Castel Sant' Angelo
and St Peter's Basilica
    (Vatican City)
Roman Catholic Popes needed a castle for many centuries,
and they used the Castel Sant' Angelo, built as Emperor
Hadrian's tomb.  There is an escape route for the Pope from
the Vatican to this fortress which can still be seen today.
The unusual round castle is now a museum, and provides
a great reflection in Rome's Tiber River, plus an ornate
bridge.  It lies outside of the Vatican, now part of Rome.
St Peter's Basilica is the glorious Renaissance church that
greets people at the entrance to Vatican City.  It is the latest
in a series of churches built over the tomb of the martyred St
Peter.  Construction took over 150 years, but Michelangelo
is credited with designing the spectacular dome, eclipsing
the many other notable artisans involved with the project.   
Many Catholic Saints look down from atop St Peter's,
which is a feature I have always liked.
Taking advantage of access to St Peter's roof, it is
possible to photograph the row of Saints.  With
nothing off limits to cameras except the Sistine
Chapel, I entered the church in search of the best
possible pictures, to be found on the next page.
Popes are still protected by the Swiss Guards, and their
ancient uniforms are yet another photographer's delight.
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the Intrepid
Berkeley Explorer's free video that is 100% Italy,  by clicking
on  
Gondola With the Wind 2  ; also see Rome, Florence, Pisa,
and Venice by clicking on the earlier
Gondola With the Wind