Visit to Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome: timetables, prices and advice

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Joel Fulleda

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The monumental is located on the right bank of the Tiber river Sant'Angelo castel, also known as Mausoleum of Hadrian. Steeped in history, this attraction located a few steps from the Vatican, also boasts the presence of an important museum, joined in 2014 of the Lazio Museum Complex and directly managed by ours Ministry of Cultural Heritage.


  1. Hours and prices
  2. Online tickets and guided tours
  3. What to see and how to visit Castel Sant'Angelo
  4. Where is it and how to get there
  5. Useful tips for visiting the attraction
  6. Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
  7. User questions and comments

Hours and prices

  • Every day 09: 00-19: 30
  • Best time to avoid queues: at opening and at lunchtime
  • Closure: 1 January, 1 May and 25 December (except for extraordinary provisions by MIBACT)
  • full € 15,00 + € 1,00 presale (price subject to changes in case of exhibitions and extraordinary events)
  • Reductions: young people from the European Union aged between 18 and 25 pay € 2,00 + € 1,00 for presale
  • Free: first Sunday of the month from October to March, under 18, disabled people with their accompanying person, MIBACT employees (subject to card), EU teachers and students enrolled in the Academies of Fine Arts, by showing the registration certificate for the year academic in progress. However, € 1,00 is expected for pre-sale fee
  • Terms of Payment: tickets can be purchased online or directly on site. The ticket office accepts payment by debit card, Visa, MasterCard and Maestro.
  • Contact us: +39 06 32810 - Call center active from Monday to Friday 9: 00-18: 00; Saturday 9: 00-13: 00. Call for guided tours bookings (recommended for groups of at least 15 people).

Online tickets and guided tours

What to see and how to visit Castel Sant'Angelo

The Castle proposes a path to discover the seven levels, which allows the visitor to retrace the history of Rome. It offers wonderful panoramic views, splendid frescoed rooms, and other curious elements of interesting historical value.

Here are some of them:

  • The historical Prisons: underground rooms probably built at the behest of Alexander VI Borgia.
  • The Olearie: environments once used for food storage
  • The courtyard of Leo X: also called 'il Forno', it was the place where the fire was lit to heat the waters of the overhanging bath of Clement VII
  • The bath of Clement VII: ancient bathroom of the pontiff, full of curious frescoes characterized by sphinxes, dolphins and imaginative marine animals, but also heraldic symbols and mythological scenes connected to water.
  • The Passetto di Borgo: fortified passage about 800 meters long that connects the castle to the Vatican palaces, used in the past as an escape route for the popes.
  • The National Museum: hosts various exhibitions, most of which are accessible to the public. There are 4 areas, one dedicated to ceramics, one to sculptures, one to paintings, and the last to the Armory.
  • level 7 is a large terrace on which rests the statue of San Michele and from which you can enjoy a beautiful view over the whole city.

As you can imagine, this castle is rich in history, inside every corner deserves to be seen. But now let's find out together what the 10 works to see in Castel Sant'Angelo.

1 - Bust of the Emperor Hadrian

This bust, datable to about the middle of the second century AD, depicts the emperor Hadrian, who wanted the construction of the Castel Sant'Angelo. The bust is located in the external cordonade of Paul II, precisely inside a niche at the end of a flight of stairs.

  • Author: unknown
  • Date: mid nd century

2 - Bell of Mercy

The Bell of Mercy is located on level 7, on the Angel's Terrace. He also calls the bell "of the condemned", it was used to announce capital executions which took place on the lower floor, in the Cortile delle Shooting.

  • Author: unknown
  • Date: unknown

3 - Statue of Archangel Michael in the Terrace

The Archangel Michael is a bronze statue measuring 4,70 x 5,40 meters. The original is currently exhibited in the Sala della Rotonda. What you will see at level 7, on the Terrace of the Angel, near the Bell of Mercy, is a copy made of stainless steel and titanium.

  • Author: Peter Anton Verschaffelt
  • Date: 1752

4 - Statue of St. Michael the Archangel in the Cortile degli Angeli

This statue of the Archangel Michael is also worth seeing during your visit. This is 3,30 meters high, is made of marble and copper and has been placed in the Cortile degli Angeli since 1910.

  • Author: Raffaello da Montelupo
  • Date: 1752

5 - Portrait of Prospero Farinacci

This painting is one of the few portraiture works painted by Giuseppe Cesari, known as the Cavalier d'Arpino. The subject of the painting is Prospero Farinacci, a famous jurist and lawyer, and is represented seated at a table, with an open book, pointing to a blank sheet, on which there is the author's signature.

