On the 4th day of my solo and second trip to Italy, I decided to visit a new place located not very far from the Vatican. Castel Sant’Angelo is a cylindrical building commissioned by the Emperor Hadrian in 135 AD to serve as mausoleum for him and his family. Through the years, it has become a fortress, a castle, a prison, and now, a museum. I took the bus to get there, stopping by to get a gelato, and crossing the bridge across the river Tiber and on to the towering edifice that is Castel Sant’Angelo.
It was my last day in Hotel Serena, so I had to check out and leave my luggage in a storage near Roma Termini station. I don’t know why, but breakfast in that hotel tended to be very sweet. Anyway, it was tough to find a storage. I met a few tourists who were also walking back and forth, trying to score a storage facility. I ended up leaving my luggage in the facility inside the station – which was okay, despite the long line and the extra fee.
I then took the bus to the castle. It was Day 4 and I felt like I was getting the hang of Rome, like I knew its streets, nature and culture like the back of my hand. Not to sound cocky, but the hustle and bustle and the crowds reminded me a lot of Manila, where I lived for 5 long years. Because of the luggage fiasco and the late bus, I arrived at the destination at 11:10 am, which I considered “late” for sight-seeing, or “late” to avoid the throngs of tourists. Oh well. I got off at Ponte Vittorio Emanuele and enjoyed some gelato to cool my head before continuing the trip. So many flavors to choose from..
To get to the castle, I had to cross an old three-arched bridge, the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II bridge, across the river Tiber. The bridge was lined with beautiful statues of angels, and of street performers and vendors.
I even saw a pigeon tiptoe-ing on the bridge.
I bought the ticket to the castle museum, not really knowing what to expect. Some parts of it were ruins, and there were reminders of uneven (even slippery) floors. The spiral staircase had low steps. And then, there were small windows with cannons, a reminder that it was once used as a fortress.
The next thing I saw were big windows, beautifully painted and decorated ceilings, tiled floors, and a golden statue of Saint Michael the Archangel. That is also where the castle got its name, by the way. According to legend, St. Michael appeared on top of the castle, marking the end of the plague in 590 AD. A statue of the angel was also erected on the rooftop.
The Castel Sant’Angelo was once the tallest building in Rome. Even if it isn’t now, it still provides beautiful panoramic views of the ancient city and the surrounding areas, including the Vatican. I enjoyed some refreshing time on watching the tiny, tiny humans moving on the bridge and in the streets. It was very windy on the rooftop! I also saw the winged statue of the Archangel with his sword.
The castle was worth a visit! Although I thought that there weren’t too many visitors on that day.
I left the castle museum at 12:30pm, crossed the bridge, and found a place to eat. I was starving. I really didn’t enjoy the glimpses of the locals though. The waiter was also a bit grumpy, and welcomed me with “Are you eating?”, in a tone that seemed to say, he was ready to shoo me away if I wasn’t. Anyway, it looked like I was the only tourist in that semi-full restaurant. I tried not to let the looks bother me and just enjoyed my pasta. After that, I took the public bus again going back to the city center.
At 2pm, I was in the station, waiting for my aunt and his boyfriend. I was sleeping over at her place for a night, and then, we’re off to San Marino. I wanted to treat her before she goes home to the Philippines for good. She was out at 5pm, so I went window-shopping to kill time.
We had some pizza for dinner before leaving the city center, and rice and chicken adobo in her apartment. My tummy and heart was full! I get so hungry just looking at these food photos.
So, this was 4th day. I’m excited to make an entry of the 5th and 6th day, when we toured San Marino, the oldest republic in the world. 🙂 For now, I gotta rest. I have a looooong week ahead. Ciao! #spreadloveandpositivevibes
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