It is somewhat shameful to admit this, but I have never read The Da Vinci Code. In fact, I have not read any of Dan Brown’s books. Maybe this is even worse, but rather than taking the time to read the novel, I have watched the 2006 film starring Tom Hanks. While fans of the book criticize the movie for its excessive length and Hanks’ awkward haircut, Dan Brown’s controversial drama captivated me on big screen. With the mystery revolving around the Mona Lisa and the controversy of a potential cover-up by the Catholic Church, the plot appeals to fans of theology and Renaissance art alike.
Despite that I knew I was coming to Europe for the semester, I never found the time to read Dan Brown’s bestseller. Even so, having watched the film, I anticipated the chance to visit the landmarks and see the works of art that inspired the author. My first opportunity to follow in the steps of the fictitious Professor Langdon came in early February when the Villa sponsored a weekend trip to Rome. Perhaps the most prominent Da Vinci Code visit of the weekend was spent exploring Vatican City. Although no scenes in the film are set in the independent state, the center of the Catholic Church acts as a prominent character in the plot line. Continue reading