We started with two items on our agenda today but knew that this city would keep us busy. The weather was cooperating and actually felt so warm we considered leaving our jackets behind – but we did not. It is so fun walking along the Rome streets – always something to look at, and most likely ancient! Our first stop was the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj which is the home of a noble family dating back to 1500’s. It gives one the chance to see the lavish rooms and the family’s art collection which includes Raphael, Titian, and my favorite, Caravaggio. This is a very walkable city and from the palazzo we went in the direction of the Castel Sant’ Angelo. On our way there we stopped at the Pantheon again. Just this morning I got an email from a good friend who had just heard of the best place to get coffee in Italy was right by the Pantheon so we stopped to get a coffee and it was really good. So we took our cups out to the steps in front of the Pantheon and watched the crowds hanging around on this beautiful day. I had previously taken pictures at Christmas of the Pantheon so we walked through it but took no pictures. From there we walked through the Piazza Navona to get to the Tiber river and the castle. We walked over the Ponte Sant’ Angelo which is a bridge built by Hadrian and was actually the only bridge in the area during the Middle Ages that connected St. Peter’s and the Vatican with downtown Rome. The castle Saint Angelo was the tomb of the Roman emperor Hadrian and was erected on the right bank of the Tiber, between 130 AD and 139 AD. Originally the mausoleum was a decorated cylinder, with a garden top. Hadrian’s ashes were placed here a year after his death in 138 AD. Following this, the remains of succeeding emperors were also placed here, the last recorded deposition being Caracalla in 217 AD. The urns containing these ashes were probably placed in what is now known as the Treasury room deep within the building. Legend holds that the Archangel Michael appeared atop the mausoleum, sheathing his sword as a sign of the end of the plague of 590, thus lending the castle its present name. The popes converted the structure into a castle, beginning in the 14th century; Pope Nicholas III connected the castle to St Peter’s Basilica by a covered fortified corridor called the Passetto di Borgo. The fortress was the refuge of Pope Clement VII from the siege of Charles V‘s Landsknechte during the Sack of Rome (1527). The Papal state also used Sant’Angelo as a prison. Executions were performed in the small inner courtyard. The rooftops of this castle offers some great views of this city. We were getting what we call “museum back” where we, and our backs are tired. So we walked back to Navona Piazza to take a little break and watch all the tourists, locals, ands people selling their wares. While relaxing a quick thunderstorm blew through which cooled things down a bit – good thing we kept our coats. More walking, as we needed to get back to the hotel, and then out for a bite of dinner later.