We have passed it so many times and have said, “What is that place?” It looked a bit OUT of place between the Vatican to the left and the modern buildings surrounding it. It seemed a distance from the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. But, no matter, we were going to find the day when lines were shorter and learn more about it. There were attempts made. But the line always seemed endless, and endless is not in the vocabulary of a 5yo.
But we selected a day. A day in August. Yes, blazing heat, but we were going for it. We purchased the three audioguides, yes three. The 5yo is a learning sponge. He is obsessed with listening to every detail. When we were in London he was annoyed that it was not provided with his ticket, but with mine. We shared it and I vowed never to do it again. Sharing and patience to get to the next area are not his strengths.
The Castel Sant’Angelo was the original tomb of Emperor Hadrian, for whom it was originally built. There was magnificent marble aligning the corridors, walls ceilings. There were many Emperors buried there after him. I guess you could say he was a trendsetter. However, during the Sack of Rome, this was all destroyed. Today you can only see the holes of what once was. After a great plague in 590 the Statue of St. Micheal was then placed at the top and the Castle was given its present name. But later this became a Papal fortress, residence and also a prison. It served as a hiding place for the Papacy during times of war.
My son was a little annoyed that there were holes in the corridors, meaning he was a bit disappointed in the looters behavior. I think he forgot all about this when we reached the top of the Castle and were able to have a look out over Rome. The view was amazing.