Passetto di Borgo
The Passetto di Borgo, or simply Passetto, is an elevated passage that links the Vatican City with the Castel Sant'Angelo. It is an approximately 800 m long corridor, located in the rione of Borgo. It was erected in 1277 by Pope Nicholas III, but parts of the wall were built by Totila during the Gothic War. On several occasions it served as an escape route for Popes in danger.
Clement VII escaped to safety through this passage during the Sack of Rome in 1527, when troops of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, massacred almost the entire Swiss Guard on the steps of St Peter's Basilica.
In popular culture
The Passetto played a key role in the Dan Brown novel Angels & Demons, through which the antagonist (an illuminato) transported four abducted cardinals to the Castel Sant'Angelo. The protagonists Robert Langdon and Vittoria Vetra later used the Passetto as a shortcut to Vatican City.
- D'Onofrio, Cesare (1978). Castel Sant'Angelo e Borgo tra Roma e Papato. Romana Società Editrice, Roma.
- Di Fiume, Mark (2000). Sogno nel Passetto?. Ballo Editrice, Bologna.
- Augias, Corrado (2007). The secrets of Rome : love & death in the eternal city. New York, Rizzoli Ex Libris. ISBN 9780847829330.
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