Rome's Angels & Demons Secrets
The Site: The only island in the Tiber River within Rome is connected to the shores by the Ponte Fabricio, built in AD 62 and still in use by pedestrians today.
The Plot: In the book, Langdon is lucky to splash down in the river right by this island, famed since antiquity as a site of healing.
The Miracle: In 293 BC, with Rome in the grips of a terrible plague, the Senate voted to appease Aesculapius, god of healing. As a ship bearing the appropriate statue of Aesculapius sailed up the Tiber, a huge serpent—a symbol of the god—slithered off the boat and onto the city’s only island. Good omen. A temple was built there, the plague lifted, and pilgrims came from the farthest provinces to spend the night. The island remains home to a major hospital, the Fatebenefratelli, founded in 1548.