The Pantheon is undeniably one of the most popular attractions in Rome that every visitor has on his or her “must-see” list. And we can understand why: it’s ancient, beautiful, very impressive and can be visited for free! The monument that was built by emperor Hadrian in 126 AD still stands today. It was built as a temple for the gods of Ancient Rome, but today it functions as a Catholic church that can be visited daily between 9 am – 7:30 pm (on Sundays it closes at 6 pm). It has the greatest number of records; including that of best preserved Roman building and it has the biggest concrete dome that wasn’t reinforced in the history of architecture! The Pantheon contains tombs of important historical figures such as the well-known Renaissance artist Raphael and two Italian kings.
The Pantheon is situated at Piazza della Rotonda and is surrounded by many other attractions we highly recommend visiting as well. So if you’ve seen enough of this glorious temple, it’s time to move on and explore the rich Pantheon area and all its ancient and modern treasures…
Things to do around the Pantheon in Rome
You could start with heading west, where you will find the wonderful Piazza Navona square. This large and lively square will offer you plenty to do and see! Built on top of the historical Domitian’s Stadium (you can still trace its shape), there are various eye catchers situated in and around this square: the Neptune & Moor fountain, the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone and Bernini’s Four Rivers fountain with an Egyptian obelisk in the middle of it. It plays a role in Dan Brown’s “Angels and Demons” – his famous thriller that was turned into a block buster movie in 2008.
We have plenty more recommendations about what to do near the Pantheon however in order to prevent you from getting too tired (especially if it’s summer which can get pretty hot in Italy), we suggest you have a snack and relax at one of Piazza Navona’s outdoor cafes. There’s usually lots of entertainment around so you won’t be bored sitting here watching the crowds, the surrounding buildings and the public art.
Looking for some shopping in the Pantheon area? We know just the place where your shopping needs will be fulfilled. Located towards the north is Via del Corso – this main street is filled with the best shops and restaurants. As almost every street corner and street in Rome, there’s a history behind it… And Via del Corso, which was used as a racetrack for riderless horses during the Roman Carnival from the 15th century to the 19th, is no exception.
Finished with shopping? Then walk on to the nearby Trevi Fountain, another sight you surely wouldn’t want to miss when in Rome! It is arguably the most beautiful fountain in the Eternal City and almost certainly the most famous one. Go and decide for yourself if it deserves all that fame. And don’t forget to throw a coin in the fountain with its stunning sculptures of sea horses and mythological figures, to ensure that you – as the tradition says – will one day return to the city of Rome.
Find out more about all above mentioned attractions by watching our free travel video guides!