Special Tours of Rome

Angels and Demons Tour Rome

An Angels and Demons-inspired discovery of Roman history, art, and culture.

  • Availability

    On Request

  • Duration

    3-4 hours

  • Start time

    On Request

  • Private tour

    On Request

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Why Choose it?

  • Follow the path of Dan Brown with our licensed tour guide.
  • Experience a different way to explore Piazza Navona and St. Peter's Square.
  • Discover Castel Sant'Angelo's importance in both 'Angels and Demons' and the Vatican.

Tour description

Live the thrills, twists, and turns famously set in motion by Dan Brown in his bestselling novel, Angels & Demons. Act as Robert Langdon and race through the city—or rather, take a comfortably-paced stroll—following his footsteps to each historical site in the acclaimed novel on your search for enlightenment. In this case, you will be enlightened with information about artists, events, historical figures and locations.

Trace the Path of Illumination and discover the elements of earth in Santa Maria del Popolo, fire in Santa Maria della Vittoria, water in Piazza Navona, and air in Saint Peter’s Square. This path will lead you to the Church of Illumination, otherwise known as Castel Sant’Angelo, where a secret underground tunnel exists leading directly to the Vatican.

Begin your Path of Illumination to Santa Maria del Popolo

The basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo has unusual origins dealing with the paranormal and afterlife. The plot of land where it stands was once believed to be haunted by the ghost of Nero. Pope Paschal in 1099 put an end to this urban legend by cleansing the site and commissioning the construction of this basilica. The basilica underwent several reconstructions, and in the end was decorated by the world’s most influential artists.

Step inside to see the ornate chapels, decorated from floor to ceiling with elaborate paintings, frescos, and mosaics. Take an extra moment to appreciate the Chigi Chapel along your path and find the symbol of earth. Gaze between Raphael’s mosaic series the Creation of the World, Bernini’s sculptures of Daniel and the Lion and Habakkuk and the Angel, and Caravaggio’s paintings of the Conversion of Saint Paul and the Crucifixion of Saint Peter.

Move along to Santa Maria della Vittoria on the Path of Illumination

Situated near the Fontana dell’Acqua Felice, continue down your path through the façade of Santa Maria della Vittoria heavily inspired by Carlo Maderno’s design of a nearby basilica. Tread up the stairs to find the symbol of fire among the naturally-lit and ornately-decorated pillars and ceiling; patterned marble and impeccable frescos adorn every inch of the interior.

Bear witness to Bernini’s Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, a masterpiece of the High Roman Baroque period. Feel the warmth of its golden rays pouring down on the pure white marble of Saint Teresa and her smiling angel. The angel’s flaming arrow symbolizes the element of fire. Your Path of Illumination is halfway complete.

Discover the symbol of water along your Path of Illumination in Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is home to several masterpieces of the baroque period: three fountains and a basilica. Historically, the site was a stadium and used for games—it was even flooded from time to time. Holding works from Bernini, Borromini, and della Porta, it is the quintessential location for high Italian art and where you’ll find the symbol of water on your continuing Path of Illumination. 

Circling the piazza, pass Giacomo della Porta’s Fontana del Moro showing tritons surrounding a Moor wrestling a dolphin. Make your way to the center where you’ll see Borromini’s exquisitely designed Sant’Agnese in Agone, a true example of his masterful understanding and craftsmanship in architecture. From this point, turn around for the symbol of water: Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers. Circumnavigate the fountain for a detailed view of each river god representing the four largest rivers of the world: Nile, Danube, Ganges, and Rio de la Plata. Gaze up at the peak of the towering obelisk and follow the hieroglyphs down each side of the pillar.

Continue your Path of Illumination to find the final element

Bernini’s colonnade adorns Saint Peter’s Square with the art of symmetry and science. The colonnade encircles an obelisk and two fountains, as well as forming an entrance to the magnificent Saint Peter’s Basilica. Though the Vatican is a small city-state, the amount of art and creation it holds is inspiring.

Step up to the obelisk, but don’t look up: look down. You’ll find the symbol of air within the four faces of the wind. Reach the West Wind—a metaphor for the breath of God—to discover your final element.

Complete the Path of Illumination at Castel Sant’Angelo 

Follow Professor Langdon’s footsteps to the final location along the Path of Illumination. Castel Sant’Angelo has endured several changes throughout its long history. Beginning as a mausoleum for the emperor Hadrian, later becoming a papal fortress, and finally a museum. Today it showcases each stage of its metamorphosis.

Experience the location where the film and novel climaxes. Discover the vast history of Castel Sant’Angelo, from mausoleum, prison, and papal fortress. Explore the famous Passetto di Borgo linking the Vatican to the castle, and used as an escape route for more than one pope.

Your Path of Illumination is complete, finding each element and discovering the history of Rome along the way.

included:

Licensed Tour Guide

itinerary:

  • Santa Maria del Popolo Church
  • Santa Maria della Vittoria Church
  • Piazza Navona
  • St Peter's Square
  • Castel Sant'Angelo

Wheelchair accessible:

Yes. (Itinerary may differ).

meeting point:

At your hotel

see on map

excellent guides

Our guides are fluent in English and have a contagious passion for the inspiring cultural heritage of our Italian cities. Experts in their fields, they will immerse you in the hidden histories and intriguing lives of history's great protagonists. So much to see, so easy to miss out: with the help of our guides, visit the most absorbing sites and uncover the stories that have changed the world. Don't miss this fascinating journey!