Perhaps ancient Rome's most astonishing architectural feat.

TravelCurious Tip

Enjoy the view over a grappa from a bar in the surrounding Piazza della Rotonda.

Holy dome

For the entirety of its two millennia, the Pantheon has been used as a place of worship. It was first built as a temple to the Roman Gods around 126 AD, and became a church after the Empire converted to Christianity in the 7th century - its internal niches now contain fine Catholic artwork including frescoes and Byzantine icons, and a magnificent high altar was added in the 17th century. The building’s consecration protected it from the terrible damage suffered by much of Rome’s ancient architecture during the early medieval period.

To this day, the Pantheon hosts religious masses and weddings. It is also the resting place for many eminent Romans, including the artist Raphael and the first king of Italy, Victor Emmanuel II.

A monumental feat

From an architectural perspective, the Pantheon remains one of the great wonders of the world. The sixteen vast granite Corinthian columns of its portico - which each weigh 60 tons - were quarried in Egypt, dragged 100km on wooden sledges to the Nile, floated by barge down the river, crossed the Mediterranean Sea in ships to Ostia, then were transferred back onto barges to travel up the Tiber to Rome - before being rolled another 700 metres to the Pantheon. Quite a journey!

Its rotunda is no less impressive, crowned by the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome, whose height is exactly equal to the rotunda’s diameter - a 43.3m sphere fits perfectly inside. It is only relatively recently that architects have come to understand how the dome can support itself, let alone withstand the many earthquakes over its long history.

The dome’s 4,535 ton construction is ingenious. It reduces in thickness from 6.4m at the base to just 1.2m at the crown, further lightened by internal coffering; its aggregate consists of heavy travertine at the base, then lighter terracotta tiles, then even lighter porous tufa and pumice at the top. At the very apex, where the dome would be at its most vulnerable to collapse, there is no concrete at all: the oculus, a 9m circular aperture, lightens the load as well as allowing in a beam of sunlight. The polychrome marble floor features concealed bronze drainage holes to handle water ingress during storms.

Michelangelo himself was greatly moved by his first sight of the Pantheon, declaring it to be the work of angels; he was inspired to design the dome of St. Peter's Basilica, by which time the Pantheon was already almost 1,500 years old. It also inspired Brunelleschi’s stunning 15th century dome for Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. The Pantheon remains today as stunning testament to the Roman Empire’s majesty, and one of the most influential and impressive buildings of all time.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Rome
Piazza Navona
A lovely square on the former site of the Stadium of Domitian, boasting wonderful Baroque fountains.
Campo De' Fiori
Host to a daily fruit and vegetable market, this square is a great place to soak up the atmosphere of Rome.
Largo di Torre Argentina
The site of Pompey - where Julius Caesar was assassinated by the Senate - is now equally known locally as a shelter for stray cats, who are often as photographed as the ruins themselves.
Piazza Venezia
Is one of the main squares in Rome and takes its name from the Palazzo Venezia, built by the Venetian Cardinal, Pietro Barbo alongside the church of Saint Mark.
Montecitori Palace
Montecitori Palace or Palazzo Montecitorio is the seat of the Chamber of Deputies
Church of St. Louis of the French
San Luigi dei Francesi is a Catholic Church near Piazza Navona, Rome

Related Tours

Vatican & Colosseum in a Day: Private Full-Day Walking Tour
Experience the magic of Rome with a fully guided walking tour of the most popular highlights of the Eternal City and discover the Colosseum, the historic centre and the Vatican Museums in a day with entrance tickets included. 

