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For More Information(0039) 334 7243374
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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.
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.
Itinerary:Santa Maria del Popolo ChurchSanta Maria della Vittoria ChurchPiazza NavonaSt Peter's SquareCastel Sant'Angelo
Included:Licensed Tour Guide
Wheelchair accessible:Yes. (Itinerary may differ).
Meeting Point:Hotel Lobby
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!
Terrific Trastevere Food Tour with Luca! Luca took my wife and myself on a wonderful food tour through Trastevere. The things we saw and ate and learned were excellent. The best part was Luca's friendly nature.... read moreLuca took my wife and myself on a wonderful food tour through Trastevere. The things we saw and ate and learned were excellent. The best part was Luca's friendly nature. By the end of the evening we felt that we had spent a nice time with a new friend. read less - 10/03/2022
- Darren R
A must do experience This cooking class was a highlight of our trip. We got to meet a young chef, Sara. She had us decide what to cook. Then we walked through... read moreThis cooking class was a highlight of our trip. We got to meet a young chef, Sara. She had us decide what to cook. Then we walked through the market to pick out some of the ingredients, the meats and such. Then we went back to their excellent small group kitchen. We had a wonderful time learning from Sara. She taught us to make ravioli and saltimbocca and tiramisu. It was fun and relaxed and extremely delicious. We thought the whole experience was splendid. 10 out of 10. read less - 9/26/2022
Best Food Tour We Took! My fiance and I capped off our first full day in Rome with this lovely food tour. Luca was friendly, excited, and knowledgeable. We got to try a ton of... read moreMy fiance and I capped off our first full day in Rome with this lovely food tour. Luca was friendly, excited, and knowledgeable. We got to try a ton of different food and even returned to one of the restaurants later in the week. The tour groups are kept small, so our group easily got to know each other throughout the tour. We were especially pleased with how accommodating it was: My fiance is a vegetarian and can be a bit of a picky eater, so he had low expectations going in and this ended up being his favorite activity all week! We actually had a couple of vegetarians in our group and there was always an equally hearty substitute whenever necessary. Super pleased with this experience and with Luca! Best part of our week! read less - 9/21/2022
- Emily W
Worth every penny. What an evening! This was without a doubt the highlight of my trip. A great evening with plenty of incredible local food and drink and a really good way to meet and... read moreThis was without a doubt the highlight of my trip. A great evening with plenty of incredible local food and drink and a really good way to meet and get to know other travellers. The small group size made it much more personal and conversation flowed all evening! Sara (our guide) was absolutely amazing - so friendly and chatty, and so full of knowledge about the local food and Rome/Trastevere's history. She could not have been better.
I'll be coming back to Rome and will definitely be booking this again. Thank you so much, Sara, for making my first trip to Rome that much better! read less - 9/21/2022
Delicious food from fabulous foody Luca Boccia was PHENOMENAL!
His knowledge of Italian cuisine was exceptional, especially welcomed because it included more than just the well known dishes. He was funny and friendly, making our... read moreLuca Boccia was PHENOMENAL!
His knowledge of Italian cuisine was exceptional, especially welcomed because it included more than just the well known dishes. He was funny and friendly, making our time together unforgettable.
Most appreciated was his offer to remain a resource for the duration of our visit with DELICIOUS recommendations off the tourist path.
Well done Luca!!! read less - 9/11/2022
A Must Do Tour of Sistine Chapel Amazing! This was my third time to the Vatican but this time I took my adult/teen children and wife and we used a tour guide. It was a... read moreAmazing! This was my third time to the Vatican but this time I took my adult/teen children and wife and we used a tour guide. It was a small group of 9. Just 2 families. She was great. She does this 4 days a week and all the guards knew her by name. If you want to see the Sistine Chapel, then you have to go early. We were one of the first to enter and with her connections basically did not wait on anything. We also entered a section in the Vatican Museums usually off limits to the public, a section with many animal statues and other mosaics. She gave us so much history and culture. My children said it was AP World History made real. You could tell she truly loved what she did. read less - 8/29/2022
Best tour ever. Martha was our guide. She is the best. They way she explained all , answered our questions give us all the information in every place all was wonderful. It was... read moreMartha was our guide. She is the best. They way she explained all , answered our questions give us all the information in every place all was wonderful. It was a very hot summer day and she always looks for ways to give us the information under the shade before we went into the sun. I highly recommend this company and Martha as well. It was very easy to make the reservation and pay. We took the private tour and was perfect. 3 hours that feel like Half hour . We didn’t do any limes to get into the places. Know that if you go by yourself or in other yours you could be up to 2 hours under the sun to get into the coliseum or forum. I highly recommend the private tour. read less - 8/05/2022
Great Food Stroll with Luca We did the Trastevere Food Stroll with Luca B and he was great! Brought us to great authentic locations and provided his expert advice! We would highly recommend this tour... read moreWe did the Trastevere Food Stroll with Luca B and he was great! Brought us to great authentic locations and provided his expert advice! We would highly recommend this tour and Luca!! read less - 7/30/2022