August is the warmest periods in Rome. With temperatures soaring to almost 40 degrees celcius, the norm for many Romans are to head off for vacation. But at the same time there are a couple of events going about called the Estate Romana. And though it was a balmy evening last week, I really enjoyed myself exploring the passageways at Castel Sant Angelo with Cart and his friends.
Castel Sant Angelo is a fortress filled with weaponry. There is a long connecting passageway from here to Saint Peter’s Square. Cart tells me that the pope could run to it for protection from enemies the during times of emergencies such as the war.
But with Angels and Demons fresh in my head, I was on a personal quest to find the
insanely hensem Camerlengo Ewan Mcgregor.
There was already a crowd building up at the entrance of Castel Sant Angelo, but after queuing up for a while, we finally headed towards the passageway. I was excited. Initially I wanted to take a video of the exploration ala tv-documentary style. But it was impossible as it was really quite dark inside. Ahem. One would have thought to install some lights inside with the budget that they had.
And yet, it was rather interesting walking through the passageway. It was quite easy to imagine oneself as royalty during the 18th century getting through the areas. Just try to ignore the throngs of other people passing through, taking pictures and whatnots
The first part of the passageway was sheltered and quite dark and the only source of illumination was from the lights outside. Do be careful when you’re here!
After a short walk, we reached the open part of the passageway. And I was a little surprised. What the movie doesn’t explain is that there are housing really close by the passageways. It was so close that I can peek through the window and see what the occupants are having for dinner. I wonder if they feel intruded with so many gawking people looking in.
Above is a picture of a house that got destroyed after the antimatter bomb exploded. And then, I quickly looked around. This must be the spot where the assassin climbs out of the passageway into the streets below.
It looked eerily similar. The sights were the same, the streets was the same … but where are you Ewan Mcgregor? And are you sure that your assassin would be able to climb out of the passageway undetected? It’s always crowded with people here.
Anyway, a bit more walking and we reached as far as we could go at the passageway. Any further, we’d be chided by that dude sitting there in the corner. But what a shame though. I’m really curious to know how it was like walking all the way to Piazza San Pietro.
We turned back and returned to Castel Sant Angelo. When we reached there, there were a number of buskers performing.
We say a number of acts, such as tapdancing ladies, a jazz singer, some comedian guy
who wasnt really all that funny. And this fire eating act. This guy is probably praying that he doesnt burn his luxurious hair.
We then walked down below to see the prisons. Interestingly, the temperature got cooler as we went deeper below. It was like a natural air conditioning.
What was interesting about the prison is that the entry was so tiny that I had to bend down just to get in. This was rather puzzling to me as Europeans are rather large size. Alessandro, Cart’s friend postulated that the doors were small possibly as to make it easier to defend should there be fights happening.
I do wonder how really tall people get in and out of these.
We then reached a room where there were many jars such as these although I’m not too certain what the function of these barrels are? Are they toilets? Where the 40 thieves hid to assassinate Ali Baba? Alessandro thinks that they are used to store grains and food.
At length, we headed up to the top of Castel Sant Angelo. It was nice and breezy here and you could see heaps of monuments around. San Pietro at the distance, the Vittorio Emmanuele II in the corner, the night scenes and lights outside – looking at all the sights makes me understand why Rome is dubbed the eternal city.
And here is an angel making shish kebab.
The angel statue was conceived when Pope Gregory I saw the Archangel Michael appearing and putting the sword back into the scabbard. And it was prophesied that it was the end of the pestilence.
And that marks the end of our exploration. I had such a lovely evening roaming around the different areas in Castel Sant Angelo. But unfortunately for my feet, it was screaming out in pain from all the vigorous walking.
But it was worth it, even if I didn’t get to see Ewan Mcgregor. Where are you Obi Wan? I hope that we shall meet … one day