We will first visit the St. Maria del Popolo
Church. Santa Maria del Popolo was constructed during the Crusades
. It is considered today one of the most important works of the Renaissance
. The interior is enriched by the extraordinary chapel, the Capella Chigi
, one of Raphael's
most important architectonic works. In “Angels and Demons”
, the Chigi Chapel represents the element of Earth
. This unique church is remarkably rich with symbolism and tombs, many that you can discover right beneath your feet!
Be sure that you also go down the nave and look into the left hand transept inside the Cappella Cerasi
where there are two exceptional masterpieces by Caravaggio
: the Conversion of St. Paul
and the Crucifixion of St. Peter
Our next visit will be to the St. Maria della Vittoria
church, built in 1605 and dedicated to St. Paul
. In 1620, it was rededicated to the Virgin Mary
. This church has many fascinating aspects. It is the home of famed sculptor, Bernini’s
‘Ecstasy of St. Theresa
’. The sculpture depicts a vision that St. Theresa experienced of an angel piercing her heart with a shaft of gold. She claimed that she experienced both pain and great joy during this vision.
In “Angels and Demons”
, this jewel of a church represents the element of Fire.
From here, we will journey on to the Pantheon,
once the temple of all Roman gods. During the 7th century it became a church and burial place for kings and artists. One such famous artist mentioned in “Angels and Demons”
and whose tomb can be seen inside the Pantheon is Raphael.
And now we will visit
the Piazza Navona
. This piazza is virtually filled with light and sculpture. It is exceptionally long due to the ruins that formed it. Beneath the buildings that surround Piazza Navona are the remains of the Circus Domitianus
, Domitian's stadium.
Piazza Navona is famous for its centerpiece created by Bernini
: Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi
or The Fountain of Four Rivers
that represents the rivers flowing through the four known continents during the 1600’s: the Nile
. Erected in its center is a tall obelisk with the family symbol of Pope Innocent X
who commissioned the project.
This fountain is also the setting in “Angels and Demons”
for the scene that represents the element of Water
Located on the western side of the piazza is the charming church of Sant'Angese in Agone.
Legend tells us that it was here that young Agnese was exposed naked before being martyred for refusing to marry the Roman Prefect’s son, but a miracle occurred when she was covered with thick hair appearing to cover her body. The church was commissioned by Pope Innocent X in 1652.
And on we go to Castel Sant’ Angelo,
one of the significant settings in “Angels and Demons”.
This overwhelming structure was originally the tomb of the Emperor Hadrian
. The ashes of his wife, Sabina, and the ashes of his first adopted son, Lucius Aelius, are also within the Castel.
In the 14th century, the popes converted the structure into a castle. Pope Nicholas III
connected the castle to St. Peter's Basilica by a covered fortified corridor called the Passetto di Borgo
that ensured the safe passage for Popes into the castle during dangerous times.
After lunch, you will visit the smallest country in the world, the Vatican
Please note that the Vatican museum is closed on Sundays.
After lunch, you will visit the tiniest country in the world, the Vatican
Our first stop will be the Vatican Museums
where you will be amazed and delighted at the vast collection of masterpieces, including the Raphael Rooms
and the Sistine Chapel
Admission to the Museum is 14 Euros per person and visitors are required to check-in bags, tripods, backpacks or bulky luggage. In this case, we strongly suggest you leave large items inside the van with the driver for safe keeping because checking in these items at the museum will result in delays when exiting. Also be advised that there is a security point before museum with a metal detector and X-ray machine for your personal items much like you see in airports, so kindly leave sharp items behind.
The Vatican Museums
is one of the three largest museums in the world
with a labyrinth of galleries and halls that can be very confusing and many of the significant pieces of art can be overlooked. For this reason and and to get the most out of your visit to the Vatican, we highly recommend that you allow us to book a personal English speaking licensed tour guide
for you inside the Vatican. We can reserve a guide for you at a price of 120 Euro for two hours up to six people, and 150 Euros for two hours up to eight people. This fee is paid directly to the tour guide at the end of the service. Please notify us in advance if you’d like to book a private tour guide since during peak travel season they get booked quickly.
It will take two hours
to visit the Museums
, The Sistine Chape
l and St. Peter’s Basilica
. Most visitors prefer to visit the Raphael Rooms
and the Sistine Chapel
, the most popular areas in the museums. Photography and videography are permitted inside the museums (in some areas flash photography is not allowed), but it is strictly prohibited inside the Sistine Chapel
Please remember that a modest dress code is enforced inside St Peter’s Basilica
: this means no bare shoulders
and no bare knees
. Capri-type pants are completely acceptable for ladies and men can wear shorts if they are long enough to cover the knees.
St Peter’s Basilica was the most important setting in the story of “Angels and Demons”
with St Peter’s Square
representing the element of Air.
Photography is allowed in St. Peter’s Basilica because most of the immense artworks are made in the mosaic style which is not harmed by photography or flash. The Vatican has the largest mosaic school in the world. If you would like to see the original paintings that were used to complete the mosaics in St. Peter’s, you can see them in the Pinoteca
room in the Vatican Museums
In the movie, St Peter’s Basilica and Square, along with the other churches, the Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, were movie sets created and filmed at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California). This tour offers the excellent opportunity to visit these magnificent places as they exist in real life, while enjoying the lively scenery around Rome as seen in the film.
This marks the end of the Angels and Demons Tour
. From here, your driver will drive you back to your hotel or port.
We thank you for choosing Stefano Rome Tours
for your guided tours in Rome and beyond, and we wish you safe and happy travels!