Tourists in Rome will soon have to pay for the privilege of visiting the Pantheon, as officials have now signed off on plans to charge a €5 fee to those visiting the site. The Pantheon is a former Roman temple turned Catholic church, the most-visited cultural site in Italy.
Italian Culture officials and the Catholic Church have signed off on introducing a visitor fee. Gennaro Sangiuliano, the Italian Culture Minister, confirmed the news via a post on Twitter on Thursday, March 16th, stating that the move is a matter of “good sense.”
While most people will have to pay the €5 fee, there will be some exceptions. For example, anyone aged between 18-25 will only have to €2. At the same time, children, people attending mass, Roman residents, and personnel of the Basilica will be able to continue visiting the site without charge.
The reason for the charge is to raise money for both the Catholic church and the Italian economy. 70% of the money earned through these charges will go directly to the culture ministry, with the rest going to the church.
The new charges come five years after a previous Italian government scrapped plans to start charging visitors to the site. However, no date has been stated for when these charges will come to play, with visitors still being able to enter the Pantheon for free, providing they have a reservation.
Why is the Pantheon so Popular?
In 2019, the final year before the pandemic brought tourism to a temporary halt, more than nine million people worldwide visited the Pantheon. There will be debating about whether it will attract similar numbers now that it is no longer free.
The €5 shouldn’t deter people, however, as the Pantheon is one of the most stunning landmarks on the planet. The domed structure was originally built by Emperor Hadrian in the second century and has been preserved ever since. It is regarded as the best-preserved ancient Roman monument in the world.
Within the Pantheon, visitors marvel at the ancient roman marble floor and the renaissance frescoes and paintings. The nine-meter oculus at the top of the Pantheon is its only source of external light, providing the site with a holy-like glow in the Roman sun.
Michelangelo once described the Pantheon as “the work of angels, not men,” and it is the final resting place of Raphael, a famed renaissance painter.
Where Else To Visit in Rome?
If you’re planning a trip to Rome any time soon, then the eternal city has far more to offer than just the Pantheon. Here are three other places that you need to add to your Roman bucket list:
- The Sistine Chapel – The Sistine Chapel is the Pope’s official residence and is a monumental building. Inside it, you will find breathtaking renaissance paintings and religious structures. Regardless of your religious beliefs, this place will blow your mind.
- The Colosseum – The Colosseum in Rome is the largest amphitheater ever built and still stands tall despite being built in 70 AD. It was originally built to host gladiator battles and executions, and now, visitors can wander around and soak in the history.
- The Trevi fountain – The Trevi fountain is located in the trevi district and attracts thousands of tourists on a daily basis. Throw in some coins, make a wish, and wait for your dream to come true.
This article was produced and syndicated by The Impulse Traveler.