The best things to do in Rome may even be free – Lonely Planet


Rome is a city where the doors of the art-laden churches are flung open to all, where ancient architectural wonders await around many corners, and it costs nothing to roam (pun intended) the historic streets, piazzas and parks. 

A surprising number of the famous sights in Italy‘s magnificent capital city are completely free to visit, and we can show you how.

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1. Gaze upwards in the Pantheon

This impeccably preserved 2000-year-old temple, which is now a church, is the best preserved of Rome’s ancient monuments. Built by Hadrian over Marcus Agrippa’s earlier 27 BCE temple, the Pantheon has stood since around 125 CE. 

It is a unique and exhilarating experience to enter the Pantheon’s vast bronze doors and gaze at the largest unreinforced concrete dome ever built. A visit to the Pantheon should be on everyone’s Rome bucket list if only to be reminded that before Rome was the seat of Catholic power, the people here honored a different set of gods.

2. Admire the riches of St Peter’s Basilica

And to be reminded where the power lies today, the city’s largest, richest and most spectacular basilica leaves all other churches in its shadow and is completely free to enter. 

There will probably be a queue to enter Rome’s showstopping St Peter’s Basilica, but after taking 126 years to build, maybe a little wait to see this opus isn’t so bad. St Peter’s Basilica is home to three of Italy’s most celebrated masterpieces, Michelangelo’s Pieta, his soaring dome and Bernini’s 29m-high (95ft) baldachin over the papal altar. 

3. Watch the street artists on Piazza Navona

Come in the early morning before the crowds, or after dark when the…

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