Today we went to visit another museum for our class session. We visited the Castel Sant’Angelo, originally a tomb for the emperor Hadrian and his family. We saw the location of Hadrian’s burial site as well as the original ancient Roman architecture. Building elaborate structures for the burial of emperors and their family’s was common in the Roman Empire because when the emperors died they were revered then as Gods. The location of it is about a 15 minute walk from the Vatican, therefore it was later used as a fortress for the Pope in emergency situations. During the tour, we saw the elevator shaft that was used to transport the Pope to his apartments on the 5th floor and the apartments themselves where the Pope resided during emergency situations. We then went to the terrace on the 6th level and saw an amazing view of the Rome. Leonardo enjoyed the overall view and got a picture with the sculpture of Saint Angelo!
Another fact about Rome that was noticeable as soon as I arrived is the layout and design of their streets. Most are winding cobblestone roads that twist and turn in every direction, however there are a few major arterials that were built more recently to accommodate modern transportation. It is an interesting contrast between ancient design and modern design. As I walk through the streets, I feel as if the city is in limbo between old and new, wanting to keep its history alive while trying to be efficient and modern.
Arrivederci for now!