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Pantheon

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.
Caravaggio
An artist who heavily influenced Baroque painting whose pieces are found all around Rome.
Homemade gnocchi
A classic Italian-style dish made with potatoes and accompanied with tomato sauce usually served in Sunday lunches with the family.
Palazzo Giustiniani
Palazzo Giustiniani or the Piccolo Colle (Little Hill) its a Placa in Sant'Eustachio, Rome
Church of St. Louis of the French
San Luigi dei Francesi is a Catholic Church near Piazza Navona, Rome
Family Scavenger Hunt
Explore the best of Rome's highlights with clues to the past hidden in plain sight for your family!

Related Tours

Highlights of Rome Full Day Tour Including Vatican & Colosseum
Experience the magic of Rome in a day with a fully guided walking tour of the Colosseum, the historic centre and Vatican Museums with skip-the-line tickets. On your tour, you will:

  • Enjoy the personalised attention of a private expert tour guide all day.
  • Skip the line to the Colosseum and walk in the footsteps of the Gladiators!
  • Learn about the emperors who built the Flavian Amphitheatre and the opening 100 days of games. 
  • See the iconic Triumphal Arch of Constantine
  • 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. 
  • Enjoy time, skip the line entrance tickets to the Vatican Museums and a tour of its highlights, 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.

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. 

Note: Due to Covid restrictions, it may not be possible to access St. Peter's Basilica while on tour. In these cases, your tour will end in St. Peter's Square. 
The Heart of Rome Private tour: Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps
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: 

  • Enjoy the personalised attention of a private tour guide
  • See the major highlights in Rome city centre in just 3 hours
  • Stop for a delicious Gelato on us!
  • See Piazza del Popolo, Piazza Navona, Campo dei Fiori and Ponte Sisto!
  • Step inside the over 2000 years old Pantheon – one of the best-preserved Ancient Roman buildings in existence.
  • Make a wish at the stunning Trevi Fountain and learn about the various myths behind the coins in the fountain. 
  • Climb the 135 steps of the magnificent Spanish Steps (if you wish) that lead to the beautiful Trinita Dei Monti Church.
  • Get orientated in the city, and get tips from your guide on where to eat and drink
  • Please note: This tour can run day or night. The night tour is very romantic but could also be ghostly! Either way, simply book an evening departure and let your guide know on the day of the tour the type of stories you wish to hear.

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. 

Please note that the Pantheon and other religious sites might be closed during the evening tours. In this case, your guide will provide you with information from the outside.
Caravaggio in Rome Private Walking Tour
Enjoy a private tour of Caravaggio’s astonishing masterpieces displayed in churches throughout the historic centre of Rome. Learn all about his wild reputation as the bad boy of Baroque Rome, as you admire his phenomenal paintings, famous for ‘chiaroscuro’ their dramatic contrasts of dark and light. On your private tour you will: 

  • Enjoy the expertise and personal attention of your private guide. 
  • Walk around the beautiful historic centre of Rome, visiting the churches that house several of Caravaggio’s most famous masterpieces. 
  • Learn all about the turbulent life of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, whose paintings were as dramatic as his wild reputation!
  • Begin at the church of Santa Maria del Popolo on the beautiful Piazza del Popolo. A church designed by Michelangelo, made famous by Dan Brown’s book Angels and Demons. 
  • Learn all about the significance and symbolism of these two astonishing paintings, the rock beneath St Peter as his cross is hauled up, the rump of the horse as Saul becomes Paul. 
  • Leave the church, blinking into the sunlight, and wander down the maze of cobbled streets in central Rome. 
  • See the Italian Parliament building as you enter the area of Campo Marzio, near the Pantheon. It was around this area that in 1606 Caravaggio famously killed a man, and had to flee Rome with a price on his head. 
  • Admire ‘The Madonna of the Pilgrims’ another masterpiece by Caravaggio – depicting two pilgrims with dirty, muddy feet on their knees before the Madonna and child. An unusual painting – highlighting the poverty of the pilgrims, and also of Mary and the infant Christ with peeling walls behind them. 
  • Next, wander towards Piazza Navona and admire this beautiful central square of Rome, with Bernini’s fountain of the four rivers and his rival Borromini’s church of St. Agnes in Agony. Caravaggio was offered lodging in the Palazzo Madama just opposite, the home of his major patron Cardinal Francesco del Monte. 
  • End your tour inside the magnificently marbled Baroque church of San Luigi dei Francesi. (St. Louis of the French). 
Few people’s lives have involved the same blend of mystery, murder and genius as the master Caravaggio. On this tour, you will see his best work, learn about the interesting stories of his life and be transported back to Rome at the time. Caravaggio was very much the bad boy of Baroque Rome. Famous as much for the number of times he was arrested as for his exquisite, and often controversial paintings. He once threw a plate of hot artichokes in a waiter’s face for bringing him the ‘wrong ones’ and would often swagger about town showing off his sword looking for a duel – which was illegal! 

