The castle has a lot of history, serving first as Hadrian’s tomb, then as a fort, the castle of various popes, a prison. It was used by former Popes who absconded there for protection in times of danger. There has been a covered passageway which still connects Castel Sant’Angelo to the Vatican.
good value for money at 10 Euros for entrance, and you can take your time walking round. There is an audio guide for hire but this is not a necessity as there are informative information points all the way around Climbing the castle to the top isn’t too difficult. The climb starts with a ramp, gets into some steps and reaches an open plaza
At the top of the fortress, overlooking the panoramic terrace, stands a statue of an angel, built by the 18th century Flemish sculptor Pieter Verschaffelt. The bronze statue replaced an earlier, marble version.
The statue depicts the archangel Michael who, according to legend, appeared on top of the fortress in the year 590 and miraculously ended the severe plague that had infested the city of Rome. After the purported event, the building was renamed Castel Sant’Angelo – literally translated ‘Saint Angel Castle‘ – in honor of the archangel.