The Travel Angle of Angels & Demons

I’m a total sucker for movie-related travel and love writing about it (see old article I wrote for USA TODAY about traveling to James Bond movie locations). So of course, I knew the premiere of the movie version of Dan Brown’s book Angels & Demons would bring oodles of attention, mostly from travel writers, to Rome’s role in the flick and how the average traveler could use the story as a lense through which to see the Eternal City. At this point, I haven’t seen the film – I will tomorrow. But I’ve been surfing the Web for various takes on the travel aspects of this book-turned-movie phenom:

  • Of course, Dream of Italy offers our own Rome itinerary for taking in the highlights of the Angels & Demons novel. Susan Sanders, author of Secrets of Angels & Demons: The Unauthorized Guide to The Bestselling Novel, and executive director of Rome’s Institute of Design & Culture (where she leads an Angels & Demons city course) wrote an insightful piece for us.
  • When the Vatican prevented movie producers from continuing to film in Rome, director Ron Howard moved the cast and crew to Reggia di Caserta (one of the world’s most stunning palaces) south of Rome in Campania. I visited the palace a few years ago and here’s my travel article on the Reggia di Caserta. Not many travel articles are picking up on this non-Rome angle.
  • Looking to really dig your teeth into the art and history behind Angels & Demons? Author Angela Nickerson has published a free 40-page Angels & Demons e-book that’s an insider’s guide to the locations in the move and book.
  • I like how USA TODAY’s Chris Gray Faust is on the ground in Rome talking to tourists about how Angels & Demons has affected how they’re touring the Eternal City.
  • Reid Bramblett, a terrific travel journalist, who knows Italy well, having lived there and written about it extensively, put together an informative Angels & Demons slide show over at the Travel & Leisure Web site. He uncovers the secrets behind some of the featured sites in the book/movie and delves into historic scandals involving Rome’s landmarks.
  • The wonderful Italophile Jessica Speigel at WhyGoItaly outlines a do-it-yourself Angels & Demons tour with a nice map outling all of the sites. If you’d rather have a tour guide for your Angels & Demons adventure, Jessica has also created a nice list of A&D walking tours.
  • I’m surprised more Rome hotels aren’t offering Angels & Demons packages. (If you know of one, add it in the comments.) The Westin Excelsior (home to the largest hotel suite in Europe – I know because I wrote about it) has a movie travel package including an Angels & Demons theme menu at the hotel restaurant and a private or group tour.
  • If after reading the book, watching the movie, you are ready to plan a visit to the Vatican, see it with the absolutely best Vatican tour guide ever! I have no financial interest in you booking a tour with him – I just love to spread the word about how incredible Enrico is. Seeing Rome with him was one of the great travel experiences of my life.

Have any more Angels & Demons travel articles or deals we should know about? Add them in the comments section.