CASTEL SANT'ANGELO. PIAZZA NAVONA, THE STADIUM OF DOMITIAN (UNDERGROUND) A BIG AND YUMMY GELATO
ROME WITH THE KIDS – A DISCOVERY TOUR
VIew from Castel Sant
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PIazza Navona, detail with fountain
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ROME WITH THE KIDS – A DISCOVERY TOUR
Highlights of this tour:
- CASTEL SANT’ANGELO
- PIAZZA NAVONA
- THE STADIUM OF DOMITIAN (UNDERGROUND)
- A BIG GELATO
In Rome, the passing of the centuries can be literally seen, materialized in the stones and marbles of its many layered buildings
The voices of the many protagonists – emperors and warriors, princes and popes, cardinals and artists, can be heard at every corner.
We shall start our tour with massive but elegant Castel Sant’Angelo. The angels of the great bridge will welcome and escort us across the Tiber . We’ll stop to take pictures and admire the views.
We will explore the interior of the giant cylinder, born to be the tomb of Emperor Hadrian and other Roman Emperors, was then transformed into a fortress and inserted in the Vatican Walls. Some Popes built their apartments here, to be used in case of danger. .
Your guide will tell you the curious story of famous goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini who, during the terrible Sack of Rome in 1527, defended the Popes’ jewels from theft, but was imprisoned here accused of being the thief himself!
Another famous prisoner of the Castle was Cagliostro (alias Joseph Balsamo), adventurer, alchemist, occultist, freemason, magician of the 18th century. We shall conjure up this famous figure and visit his prison.
On the top of the Castle the huge statue of Michael the Archangel is waiting for us with his sword. Your guide will tell you about how Michael , according to tradition, liberated Rome from the Plague in 590 AD
You’ll enjoy walking on the ramparts, seeing the cannons and cannonballs, and hearing one more story about the famous ‘Passetto’, the elevated passage connecting with the Vatican City, that in two occasions was used by Popes when their life was in peril.
After having enjoyed the stunning views on Rome we will descend and head to Piazza Navona, famous for its spectacular fountains , source of sheer joy for Romans and tourists of any time. Your uide will tell you about the almost legendary competition between the two great architects, Bernini and Borromini here, and how the Statues by Bernini seemed to be ‘scared to death’ by the architectures by his archrival Borromini !
You’ll learn how to interpret the curious elongated and oval shape of the square: the secretfor this unusual shape lies underground!
The whole Piazza Navona was built incorporating the palaces and churches into an old Roman structure, that was the Ancient Stadium built by Emperor Domitian in the 1st century AD. We’ll descend under the Piazza to explore what’s left of the huge Stadium, that could contain up to 20,000 people, and was used mostly for athletic games. However, when the Colosseum was under repair after a fire, it was also employed for gladiatorial competitions.
Coming back to the surface try to imagine Piazza Navona completely flooded
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and used for fake naval battles! This is what happened here during the weekends in July and August since the 17th century: you’ll be shown where exactly is the mechanism that allows the flooding of the square…
After all this history it is now time for a super gelato, healthy and refreshing, at one of the renown artisan ice cream parlors of the area.
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Cost of this tour
This tour lasts three hours and costs 270 euros up to six people (not per person), only private parties.
For larger parties send us an email
Admission fees per person:
Castel Sant’Angelo: full rate 14 euro
(7 euro for kids)
Stadium of Domitian : 8 euro
(6 euro for kids)
Comfortable shoes or sandals
A hat in summer