On your private full-day walking tour, you will:

  • Walk in the footsteps of  Gladiators as you explore the Colosseum, the largest standing amphitheatre in the world;
  • Learn about the emperors who built the Flavian Amphitheatre and the opening 100 days of games;
  • See the iconic Triumphal Arch of Constantine, built by Constantine the Great in 315AD;
  • Explore the ruins of the Roman forum, the downtown of Ancient Rome;
  • See the major highlights of Rome’s Centro Storico (historic centre) including the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona;
  • Stop for lunch in one of your guide's favourite haunts (lunch not included in the cost of the tour);
  • Hop in a taxi across town to visit the Vatican Museums;
  • Tour the highlights of the magnificent Vatican Museums, including the Pinecone courtyard, the LaocoönGalleries of the Maps and Tapestries, and the amazing Raphael Rooms;
  • Marvel at the works of Michelangelo Buonarroti in the Sistine Chapel - the grand finale!;
  • End your tour on the Balcony of the iconic St. Peter's Basilica, after which you are welcome to continue exploring the Basilica at your own leisure.

Discover the religious, historical, and cultural significance of Rome, once the Caput Mundi (head of the world) on this magical full-day privately guided tour. 

Walk in the footsteps of slaves and emperors, gladiators and Vestal Virgins, cardinals and artists as your expert guide weaves together the stories that have made Rome the Eternal City. 

Relish walking into the Colosseum and step out onto the stage – the most famous monument of the ancient world. Learn about a day in the life of an ancient Roman as you stroll through the Forum admiring the temples and basilicas still standing after two millennia. 

Then plunge into the friendly hustle and bustle of ‘modern’ Rome as you walk around the historic centre, taking in such iconic sites as the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and the mighty Pantheon – the largest man-made cement dome with an oculus in the world. And it was built in the second century! 

After a pit stop for lunch, hop in a taxi across town where your guide will lead you through the hallowed halls of the Vatican Museums to wonder and marvel at the masterpieces from antiquity and those extraordinary, god-like rivals of the High Renaissance: Michelangelo and Raphael. 

On exiting the Sistine Chapel your tour will end on the iconic balcony of St Peter’s Basilica, after which you will have time to explore the Basilica at your own leisure.

PLEASE NOTE: The order of the itinerary may change based on ticket availability. 
Pantheon, Trevi Fountain & Spanish Steps: Private Half-Day Tour
Enjoy a private walking tour in the Heart of Rome, where your private guide will introduce you to the city’s Ancient Roman history and baroque architecture while showing you the Eternal City's major landmarks. 

On your private walking tour, you will: 

  • Explore the most popular highlights in Rome's city centre in just 3 hours;
  • Discover Piazza del Popolo and the main entrance to the city during Ancient Rome times;
  • Climb the 135 steps of the magnificent Spanish Steps (if you wish) that lead to the beautiful Trinita Dei Monti Church;
  • Make a wish at the stunning Trevi Fountain and learn about the various myths behind the coins in the fountain; 
  • Pass by the over 2000 years old Pantheon – one of the best-preserved Ancient Roman buildings in existence;
  • Take a stroll through Piazza Navona built on an ancient old stadium in the 1st century AD;
  • Visit Campo de' Fiori, one of Rome's most famous squares famous for its open-air market;
  • Explore Piazza Farnese, home to Palazzo Farnese, a 16th-century Roman building; 
  • Walk across Ponte Sisto, a bridge that connects Rome's city centre with Trastevere;
  • Make a quick stop for a delicious Gelato on us along the way.

Sure, you have heard the phrase ‘Rome was not built in a day, but to truly understand that, one must walk the city with an expert to show you the layers of ancient civilization and ruins piled into the now-modern city. Often called the “Eternal City”, Rome is undoubtedly one of the most historically and culturally rich cities in the world. In the heart of Rome, you’ll come across the Pantheon and the Piazza Navona – two landmarks that date back to the Roman Empire; in addition, you’ll have the opportunity to see amazing architecture like the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps from the Rococo (late-Baroque) period. 

This three-hour walking tour is designed to give you the perfect overview of the city, as it includes some of the most beautiful attractions in the historic centre. This tour of the heart of Rome– more than any other, mixes the ancient with the late Baroque in a way that only Rome could. It is a great introduction to the magic in Rome. 
The Heart Of Rome: Family Friendly Private Half-Day Walking Tour
Discover the best of Rome on this private family-friendly walking tour through its most famous piazzas, fountains, and landmarks. Visit Castel Sant'Angelo and see where ancient emperors kept their treasures and connect with ancient history! 

