1 Villa Borguese – breathtaking collection of Bernini sculptures and famous paintings set in a beautifully decorated house. Advanced booking necessary and a little out of the way, but well worth the effort. Highlights include Bernini's Apollo and Daphne, and Rape of Proserpine.
2 Sistine chapel and Vatican Museums – Much more visually stunning than the Vatican itself. We were not expecting much and were just blown away by the huge variety and volume of the collection – puts Versailles to shame.
3 – Castel Sant' Angelo – following the Angels and Demon's trail, this huge fort was stunning inside and out. JP very excited in finding that the passageway between the Castel and the Vatican actually exists!
4 – Colusseum – Take the audioguide to get the full story and experience. Avoid the dodgy fake 'gladiators' touting for photos outside!
5 – The Vatican – at least it is free! Avoid the small museum inside the Vatican unless you have a thing for small relics of saints, bits of old bone in gold boxes, and endless monstronses. Again, the audiogude is essential.
Spent an enjoyable day roaming streets of Rome, unwittingly following the footsteps of the Angels and Demons plot! Started off in Piazza del Popolo – couldn't get into the church in the film, but the Piazza was impressive.
Walked to the 'Villa Borguese' to see the marvellous statues and paintings but the museum was closed on Mondays!
Visited the Capuchin monastery with its creepy crypt filled with the bones of old monks, displayed in tableau. Horrific.
Rounded off the morning with a visit to the Santa Maria della Vittoria church, featured in the film, with the famous Bernini sculpture of 'The Ecstasy of St Teresa of Avila'.