Pantheon: Italy's most visited cultural site introduces a €5 entry fee

The Pantheon is considered the most well preserved Roman monument.
The Pantheon is considered the most well preserved Roman monument. Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Euronews Travel with AP & AFP
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Visitors will have to pay to enter the Pantheon but which of Rome’s best tourist attractions will still be free?


Tourists visiting Rome's Pantheon will be charged €5 to enter from 3 July. 

The introduction of an entry fee at Italy's most visited cultural site comes after an agreement was signed in March by the Italian culture ministry and church officials.

Built in the first century BC, the impressive domed temple attracts millions of visitors every year. It was transformed into a Catholic church in 609AD, renamed the Basilica of St Mary and the Martyrs, and Mass is regularly celebrated there.

Proceeds from the new entry fee will be split, with the culture ministry receiving 70 per cent to help cover maintenance and cleaning costs and the remainder going to the Rome diocese.

Why is the Pantheon going to charge an entry fee?

Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano said the move was a matter of “good sense.” The introduction of an entrance fee comes five years after a previous government shelved plans to start charging visitors €2.

Under the new plan, visitors under 25 years of age will be charged a reduced rate of €2. Entrance will be free to Rome residents, minors, people attending Mass and personnel of the basilica, among others.

AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino
Visitors to Rome's Pantheon, Italy's most-visited cultural site, will soon be charged a 5-euros entrance fee.AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

Will the entry fee stop tourists from visiting the Pantheon?

Sangiuliano cited admissions prices at other cultural landmarks in Europe including a €14 charge to visit the tomb of Napoleon at the Musèe de l’Armèe in Paris or Westminster Abbey in London which costs €25.

And so far tourists don't seem to be put off by the introduction of an entry fee. 

Engineer Tim Witt, a tourist from America queuing to buy his ticket on Monday (3 July), told AFP that he thought €5 was a "very reasonable price". 

French visitor Camille Piallat predicted that the introduction of an entry fee "won't stop many people from coming to visit". 

What tourist attractions in Rome are still free?

If you're planning a Roman holiday and looking to do it on a budget, fear not as there's still plenty to do for free. 

The city is filled with beautiful streets to explore and outdoor photo opportunities like the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps

If churches are your thing, the wonderful thing about Rome is that there are free ones to visit on almost every street. Even the most simple building on the outside can leave you speechless from the incredible artwork inside. 

Some particular highlights include the Basilica of Saint Praxedes, Santa Maria Maggiore and the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo.

Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse via AP
A crowd of tourists at the Trevi fountain in RomeCecilia Fabiano/LaPresse via AP

There is also, of course, the Vatican's St. Peter's Basilica which boasts the world's tallest dome at a whopping 136.5 metres. If you are planning on visiting though, make sure you book in advance to avoid the queues of up to four hours!

If you want to see some Roman history, though the Roman Forum isn't free to enter, much of it can be seen from Via dei Fori Imperiali. Alternatively, plan your trip carefully as the Forum, Colosseum and Palatine Hill are usually free to enter on the first Sunday of each month. 

Plus every year on 21 April, in celebration of Rome's birthday, many fee-paying museums and monuments are free to enter for the day.

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