On your family-friendly private tour you will: 

  • Enjoy the personal attention of a private tour guide who will keep the whole family engaged, interested, and entertained;
  • See the major highlights of Rome’s city centre in just 3 hours;
  • Stop for a delicious local Gelato on us;
  • Pose like Audrey Hepburn on the iconic Spanish Steps; 
  • Throw a coin and make a wish at the stunning Trevi Fountain - see if you can spot the fake windows;
  • Step inside the mighty Pantheon – the 2000-year-old temple to all the gods. Peer into the heavens through its miraculous oculus!
  • Hear how Rome was built layer upon layer – just like a giant lasagna;
  • See the beautiful baroque piazzas and learn about the secret insults between the rival artists, Bernini and Borromini; 
  • Spot the hidden insults within the statues and architecture with the help of your guide;
  • Guess the rivers on the Fountain of the Four Rivers at Piazza Navona – your guide will give you clues!
  • End the tour with a visit to one of Rome's most historic and magnificent monuments: the Castel Sant'Angelo (tickets included); 
  • Uncover its mysteries as you explore this ancient Imperial Mausoleum turned Papal fortress - made famous as the Headquarters of the Illuminati in Dan Brown's Angels and Demons!;
  • See the "secret passage" used by popes between Castel Sant'Angelo and the Vatican;
  • Finish with an unparalleled panoramic view over the city from the castle ramparts, beneath a colossal bronze statue of the Archangel Michael. 
Enjoy this engaging, family-friendly walking tour of all the highlights of Rome's stunning historic centre with an expert private guide - including a delicious and well-deserved gelato break!  

Your kids will love exploring some of Rome’s best-known attractions such as the Spanish Steps, chucking coins into the Trevi Fountain, and spotting the fake windows and the odd 'cup' that doesn't quite fit. 

You'll walk inside the amazing Pantheon - designed in the 2nd Century by Emperor Hadrian. How did the Ancient Romans build that heavy cement dome with a hole in it? How did it not collapse? Gaze up to the heavens through the open air 'occulus' as your guide explains the amazing ingenuity of the Romans, and tells you other fascinating secrets about the Pantheon, like why the church calls it St Mary of the Martyrs. 

You'll see the amazing Fountain of the Four Rivers at Piazza Navona by the sculptor Bernini, and the magnificent church of Saint Agnes overlooking it, by his arch-rival Borromini. 

Your guide will help you to guess which four major rivers are represented in the giant statues by Bernini - he left us lots of clues, and will also help you find the insult left on top of the church by Borromini!    

You will learn how Rome was built - layer on layer, like a giant lasagna! You'll see how Piazza Navona was built over a horse racing stadium, and a marker showing just how high the river Tiber used to flood. See if you can reach it! 

Your tour ends with a visit to the amazing Castle of the Angel or the Castel Sant'Angelo. Feel like a true explorer as you uncover the secrets of the castle. Originally the Mausoleum of Hadrian,  it became a Papal fortress with a secret passageway that connects it directly to the Vatican!  

This is also the site in which, legend claims, Archangel Michael appeared sheathing a flaming sword as a sign of the end of the plague of 590 AD. Climb up to the ramparts for an amazing view of the Eternal City - don't worry the giant bronze statue of Archangel Michael will protect you! 
The Heart Of Rome: Private Golf Cart Tour
Discover the heart of Rome, as you cruise the most popular attractions and hidden backstreets that only small vehicles or pedestrians can access. 

