A visit to one of Rome's most popular attractions is no longer free. Since this week, tourists have to buy a € 5 entrance ticket. Due to the great interest, only combi tickets with audio guide (15 euros) or a guided tour (30 euros) were available at the beginning of the week. There was a long queue for the cash payment at the door.
Every year, the Pantheon is visited by 9 million people, making it one of Rome's top tourist attractions.
Yields and destination
Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano announced last Sunday that 30 percent of the proceeds will benefit the Catholic Church. The remaining part, 70 percent, is used for the maintenance of the building and for charitable purposes.
Visitors who attend services in the church building will not have to pay an entrance fee in the future. Admission remains free for young people, clergy and residents of Rome. The Ministry of Culture had in 2017 had already concluded a similar agreement with the diocese of Rome, but nothing came of it at the time. Partly because asking for a (mandatory) entrance fee for a church building in Italy is still a taboo.
The original temple was built in 27 BC, but was destroyed in a great fire in AD 80. Emperor Hadrian had the Pantheon rebuilt between 119 and 125, giving it its characteristic round shape.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Pantheon remained in the hands of the Byzantine emperors, although they no longer had power in Rome. In 609, the Byzantine Emperor Phocas gave the temple to Pope Boniface IV, who converted it into the Santa Maria ad Martyres Basilica, the official name of the Pantheon. From the Renaissance, the monument was also used as a burial place for prominent Italians.
This makes the Pantheon the first church in Rome that is no longer free to visit.
Do you want to prepare well in advance for your visit to the Pantheon? Book your audio tour or guided tour now.