Angels & Demons

angels and demons posterDan Brown’s Angels & Demons book and the subsequent film feature many locations in Rome.  There are many organised tours you can take like this Half-Day Tour but if you’d prefer to see things on your own, this is our guide to the places you can visit and their connection with the book…Rome Pantheon external (

The Pantheon – It’s inside this world famous former Roman temple, turned basilica that Robert Langdon believes the first Cardinal will be murdered.  He and Vittoria Vetra arrive just in time, before realising that they’re in the wrong place.  The clue about Raphael’s tomb, which you can see inside, was misunderstood as the artist was only moved to the Pantheon many years after his original burial.  More about the Pantheon, opening times, directions & photos...

The Church of Santa Maria del Popolo When Langdon realises his mistake described above, this is the church they believe they are looking for instead.  It’s here that the first murder takes place and many of the features described in the book are there for you to see today including the Chigi Chapel.  More about the church, opening times, directions & photos.. Rome Piazza del Popolo from Pincio Gardens (

Piazza del Popolo – The church of Santa Maria del Popolo is on the edge of this Piazza.  When Langdon and Vetra arrive, he immediately says to her “we’re in the right place”.  This is because of the huge Egyption obelisk in the centre of the piazza and also because of the old Roman wall and gate (Porta del Popolo) next to the church.  Langdon points out the symbol on the gate – a shining star over a triangular pile of stones.  More on the piazza, what to see, map & photos... 

St Peter’s SquareIt’s here in Rome’s most famous Piazza that the second murder takes place.  The obelisk referred to in the book is at the centre of St Peter’s Square and that’s where you’ll find Bernini’s West Ponente, the “second altar of science”.  You can see the face carved in the stone as described in the book breathing air away from the Vatican.  More on St Peter’s Square, what to see, map & photos… Rome St Peters Basilica at night (

St Peter’s Basilica –  After the second murder, Langdon, Vetra and the Camerlengo head inside the Basilica past the location of St Peter’s tomb although the book points out that the bones of St Peter are actually much lower down, buried in earth.  The basilica is referred to at other times in the story too, notably when the Camerlengo stands on the roof and is cheered by the crowds.  More on St Peter’s Basilica, opening times, sightseeing tips & photos...

The Church of Santa Maria Della Vittoria – It’s here that the third murder takes place, although the book places the church in Piazza Barberini, when it’s actually on Via XX Settembre.  Inside you’ll find Bernini’s “Ecstacy of St. Teresa” mentioned in the novel.

Piazza Navona – This busy piazza is a must-see location in Rome.  It bustles constantly with artists, street entertainers, tourists and diners and it its centre is Bernini’s “Fountain of the Four Rivers”.  It’s in this fountain that the fourth attack takes place with a Cardinal weighted down under the water.  In reality, it’s nowhere near deep enough to drown a medium sized cardinal though!  More on Piazza Navona, what to see, map & photos... Rome Castel Sant Angelo at night (

Castel Sant’Angelo – The castle on the banks of the River Tiber is the location where the Hassassin has his lair.  Inside you’ll find some of the features referred to in the book including the Traforo – the old spiral ramp passageway inside the part of the castle that was the tomb of the Emperor Hadrian. On top of the castle is the statue of an angel with it’s sword pointing downwards.  The castle is linked to the Vatican by an ancient passageway inside a wall, known as Il Passetto.  In the book, the passageway was used by the Hassasin to gain access to the Vatican and Langdon and Vetra use it too as the story builds to a climax.  The ancient wall with it’s passageway inside are not open to the public, but you can walk from Castel Sant’Angelo alongside it all the way to the Vatican.  More on Castel Sant’Angelo, opening times, photos & map...

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The roof of the Sistine Chapel

Sistine Chapel – The chapel features several times in the book as the cardinals are in conclave during most of the story, trying to select a new pope.  The chapel is open to visitors, but usually only as part of the Vatican Museums.  Read more, opening times, map & photos...

Bernini Hotel This is the hotel that Langdon and Vetra end up staying in.  It’s actually called the Bernini Bristol Hotel, but it has made a lot of money on the back of the book!  If you really want to follow in the characters footsteps, then consider staying.  Check out latest rates here.


Angels & Demons Half Day Tour – Organised tour which consistently gets great reviews
Wikipedia – Angels & demons
Buy Angels & Demons –
Rome Hotels – Great rates from
Books on Rome