Night and day at Rome's Castel Sant'Angelo

I enjoy spending time on my own shooting. Especially at night after a busy day. This night out at Castle Sant'Angelo (Castle of the Holy Angel) was much needed after the first full day in Rome in March 2017. I took my tripod, one camera and one lense and just had to walk 10 minutes from our apartment near Vatican City. A perfect little start into a week of photographing the eternal city. Castel Sant'Angelo is located at the west side of the river Tiber and just a few hundred meters away from St. Peter's Basilica. It is a towering cylindrical building shielded by a citadel originally designed as a Mausoleum for the Roman Emperor Hadrian and his family in the 2nd century AD. The connected bridge called Pons Aelius or Ponte Sant'Angelo, also built by Hadrian, is as beautiful as the castle and they make for a stunning architectural combination.


Much later the popes converted the Mausoleum to a castle, starting in the 14th century. The connecting wall to St. Peter's Basilica was built by Pope Nicholas III in 1277. It is about 800 m long, has a fortified corridor and is called Passetto di Borgo. It served as an escape route for popes in danger. During these times Castel Sant'Angelo was used as a prison as well as a refuge. Today it hosts a museum and you can enjoy the views around the Italian capital from its roof.


I started taking pictures down at the river bank of the Tiber. Is was a warm and dry evening and I very much enjoyed this calm end of the day. Later I finished my shoot on the bridge. The scene felt a bit like Charles' bridge in Prague.


During our last day we visited Castle Sant'Angelo from the inside. You will find these pictures in the second part of my blogpost. If you make it to Rome, make sure to pay a visit to this beautiful piece of ancient architecture.

Shooting Castel Sant'Angelo at night

Bridge at Castel Sant'Angelo over Tiber river
My favorite angle of Sant'Angelo is this wide angle down from the river bank of the Tiber

Visiting Castel Sant'Angelo during the day

Angel at Castel Sant'Angelo
The angel by Raffaello da Montelupo

Write a comment

Comments: 1
  • #1

    Ron (Wednesday, 11 May 2022 16:17)

    "Turn to the Mole which Hadrian reared on high,
    ⁠Imperial mimic of old Egypt's piles,
    ⁠Colossal copyist of deformity
    ⁠Whose travelled phantasy from the far Nile's
    ⁠Enormous model, doomed the artist's toils
    ⁠To build for Giants, and for his vain earth,
    ⁠His shrunken ashes, raise this Dome: How smiles
    ⁠The gazer's eye with philosophic mirth,
    To view the huge design which sprung from such a birth!"