Castel Sant'Angelo

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if you're looking for a top-notch historical spot in Rome, look no further than Castello Sant'Angelo, also known as the Hadrian's Mausoleum. This towering cylindrical fortress is located on the banks of the Tiber River and it's definitely a must-see. Built in the 2nd century AD as a mausoleum for the Roman Emperor Hadrian and his family, it's been a castle, a fortress, a prison, and even a papal residence. So you can imagine the history in this joint.

Now, when's the best time to visit? Spring and fall are the perfect seasons, weather-wise, but honestly, any time is a good time to visit. You'll get different perspectives depending on the season, but no matter when you go, you'll be able to catch the beautiful views of Rome and the Tiber River from the terrace.

But honestly, the best time to visit is any time you're in Rome. You won't regret it.

Interesting things to know about Castel Sant'Angelo

  • Fun fact: The castle is said to have been built on the site of a vision of the Archangel Michael. According to legend, the angel appeared to Pope Gregory the Great in the 6th century, sheathing his sword to signal the end of a plague. This is why the castle is named "Castello Sant'Angelo" or "Castle of the Holy Angel."
  • Curiosity: The castle was originally built as a mausoleum for the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD. Hadrian's ashes, along with those of his family and successors, were placed inside the structure. Later on, it was used as a fortress and castle by the Popes, and it was also used as a prison, mostly for noble prisoners and political enemies.
  • Interesting fact: The castle has a secret corridor, the Passetto di Borgo, which connects the castle to the Vatican Palace. The Pope could use it to flee the Vatican in case of emergency. It also served as a route for the Pope to reach the castle for leisure or to visit prisoners. The secret passage is over 800 meters long.

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