In Dan Brown"s book, "Angels & Demons" and also Ron Howard"s movie, we follow Robert Langdon as he discovers clues along the Path of Illumination.

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Langdon is called to Rome when an eminent physicist is murdered and branded with an secret emblem ~ above his chest. An expert in religious icons and also symbols, Langdon reveals that it is a sign that the Illuminati, have actually returned to destroy the Catholic Church.

With an anti-matter bomb collection to reason a cataclysmic explosion beneath the Vatican and also the kidnapping of 4 cardinals, it"s a race versus time. Through the help of Vittoria Vetra, the daughter the the murdered physicist, Langdon races v the roads of Rome unlocking the tricks he finds in the Diagramma through Galileo.

The secret is based about the 4 elements, earth, air, fire, and also water in sculptures by Bernini.



As Vittoria and also Robert decipher the hints they begin in the historic center of Rome in ~ the Pantheon on the Piazza della Rotonda.

With its huge concrete domed ceiling, i beg your pardon isn"t reinforced, the Pantneon is one of the oldest buildings in Rome. A feat of design using cement and also pumice rock for lightness, the was originally a ar to worship the roman inn Gods.


Now that is component of the large collection that Catholic churches and is the tomb of the painter Raffaello Sanzio.

In the film, Vittoria look at a authorize indicating the the human body was inserted there in the 17th century. This developed after the moment the secret code was created in Galileo"s book, they were in the dorn place.

Chigi Chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo


Inside the Chigi Chapel in the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo, Vittoria and Robert uncover their first clue and also the very first dead cardinal.

Representing the first element the earth, the cardinal was buried to the waist and dirt shoved in his mouth.

Paintings of Raffaello Sanzio (Rafael) fill the ceiling and walls the the Chigi Chapel and also this is thought about the ideal remaining original examples of his work.

The Bernini sculptures of Habbakuk and the Angel suggest Robert and also Vittoria to the next destination on the Path the Illumination.

St. Peter and the "West Ponente"


St. Peter"s square and the Basilica are the next stop for the 2 sleuths.

The next element is air, and also this becomes apparent when they discover the body of the second cardinal.

The cardinal has actually his lung punctured and also his human body seared v ambigram of words air.

The rock relief embedded in St. Peter"s Square mirrors West Ponente, the west wind, in the kind of an point of view blowing far from the Vatican, their latest mystery sign.

Church the Santa Maria della Vittoria


The next element of fire takes ar at the Church that Santa Maria della Vittoria where the Bernini sculpture of The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa deserve to be found.

Sculpted in marble and also representing a vision St. Theresa wrote about in her autobiography. One angel with a golden arrow repetitively stabbing her in the love leading her to a suggest of ecstasy. The two show up to it is in floating on a cloud together St. Theresa dies from the wounds.


Bernini recorded the significance of this vision as the folds of she gown seem come be melt away together her heart is returned to God.

In the film, when Robert and Vittoria arrive, they find the 3rd cardinal suspended native the ceiling ~ above cables expected for lanterns. The cardinal is top top fire and also the pews beneath burning. They have arrived too late to conserve him from the torturous death at the hands of the Illuminati.

Piazza Navona


With the discovery of the 4th cardinal, the book and the movie differ.

The location is the same, in ~ the Piazza Navona but in the book the cardinal dies, in the movie Tom Hank"s character saves the cardinal who had actually been wrapped in chains and thrown right into the fractional of the 4 Rivers to drown, this representing the element of water.


The fountain to be sculpted through Bernini come represent the vast reach the the Papal influence throughout 4 continents. The 4 rivers representing the Ganges, the Nile, the Danube and also the Rio de la Plata for the American continent.

The dove in ~ the optimal of the obelisk in the center of the fractional points come the last location and the rescued cardinal tells Robert where they had actually been imprisoned.

Castel Sant"Angelo


By connecting every the places the walk away cardinals to be found, this creates a cross.

The center of i beg your pardon is the Castel St. Angelo, and also it"s where Vittoria to be being hosted captive and had likewise been the an enig meeting location for the Illuminati.

As Robert fights with the assassin, Vittoria frees herself and saves Robert and also the day, by sending out the assassin end the balcony plunging come his death. The 2 of them operation down the Passetto del Borgo come the Vatican.

The castle supplied to home the ashes of Hadrian and also those that ruled after ~ him. His ashes were shed after raids, and also once taken end by the Catholic Church, that was offered as a residence, a fortress and likewise a prison.


To endure Rome in ~ its best opt to walk from April-June or late September with October. These months you"ll still have pleasant weather however the crowds are much less. Off top times also benefit from lower room prices as the need is lower.

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Why not unlock the mystery for yourself by adhering to the secret route on the Angels & Demons sights in Rome? check out you in the eternal city.