If the film of Dan Brown’s hit novel Angels & Demons (arriving in theaters this month) is even half as successful as its predecessor, The Da Vinci Code, it could easily inspire amateur historians to explore the mysteries of the Eternal City for themselves. In addition to the standard attractions of the Vatican and the Coliseum, fans of Brown’s work may well want to check out some of the sites in the book.
Whether they’ve read the book or not, your Rome-bound clients should certainly make time to visit the Castel Sant’Angelo, which was originally commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. It’s now a museum.
Two churches feature notably in the book: Santa Maria del Popolo and Santa Maria della Vittoria. The former is a burial place dating back to 1099; the latter features the popular sculpture The Ecstasy of St. Teresa by Bernini, whose work is central to Angels & Demons.
No visit to Rome is complete without a visit to the Pantheon. It has been a Catholic church since the 7th century, and remains today the oldest standing domed structure in Rome. Though its appearance in Brown’s book is brief, it’s a sight not to miss.