On Thursday, we arrived at Piazza del Popolo at 9 AM in time for a cup of coffee before we met Tony da Roma, and our group for our tour, following the story in Dan Brown's Angels and Demons.We began at Santa Maria del Popolo, where the first bishop was killed and branded with the word "EARTH". We saw the private chapel containing the statue of the angel which guided character Robert Langdon across Rome to try to save the second bishop from his death.
Tony did a great job of pointing out a plethora of inaccuracies in Brown's book. Next we traveled (by air conditioned van) to St Peter's square at the Vatican. We learned all about the Swiss Guard, and saw the imbedded plaque designating wind: AIR.
The next stop was Santa Maria della Vittoria, where a bishop was burned, and Langdon was almost suffocated in a sarcaphagus.
Here is Saint Teresa "in ecstasy":
We continued on to Piazza Navona and the "fountain of the four rivers", where the book continues to give false "facts": WATER. Finally we ended in a downpour after touring the Castel San Angelo. It was really entertaining, and factual to do the tour with Tony. He is knowledgeable and gives fun information about Rome!
We walked back to the Campo de' Fiori, and had a calzone for lunch. Then I went to the meat market and bought LOTS of pork for a HUGE pot of ragu. Here is "my butcher", Leonando, being cute.