On this private golf cart tour, you will:

  • Visit the magnificent Spanish Steps that lead to the beautiful Trinita Dei Monti Church;
  • Make a wish at the stunning Trevi Fountain and learn about the various myths behind the coins in the fountain;
  • Step inside the over 2000 years old Pantheon – one of the best-preserved Ancient Roman buildings in existence;
  • See the Colosseum (from the outside), Piazza NavonaPiazza Venezia, and Campo De Fiori;
  • Enjoy the personalised attention of a private tour guide;
  • Combine the intimacy of a walking tour with the comfort of a driving tour.
Often referred to as the “Eternal City”, Rome is undoubtedly one of the most historically and culturally vibrant cities in the world. Here, you will come across the Pantheon and the Piazza Navona – two landmarks that date back to the Roman Empire; in addition, you’ll have the opportunity to see the amazing architecture of the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps from the Rococo (late-Baroque) period. 

This four-hour golf cart tour is designed to give you a perfect overview of the city: visit the key sites in the centre and be shown all the best-hidden haunts and local hangouts that you might otherwise miss. A golf-cart tour allows you to access parts of the city that cars and tour buses cannot. 

Stop off at attractions or for gelato whenever you feel like it, go for a wander through Rome’s winding cobbled streets and save your energy for the rest of the day by hopping back on your golf cart, which will be waiting, ready to whisk you away to your next destination. 

A great way to experience the magic of Rome in a comfortable and flexible manner – and your experience will be unaffected by the weather! 
Scavenger Hunt in Rome: Private Family-Friendly Half-Day Tour
Explore the alleyways, monuments, and secrets of Rome in a fun and stimulating way, on this private family scavenger hunt, great for kids of all ages – with a well-deserved gelato to end! 

On your private scavenger hunt tour you will:

  • Enjoy a privately guided, family-oriented tour of Rome with all sorts of surprises included;
  • Engage your kids with a fun activity while exploring Rome's beauties in the historical centre; a really fun way to learn the history, and even secrets, of the Eternal city;
  • Commence your scavenger hunt in the centre of Rome at Piazza di Spagna by the iconic Spanish Steps;
  • Work with your private guide to answer riddles and map out your route;
  • Journey through the historic centre of Rome, locating your clues and discovering the city’s secrets as you go;
  • Make a wish by throwing in your coin at the magnificent Trevi Fountain;
  • Find out about the famous monuments, piazzas, churches and temples as you follow the map;
  • Step inside the Pantheon with its incredible dome and gaze up at the oculus – the open-air “eye”, a unique achievement in ancient architecture! ;
  • Head over to Piazza Navona with Bernini’s fascinating Fountain of the Four Rivers – will you be able to decipher the clues?
  • End with a very well-deserved gelato, a delicious Italian ice cream.
This entertaining scavenger hunt is a great way to see all the most important and famous sights in Rome and keep the kids engaged and interested! Your tour starts at Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps, where you will be given advice, clues and information before embarking on an exciting adventure through the city. 

Continue your hunt through the historic centre of Rome, and keep your eyes open for clues along the way- passing the majestic Trevi Fountain – spot the fake window? And pay a visit to the mighty Pantheon with its vast concrete dome and mesmerizing oculus. This is a chance to explore Rome in a stimulating way and invites kids to work together to win a prize. There is an ice cream included at the end too! 
Discover Rome's Ancient History Live Virtual Tour
This live virtual tour will start at Piazza Navona where you will learn about its ancient history and how its original use was as a Roman stadium

On this live virtual tour you will see:
  • Ancient Ruins of the Stadium of Domitian 
  • Piazza Navona, incl. the Fountain of the Four Rivers, the Church of Sant'Agnese and Palazzo Pamphili
  • Palazzo Madama
  • Church of San Luigi dei Francese
  • Piazza della Rotonda
  • The Pantheon
You'll be able to peer down onto the ruins of the 1st-century Stadium with your tour guide and virtually wander around the spectacular Baroque piazza.

You will have a chance to admire Bernini's stunning Fountain of the Four Rivers and Borromini's church of Sant'Agnese.

After a short 5-minute stroll you will discover the Pantheon, the best-preserved Ancient Roman temple to learn about the history of this incredible building and its unique architecture.



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