  • Author: Giuseppe Cesari
  • Date: 1607

6 - Feast of the Gods - Copy by Giovanni Bellini

The author of this work is unfortunately unknown, but the painting represents a copy of the one painted by Giovanni Bellini around 1509 and now exhibited at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. Another copy, also datable to the th century, is instead kept at the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh.

  • Author: unknown
  • Date: th century

7 - Cardinal Gozzadini receives James III Stuart

The setting of this painting is described by Crespi in "The vine of Bolongnese painters" (1769). The painting shows the moment when Cardinal Gozzadini receives the King of England James III Stuart in Imola, passing by on his way to visit the city of Rome.

  • Author: Antonio Gionima
  • Date: 1717/1719

8 - Young woman with unicorn

This oil painting on canvas shows a young woman sitting on the ground next to a unicorn. The girl looks towards us and with a finger points to the creature at her side, almost inviting us to observe it.

  • Author: Luca Longhi
  • Date: 1535/1540

9 - Lamentation over the dead Christ

These sculptures are made of carved, carved and painted wood. The scene represented is that of the moment when the body of Christ is taken down from the cross and the people around him feel sorry for him. The author is unknown, although recent studies attribute the work to a workshop of Lombard / Piedmontese origin.

  • Author: Lombard manufacture
  • Date: mid-th century

10 - Madonna with Child and Saints

This work is an oil on panel then transferred to canvas. The scene represented is that of the Madonna with the baby Jesus in her arms, surrounded by Saints Peter, Paul, Bernard and Stephen.

  • Author: Luca Signorelli
  • Date: 1515/1520

Where is it and how to get there

  • On foot: about 700 meters from Piazza Navona (10 minutes) and less than 800 meters from St. Peter's Square (12 minutes) - Get directions.
  • By metro: Line A, Lepanto or Ottaviano stops (both about 15 minutes on foot).
  • By bus: lines 62, 23, 271, 982, 280 (get off at Piazza Pia, then walk for 3 min), line 40 (get off at the terminus Piazza Pia, then walk for 3 min), line 34 (get off at via di Porta Castello, then on foot for 5 min), lines 49, 87, 926, 990 (get off at the Piazza Cavour terminus or at the Via Crescenzio stop, then walk for 6-8 min), lines 64, 46 (get off at Santo Spirito, then walk for 5 min).

Useful tips for visiting the attraction

Sometimes you can wait in line, waiting for your ticket and entry to the attraction, too more than 20 minutes. If patience is not your forte you can follow our tips, or postpone the visit to less crowded days (usually, weekends can turn out to be real "bolge", which is why it is preferable to reserve the visit to Castel Sant ' Angelo during the weekdays).

  1. Get up early: we advise you to arrive at the museum at least half an hour before the opening time and, if you want to save time, to book the visit online
  2. Buy the city card: The Roma Pass grants free access to the attraction. Don't forget to show your card at the entrance
  3. Priority ticket: by purchasing your priority access tickets online, you can skip the queue and shorten waiting times.
  4. Guided tours: the museum organizes guided tours of up to 15 people to the Olarie, to the historic prisons and to the little stove of Clement VII. These visits are included in the entrance ticket but reservations are required, even directly at the ticket office.
  5. Minimum time: it takes at least 3 hours to visit Castel Sant'Angelo in an exhaustive manner
  6. Access for the disabled: The physical nature of Castel Sant'Angelo does not allow, unfortunately, the visit to people with motor disabilities. However, it is possible to reach the fifth level of the structure through the use of the reserved lift.
  7. Watch out for restrictions: it is not allowed to eat or well in the exhibition halls; photographs can be taken without using the flash.

Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief

It is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating attractions that the Eternal City can open to its tourists. The glimpse offered on Sant'Angelo castel, erected between 125 and 139 at the initial will of Adriano (who wanted to have a mausoleum for himself following the model of the one made for Augustus), is breathtaking, as is the story that revolves around this attraction.

Thought like mausoleum, starting from 403 it loses this function, fully becoming a castellum and being included in the Aurelian walls at the behest of the western emperor Honorius. The connection of the building with the building dates back to 1367 Church, when the keys of the fortress are entrusted to the then Pope Urban V. At each variation of the Castle's function, works by upgrading of the same, so that you can always be ready to support the new purpose.

Several curious historical events are linked to the famous "Passetto", or the walkway that connects the castle to the Vatican.
This path had a strategic importance in times of difficulty for the Church. It was used by popes such as Alexander VI Borgia and Clement VII Medici to flee during invasions by enemy nations. Just Clement VII, in 1527, began to wear a long beard in order to disguise his appearance and face a possible escape through the conduit. Curiously, all the popes after him carried the beard up to Paul V.

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