The Pope's Secret Escape: The Passetto di Borgo

Mar 11, 2022 561

BY: Francesca Bezzone

Have ever heard about the Passetto di Borgo or, to say it in Romanesco, er Coridore de Borgo? This historical landmark is a bit of a 007-esque fixture in the middle of the baroque beauty of the area around the Vatican. The elevated and fortified corridor is part of the Vatican walls and joins the Apostolic Palace to Castel Sant’Angelo, with a path that runs along both Via dei Corridori and Via Borgo Sant’Angelo.

Why do I say it has a 007-allure? Well, because it has been notably used by popes to escape the Vatican when in danger. This, back in days when the Pope would fight wars up and down Europe, could happen quite often. In 1494, Pope Alexander VI Borgia used the Passetto to find safety at Castel Sant’Angelo, during Charles VIII of France’s invasion of the capital (and on other occasions, too, as we will see). 

Read more


You may be interested