Every summer Castel Sant’Angelo opens its doors after its regular closing time, with concerts, exhibitions, tours and even a panoramic Cafeteria and Restaurant. For “Notti d’estate a Castel Sant’Angelo”, from July to September, sections that are generally closed to public, are accessible with guided tours.

The medieval prisons, the Stufetta (bathroom) of Pope Clement VII, the Passetto (small passage), and, from 2014, the Mole (the mill dated back to the end of the sixteenth century, for Castello’s garrison), can all be visited with guided tours, included in the admission ticket.

From 2015 will be open to the public for the first time, also the Cagliostra, a “luxury prison” designed for prisoners of respect, which owes its name to one of the most famous prisoners who lived there, the Count of Cagliostro. The environment, as well as the two adjacent dressing rooms, are frescoed by the hand of Luzio Luzi.

Rome_passetto_night_outsideThe Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as Castel Sant’Angelo (Castle of the Holy Angel), was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. The popes converted the structure into a castle. In 1277 Pope Nicholas III connected the Castle to St Peter’s Basilica by a covered fortified corridor called the Passetto di Borgo, or simply Passetto (in the photo above): an approximately 800 meters long elevated passage, built on the ancient walls that delimited the Leonina Citadel. This was an escape route for the Pope to escape to the Castel in case of danger. It offers a wonderful and unusual point of view on the Eternal City.

The Papal state also used Sant’Angelo as a prison: Giordano Bruno, for example, was imprisoned there for six years; other prisoners were the sculptor Benvenuto Cellini and the occultist Cagliostro. Executions were performed in the small inner courtyard. The little and dark prison cells, now open to the public, had been used from Renaissance to nineteenth century.

Stufetta_di_Clemente_VIIThe Stufetta was the bathroom of Popes, a very rare example of bathroom of the Renaissance, a masterpiece of architecture and decorative art dating back to the first half of 16th Century. It is made of three compartments: one as a changing room, one for the heating of the water (that was transported with pipes under the floor), and one, the real bathroom, with a bath tub, all decorated with frescos.

  • Guided tours are available from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8.30 p.m. to 1.00 a.m. (last entrance at midnight), in Italian and English language: guided tours are included in the entrance ticket (booking compulsory). On July, tours are available every day (also on Mondays). The tours of Historical Prisons and Clement VII’s Bathroom will not be allowed during the concerts.
  • Concerts: every week, starting at 9.30 p.m., there will be Concerts of classical, opera and jazz music in the Crossbow Courtyard. Here you can see the program of the events, or download it.
  • From Tuesday to Sunday, till midnight you can also enjoy an exhibition on WWI, in Sala delle Colonne.

For further information, booking online and concerts schedule, see the official web site.

Photos source: www.castelsantangelo.com

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