There are some places that fuel the imagination and open the mind to centuries of life that fill every history book. For me, Rome is that place. The Vatican, The Colosseum, The Pantheon, The Spanish Steps, The Trevi Fountain, The Sistene Chapel … so much to see and experience in Rome!
This year was my third year in a row to visit Rome with my family … (I am very grateful!) … and we wanted to spend some time in a place we had not yet been or seen. After some research, we decided upon the Castel Sant’Angelo. It turned out to be perfect.
The Castel Sant’Angelo is a gargantuan cylindrical fortress that sits just beside the River Tiber and the Vatican. From the outside, it isn’t inspiring, since its worn bricks and rough-hewn walls look shabby compared to the nearby Vatican. But, on the inside, it is another story … or two. Dan Brown used the Castel Sant’Angelo in his novel Angels and Demons, and Puccini’s opera Tosca, Floria Tosca famously throws herself from the Castel rooftop to evade capture.
Built in 139 AD as the tomb for the Roman emporer Hadrian, the Castel Sant’Angelo has survived for almost 2000 years as a fortress, a hideout for Popes in times of war, a lavish castle, and now a museum.
My favorite part was not the frescoed rooms of the elaborate apartments inside …
Or the dungeons (my boys loved that!) and the stacks of cannonballs … But the view from the rooftop.
The thunderstorms in the distance made for a very dramatic backdrop on the day we were there.
And, of course, I loved the sculptures, especially on the bridge across the Tiber, by the famed Bernini.
My recommendation for visitors to Rome: Plan to visit the Castel Sant’Angelo. The views, the dungeons, the elaborate museum– it gives a great range of the essence of Rome in one building, steps away from the Vatican.
Question for you: Have you been to Rome? What is your favorite spot in Rome?
P.S.: I have been working on converting my non-fiction book with Tyndale, The One Year Mini for Busy Women, into an e-book because the rights have reverted to me now … just in time for the start of the Christmas gift-giving season, and for the beginning of 2012. I’ve retitled the book EnJoy Today: Inspirations for Every Day, and it still is made up of one short inspiration for each day of the year. I’m excited about it, with the new title and new cover and preface. I hope you like it, too!
See my Books page for links, or click here for Kindle and Nook, and it is priced at $4.99 per e-book. In the coming week or two, I’ll be working on formalizing the links, finishing getting iBooks set up, and asking for help with reviews and getting the word out. If you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them! Also, here is a link to my Facebook page, where I’ll try to run the promos and discussion.
Thank you in advance for your help and enthusiasm!