Castel Sant’Angelo: From Hadrian's Tomb to Papal Palace with Barbara Antonuzi

Castel Sant’Angelo: From Hadrian's Tomb to Papal Palace with Barbara Antonuzi


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Join architect Barbara Antonuzi to visit Castel Sant’Angelo and learn how a building designed to memorialize Emperor Hadrian and his family in 130 AD was later transformed into a fortress and then a sumptuous Papal residence. We’ll go in-depth to this quintessentially Roman monument and trace its evolution over the millennia.

Rome, the Eternal City, has been continuously inhabited for nearly three thousand years. The Mausoleum of Hadrian, now called Castel Sant'Angelo, perfectly represents the city’s soul and its continually evolving history. Built in the Ager Vaticanus, a neglected area on the west bank of the River Tiber outside the city walls, by Emperor Hadrian in 130 AD, it was completed by Antoninus Pius nine years later, one year after Hadrian's death. Covered with precious marble and decorated with huge bronze statues, it housed the emperors’ remains for about 150 years. During the middle ages, it was first transformed into a massive fortress by litigious Roman families and later became the property of the Church, thanks to the notorious Borgia Pope, taking its current name of Castel Sant’ Angelo.  The Vatican used the structure as a papal refuge during the tumultuous fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and also as a vault for their treasury and for munitions storage.  It was later used as a VIP prison until 1910 when it was finally restored to become the most visited museum in Rome, after the Colosseum.

Led by native Roman and architect Barbara Antonuzi, this interactive seminar will explore a quintessentially Roman building through its transformations over the centuries. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travel, participants will come away with a real understanding of the resilience of a fascinating and ever-changing city.

Born and raised in Rome, Barbara Antonuzi is an architect and graduate of La Sapienza University of Rome, with a Master’s degree in Restoration of Cultural Heritage from the University Roma Tre and an advanced course on Archeological Restoration from the University of Florence. She has been working for years at the restoration of some of the most important palaces in Rome and she is keen on everything that is beautiful, whether art, gardens, architecture, or archaeology. She is a staff member of the Didactic Service of the Vatican Museums and, as a licensed tour guide in Rome, she is happy and proud to share her knowledge and true love for her extraordinary hometown.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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