Party Earth Review The magnificent Pantheon is emblematic of everything that is great about Rome, its architecture, and its history. Built almost two thousand years ago as a pagan temple, the Pantheon has been in continuous use ever since... ... read full review
Piazza della Rotonda
Centro, Rome –
The magnificent Pantheon is emblematic of everything that is great about Rome, its architecture, and its history.
Built almost two thousand years ago as a pagan temple, the Pantheon has been in continuous use ever since and is the most well-preserved monument of the ancient city. For 1200 years – until the construction of the Duomo in Florence – it also boasted the largest dome in the world.
Visitors should take some time to wander around inside and marvel at the architecture and the brilliant shaft of sunlight that beams down through the open eye at the apex of the dome – a dome whose mechanics and creation are still pondered today, along with the question as to why it is the sole surviving intact dome from antiquity in general.
Outside, the Piazza Rotonda is a great place to rest, have an impromptu picnic, and absorb the details of this incredible structure and final resting place of Raphael, one of Italy’s most remarkable artists.
The Pantheon is rarely without tourists, but those with patience can usually find a lull when they can slip inside and enjoy the cool silence relatively undisturbed. And thanks to its central location and close proximity to some swanky bars and clubs, the area also attracts a chic bar-going crowd come nightfall.
To breeze through Piazza Rotonda with only a cursory glance at the Pantheon is borderline sacrilege. Spend some time admiring the largest freestanding masonry dome in the world from one of the bordering cafés or from the foot of the obelisk and fountain in the middle of the square. It’s easy to lose track of time watching the crowds shuffle in and out of the Pantheon’s giant bronze doors.
Mostly tourists of all ages.
Great people-watching in the shadow of a pagan temple. At night, street musicians often serenade the crowd with classical music.
A Sunday mass is celebrated in the Pantheon at 5:30pm, during which tourist entry is suspended.
Tons of eateries, cafés, and pizza joints line the streets, many with outdoor seating overlooking the Pantheon. Delis, a supermarket, and several of Rome’s best gelaterias round out the options.
Free entrance to the Pantheon. Prices vary at surrounding eateries and restaurants.
The area gets the most traffic on summer days despite the stifling heat. The perfect time to visit is in the early evening when the tourist crowds thin out and the temperatures cool off.