delegates the government.
It is a rarity of geopolitics that cannot compare with any other state in the world and which is worth visiting during your vacation in Rome. A city-state with a little over 500 inhabitants, a local government which rules over Public International Law and all of the its prerogatives, including their own flag, the ability to print their own stamps and make their own license plates (plates beginning with the number “1” are reserved to vehicles belonging to the state), along with ability to print their own coins. It is a rare country, dense with art: most of its territory is covered with an enormous Basilica where pilgrims come from all of over the world. Thousands of architectural and artistic masterpieces, all contained within a mile distance.
Like every respectful state there is a government which runs it, with a civil jurisdiction, with healthcare and military (even if Piazza San Pietro is
The entrances to the city or three: the Arch of the Bells,which allows visits to their gardens; the Doors of Bronze and is reserved to visits by public ufficials; and the “Porta S. Anna”.
The first thing you notice upon arrival in Via della Conciliazione is the massive Basilica and the columns that have precise meaning. It is attributed to a painting by Bernini, where the Basilica appears as a human figure, with the head represented by the dome and the arms represented by the columns. The enormous space consists of 284 columns and 140 statues of saints. The two wings of the colums are symbolically united while separating the side of Bernini’s columns. This indicates the border of the Vatican city. In the centre of the piazza the obelisk, which comes from Egypt, which carries two fountains along the side, where you can find the Doors of Bronze and it is the official entrance to the Apostolico Palace (also indicating the papal apartments). The fact that the pope appears on Sunday morning (from the upper right hand side of the piazza) creates curiosity within tourists who visit the piazza, you will always finding them looking up.
Crossing the piazza and climbing the staircase at the front of the Basilica will lead you to five doors, which allow entrance into the Saint Peter’s Basilica. She takes part of the “Patriarchal Basilicas” because his owner is the, or Patriarchy, is the pope. It is interesting to see that along the side of the pavement you can find writings, which are the lengths of other churches in the world. It can hold 60,000, and has 233 windows and 46 alters. Emerged by Constantine after 320, it was built on Peter’s tomb, here we can find works from (Raffaello Sanzio, Giuliano da Sangallo, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Vignola, Carlo Maderno, ecc.)
There are many guides on the market if what you’re looking for is an detailed artistic description, useful in helping vistors to Rome, here we will only give you a brief description of what a typical guided tour is like. As you enter, you will find the first chapel on your right, which hold Michelangeo’s Pietà, the third chapel is that of the Sacrament, closed by a Borromini gate. Following, you will see on the last obelisk you will encounter the famous statue of Saint Clemente VIII, right below the magnificent dome and right above Saint Peter’s tomb.
On the right hand side of the Basilica you can walk down the “Sacred Cave”, where you can find the tomb of various popes and some nobles, some of which were members of the “Stuart” and the Queen Crstina of Sweden. The metal staircase that leads to the cave will bring you to Pietro’s tomb. A whole world was build on the ancient Vatican world, which was to be destroyed and rebuilt as Saint Peter’s Basilica by Constantine. The first excavations, effected between 1939 and 1950, brought to light the burial ground of many buildings, and marginal streets which date back to the hills of the Vatican which led to the tomb of Pietro.
All twenty-two mausoleums were facing towards midday, to the Nerone’s circus, where Pietro was martyred. Internally, they were covered with ornate paintings and mosaic decorations, they were intended to be for high-class families of Rome. But this was only a part of the vast space, where we can find a small, empty space called “Camp P”, where the first Christians set down Pietro’s body. Above this there was a funeral home, the “trofeo di Gaio”, where the bodies lay. In the same place, centuries later, the Alter of Callisto II was built in 1123 and in 1594 the present-day alter, covered by a bronze canopy, by Bernini. The complete visit of the burial ground is unquestionably interesting (the first half is with an elevator and the second half is by foot), where you can see a beautiful view of Rome.But your visit the Vatican city doesn’t finish here, there is still plenty to see. Above all the Museums, halls, rooms and galleries, hundreds and hundreds of meters long, those which have displayed centuries of history and master piece. Three million people visit Rome every year from every part of the world, and in a recent study we find that all of them reserve a visit in their itinerary to this museum. It began to be formed in 1500, under the rule of Giulio II, in a period when the taste of beauty and passion for opera, art and culture was created. In 1508, the two nominated artists, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Raffaello Sanzio, called by the Pope, the first to be commissioned for the Sistine Chapel and Raffaello for the refreshing the environments which eventually became famous as the lavish room of Raffaello. The halls which contain these masterpieces are the most visited in the whole museum. Museums: Gregory XIII, the beautiful Gallery of Geographical Maps was born, Sisto V fixes the Apostolic Library making it a museum. Here is born the Museum of Pio Clementino, where the Pope reserved quarters in his apartments for Clementine and where we now find a museum. Here we can find, enclosed, collections of every type: Egyptian Museum, Etruscan Museum, Sistine Chapel, Borgia Apartment, Raffaello’s Room, and Galleries. Collections of Modern Art and Historical Museums. And if you happen to visit the Sistine Chapel, blessed with artistic master pieces and temples of music, remember to bring along a mirror in order to see the frescoes much easier.
