Sitting in the central parts of the city, this iconic structure has held its own for more than two millenniums. Built a few years before Christ was born in honor of Augustus, Pantheon is one of the very few structures retaining its antiquity. Historians attribute the preservation to the fact that Pantheon has continually being used for multiple purposes over the years.
Suggested Time Spent: 1 Hour | Admission: Free | Hours: 9AM – 6PM
It went from being a memorabilia to a church to being a political hub after the medieval ages. Structurally, the round plan, a cylindrical wall supporting the dome is common to Roman architecture. But the dome, 43 meters high and same width, was an engineering feat at that time. This vault is bigger than St. Peter’s, and is probably the largest built in that time. The only source of light into the vault, the 9 meters wide hole at the top of the dome, illuminates the facade in dreamy light.
Multi colored marbles in the two stories in the inside walls create an interplay of colors in mysterious light and shadows. Including the aforesaid purposes, Pantheon also holds tombs of famous artists, e.g. Raphael, and members of Savoy family and emperors.
Outside, the wide columns are large enough that it takes four adults to measure the circumference by holding each others’ hands. The 6 meters tall obelisk, Macuteo, and the fountain sits in the square in front of the Pantheon.
- The shops and restaurants around the Pantheon are infamous tourist traps. Although it may be convenient to pick up souvenirs, it is not advisable to have a full meal in the nearby restaurants; sub-par quality yet pricey.
- Walk to the nearby Church of Maria Sopra Minerva, almost next door to the back of the Pantheon. On your way there, you can spot the back side of Pantheon to appreciate the founding blocks of the structure. Admire one of the best obelisks (out of a total of thirteen in Rome), designed by Bernini, where an elephant is carrying the obelisk.