|Piazza San Pietro or St. Peter's Square, Vatican City, Rome|
If this is your first visit to Rome, Italy, and you’re not sure where to start, where to go or what to do, then seek out the "Path of Illumination," pun intended, on one of the most popular tours in Rome – “Angels and Demons Tour.” Direct from Dan Brown’s highly acclaimed bestseller “Angels and Demons,” this tour introduces Rome’s most famous landmarks as you follow in the footsteps of Brown’s fictional character Robert Langdon as he sets out to rescue the cardinals and save the Vatican from impending doom. Not only is this a great way to familiarize yourself with the lay of the land, it’s quite the fun-filled adventure through the eternal city, whether you’ve read the book or not! Your guide? Well, angels and demons of course – okay, sort of.
|Piazza del Popolo|
Before we proceed any further, let’s revisit the story. If you remember, Robert and Vittoria were heading to the Pantheon – the 2000-year-old church designed originally by Agrippa in 27 BC – after incorrectly deciphering the clues to save the first kidnapped cardinal. After they had realized their mistake, they raced off to Santa Maria del Popolo in search of a “demon hole” in hopes of saving him. This is where your tour begins despite the slight deviation in sequence of locations from the story. Don’t worry, the Pantheon will come next.
|Demon Hole or Ossuary Annex inside the Chigi Chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo|
|Bas-relief image of angel blowing to east. Located in St. Peter's Square|
|Ecstasy of St. Teresa inside Santa Maria della Vittoria|
|Bernini's "Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona|
Finally, we arrived at the entrance of Castel Sant’Angelo where we walked around the curving ramps inside the castle to the top for a most stunning view of the Tiber River and of surrounding Rome. However, this is where the story and our tour comes to an end. Robert rescued Vittoria, saved the Vatican from destruction, and our tour guide rescued us with an espresso and pastry at a nearby café. A most fitting end, don’t you think?
|View from atop Castel Sant'Angelo|