Another place worth looking at is the antique caves, the “Necropoli Precostantiniana”, these can be visited through reservation by writing the Ufficio Scavi. They were used during the 1st and 4th century dC, and is where you can find Peter’s tomb. They were built in 1570 by Vignola and it is the parish house of the Vatican City. During the Christmas period you can find an enormous, beautiful manger.
On the back side of the church, between the other buildings, you can find the “Caserma” (barracks) which belongs to the Swedish Guard Duty. In 1527, when the Swedish envaded Rome and the Vatican, claiming all of the Pope’s apartments , 147 Swedish perished in order to give time to escape to Saint Angel’s Castle. From that period, May 6th, which is the day that the new recruit was sworn in . Their uniforms, which are yellow-orange-blue and red and date back to “Cinquecento”.
From the Arch of the Bells you can assess the Chambers of Paul VI: the large room projected by Pier Luigi Nervi. In this room you can seat more than 10,000 people, sitting-down, which is where, on Wednesdays, tourists can gather to participate in on the papal hearing. On the far sides of the room you can find a composition in bronze by Pericle Fazzini. From the same entrance you can enter into the gardens which lead from the Basilica to the walls of the Vatican on Viale Vaticano. It is a pleasant visit for any time of the year, but in particularly during late sping, the best period for your vacation in Rome. After having passed Piazza S. Marta you will continue onwards toward the Governor’s Palace. From this point on we begin to see the bushes and fountains, trees, the roses and parts of the garden that are fixed in an “Italian” way. The “Galera” fountain is famous, desired by Carlo Maderno, but the others are equally beautiful (the “Fountain of the Mirrors” and the “Fountain of the Kites”). Father away you see the apartments where you can find the origin of the Vatican Radio, (where can now be found in Piazza Pia). A helipcopter was exatred from the far west side of the garden
Access to the Vatican City is only allowed to visitors properly dressed: you cannot wear shorts, mini-skirts, and tank tops.
Information Office for Tourists
Piazza San Pietro, 00120 – Vatican City
Tel. 06-698.84466 / 06-69884866
Saint Peter’s Basilica: open every day from 7:00-7:00pm, April through September and from 7:00-6:00pm, October through March
Museo Storico-Artistico (Tesoro): open every day from 9:00-6:30pm, April through September and from 5:30-6:00pm, October through March. The entrance is found in first aisle on the left-hand side of the Basilica.
Dome: open every day from 8:00-6:00pm, April through September and from 8:00-5:00pm, October through March. The entrance is found on the main porch of the Basilica.
Sacre Grotte Vaticane (The Pope’s Tomb) is open every day from 7:00-6:00pm, April through September and from 7:00-5:00pm, October through March. The entrance is found on the right hand side of the Basilica.
Necropoli Precostantiniana e Saint Peter’s Tomb: access is possibile with reserved tour guide, you can make reservations at the “Ufficio Scavi”, open weekdays from 9:00-5:00pm, tel. +39-06-698.85318, fax +39-06-698.85518. The entrance is found at the “Arco delle Campane”.
Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel are open on weekdays from 8:45-1:00pm. Through March 16th to October 31st they are opened on weekdays from 8:45-4:00pm and on Saturday until 1:00pm. On the last Sunday of the month they are open with free entrance from 8:45 until 1:00pm. For information you can contact tel. +39 06-698.83333, 06-698.84466, 06-698.84866.
Vatican Gardens: access is possible in the morning, however, you must reserve your tour with a guide through the Tourist Information Office found in Piazza San Pietro, tel. +39 06-698.84466, 06-698.84866.
Mass and other ceremonies with the Pope: to participate during mass, which is held on Wednesday morning, and to the other ceremonies celebrated by the Pope, it is necessary to reserve your free invitation, in doing so you must send a fax (+39 06 6988 5863) to the Prefettura della Casa Pontificia, opened on weekdays from 9:00-1:00pm, tel. 06-6988.3114; 06-69884876; 06-69883273.You can pick up your tickets the day before the event, or even that morning, at the Prefettura. The entrance for the Prefettura is found at the “Portone di Bronze”, found at the last set of columns on the right hand side of the Basilica.
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