10 free things to do in Rome
Hello fellow budget hunters,
Today I am missing travel and really want to be on holiday or at least in the sun. (It’s grey and overcast once again in the UK) So I decided I would do a freethings to do post about one of the Capital cities that I went to on our grand trip last summer!
I have mixed feelings about Rome, which I plan on writing a whole separate post about my opinions.
Rome is a crazy city, there is so much history there – the Romans influenced such a big part of Europe, but Rome is obviously where it all was centred.
There’s so many things to see and do in Rome, although the biggest attractions are expensive – Think Vatican Museum and Colosseum, I was surprised at the amount of things we could do for free in Rome. (I was expecting it to be a super expensive city, and was surprised)
So here’s a run down of my top 10 free things to do in Rome : –
This is one of the most famous free exhibits in Rome, but I have heard there are plans to include an entrance fee. Over 7 million people visit the Pantheon, to see the former Roman temple which is now a church. The roof is the most famous part, with the hole and how it was constructed.
I will be honest, I sat in the Pantheon after read the signs about the ceiling being all one piece. And couldn’t get my head around the fact the Romans could build that 1900 years ago, and yet we didn’t real develop technology for another 1750 years. I just couldn’t get over how society just plateaued for so long and then suddenly increased.
– I had no idea what these were before I went to Rome. Turns out they were built around 1723 to link the church at the top with the square at the bottom. They get their name from the Spanish embassy nearby.
These get super super busy, so try and visit early evening or first thing in peak season. We went in July and this was as quiet as we could get.
– You can’t go to Rome without visiting the Trevi Fountain. The legend states, that you must throw a coin into the fountain and you will return to Rome again. I threw in a 1 cent coin, so they probably don’t want me to return to Rome!
Over 1 million Euros are donated to charity through the coins from the fountain, which are collected 3 times a week with a water vacuum!!
Basilica San Giovanni –
This is a bit further out that the rest of the tourist areas. We stayed around the corner from here for our last night and it was insane. I have never seen so much gold in one place! I found the ceilings in there was just as breathtaking as the Sistine Chapel!
- St Peter’s Basilica – This is obviously the most famous Cathedral in the World. It is in the Vatican City, which is a separate country from Rome. However, you don’t have to pass border control, so I am counting it on this list. There are massive queues and you will have be prepared to stand in them.
Also you can see the free Pope’s address here, twice a week in summer on Sundays and Wednesdays.
The Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo
– If you love art, you need to go here. It is home to two works by Caravaggio available to visit for free. They are insane and worth a visit on this free list of things to do in Rome.
Piazza del Popolo
– Next to the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo is the square that everyone loves to sit in. A key part of Italian culture is sitting in squares and having a relaxing time. This is in my opinion my favourite of the squares to sit in and to enjoy.
This is another amazing square, this one is full of street performers and crowds. In the summer it gets super busy, but the vibe is similar to summer in covent garden, London.
Terrazza del Pincio
This is just up the steps from the Piazza del Popolo is one of the best views of Rome’s skyline. We just felt like wondering up there and the steps were super hard to climb in the baking heat of July.
The steps look like this…
Free walking tour and the free days each month –
So most places in Rome have a free day each month to visit places. This includes the Colosseum and the Vatican Museums, but they will be super super busy!!
I also had planned to go on a free walking tour, which left from the Spanish steps at 10am every day .
However, we decided to go at our own pace and have an adventure, also by day 2 in Rome.. we were sick of tour groups kind of being EVERYWHERE, so it would have been a little hypocritical to join one. I think tour groups are great, but July in Rome is insanely busy, never mind 40 people following a selfie stick around the narrow streets is difficult to navigate around!
After all that you can save all your money for pizza and gelato which is worth it obviously!!
Thank you for enjoying my 10 free things to do in Rome, I also wrote a 72 hour itinerary for Rome, so I hope this comes in useful for people heading to Rome.
Until next time,
The Great Ambini
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