Rome Passetto tour

Discover a Secret Passage in Rome Used by the Popes on this Passetto Tour

Type: Small group tour
Duration: 2 hours
Availability: Daily
Special information: The Passetto played a key role in Dan Browns "Angels & Demons" and also appears in the "Assassin's Creed II" video game.


Discover the secret corridor used by the Popes to escape Vatican City, which featured in Angels & Demons

The Passetto is a secret corridor at the top of the old Vatican wall between St Peter's Basilica and the Castel Sant'Angelo. This 800m-long passageway is also known as the Passetto di Borgo (the district where it's located) or in earlier times, the Corridore di Borgo, and was originally constructed as an escape route for Popes in danger.

This enjoyable tour takes you to the secret corridor, where a professional guide will tell you all about its important past. It is a great add-on to a private tour of the Vatican, or even alone to discover more about this fascinating space in Rome.

If you would like to book this tour or you would like us to arrange any customised tour for you, please call one of our dedicated team on 01223 637331 or Click here to send us an enquiry.


About the Passetto

The Passetto dates back to 1277 and was constructed at the request of Pope Nicholas III, although 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, including Pope Alexander VI in 1494, when Charles VIII invaded the city and the Pope's life was in danger. Clement VII also escaped to safety through this passage during the Sack of Rome in 1527. 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's novel Angels & Demons, through which the antagonist (Hashashin) 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.

The Passetto also appears in the video game Assassin's Creed II, whose protagonist Ezio fights his way along it on the way from Castel Sant'Angelo to the Sistine Chapel. In the game, however, the Passetto is wrongly placed along the banks of the Tiber river!