(Spolier Alert: do not read the text below unless you have read the book/seen film)
He thinks it is the Pantheon, due to the first line of the poem:
“From Santi’s earthly tomb with demon’s hole”.
Santi is Raphael Santi, the 16th century Renaissance painter buried in the church.
The ‘demon’s hole’ could refer to the oculus, the central opening of the dome. Langdon, Vittoria and the Swiss Guard arrive there just before 8pm and surround the area. The pair enter, posing as newlyweds, and look for the Assassin or Cardinal.
Vittoria notices a sign saying Raphael was not placed in the Pantheon until the 1700s, long after the Path of Illumination was designed and laid. With the help of an annoying tour guide, they find out that Raphael designed an “earthly tomb” in the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, a mile away. They inform the Swiss Guard, and the whole contingent rushes there to save the Cardinal and apprehend the Assassin. The BBC, tipped off by the Assassin, encounter the motorcade on the way and follow.
The Pantheon is oldest surviving Roman temple, built originally in 27 BC by Marcus Agrippa, whose name it still bears. It is named for all the Roman state gods, pan meaning all and theos meaning Gods in Greek. Most temples at the time were dedicated to one or two deities. The first Pantheon was a square building as built by Agripps and burned down in the fire of AD 80.It was rebuilt in AD 125 by the Emperor Hadrian and this is the building you see today.
It is a single circular room with a dome and central oculus which provides almost all the light. There are 7 bays for statues of the 7 main gods of the Roman pantheon. It contains the remains of Raphael, two Kings of Italy and a Queen.
If you would like to book an Angels and Demons Tour of Rome, please click here.