But Caravaggio obviously had charm and charisma. He was in high demand as a painter, which suited him as he could roll up a canvas whilst on the run from the law. He controversially used poor, often homeless folk as his models for great saints and images of the Madonna. But he is most famous for the dramatic contrasts of dark and light in his paintings – the technique called chiaroscuro. Perhaps because his own life was full of such contrasts. 

Your tour will take you around the Rome that Caravaggio knew, and into the churches that now house his priceless masterpieces, available to view for just a euro in the lightbox slot. Today one of his paintings will sell for millions – but Caravaggio was always hard up because of his tendency for late-night carousing! 
The Heart Of Rome: Family Friendly Private Tour
Enjoy a beautiful city stroll through the historic centre of Rome, where your private guide will introduce you and your kids to the beautiful Eternal City with plenty of stories to both educate and entertain. On your private tour you will: 

  • Enjoy the personal attention of a private tour guide who will keep the whole family engaged, interested, and entertained. 
  • Starting at the beautiful Piazza del Popolo, 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 magnificent Spanish Steps. 
  • Throw a coin and make a wish at the stunning Trevi Fountain.
  • Step inside the mighty Pantheon – the 2000-year-old temple to all the gods. Peer into the heavens through its miraculous oculus!
  • Learn about the bathing and toilet habits of the Ancient Romans.
  • 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, hidden in the statues and architecture. 
  • Guess which fountain is which at Piazza Navona – your guide will give you clues!
  • Walk to Largo Argentina and see the place where Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by his friends. 
  • Enjoy the sprightly atmosphere of Campo Dei Fiori, before learning about the grim torture and burning at the stake endured by the man whose statue stands in the middle of the square, Giordano Bruno.
  • Walk across the ancient Ponte Sisto – enjoy lovely views along the Tiber River, and the buskers on the bridge, and learn some of the murky secrets of the not-so-raging river! 
  • End your tour at the buzzing Piazza Trilussa in the heart of Trastevere – and close to lots of great pizzerias, gelaterias, cafes and bars. 

You may have heard the phrase ‘Rome was not built in a day, and to truly understand that, strolling through the historic centre with an expert guide – really helps to bring this ancient city to life. Let your guide help your kids understand the full breadth of history, with stories from the ancient world. At the Pantheon, learn how the Romans worshipped, took a bath and went to the toilet! At the eerie ruins of the theatres at Largo Argentina hear about the brutal assassination of Julius Caesar, on the very spot on which it happened. (It is now the Roman cat sanctuary – how are the mighty fallen!) At Piazza Navona, see how this beautiful Baroque space was built on top of an ancient stadium for horse racing. 'The lasagna effect'. See the marker that shows just how high the seemingly harmless Tiber river can flood. 

Take a break at the Trevi Fountain to throw in your coins and make a wish – then let your guide breathe life into the characters sculpted on the fountains, mighty Neptune, Lady Cornucopia – and see if you can spot a fake window!  There are so many secrets and stories behind every monument, piazza, church, and stone. Like naughty jokes hidden in the sculptures by Bernini at Piazza Navona – and his elephant next to the Pantheon. 

This three-hour walking tour is designed to give you and the family the perfect overview of the city. Combined with delicious gelato, it is a great introduction to the magic in Rome. 

Please note that the Pantheon and other religious sites might be closed in the evening tours. In this case, your guide will provide you with information from the outside.
Heart Of Rome Private Golf Cart Tour
Cruise through Rome's highlights as you sit back and relax in your private golf cart.

Discover the real Rome: the hidden backstreets that only a small vehicle or pedestrians can access. 
Mobility is not an issue: be driven right to the doorstep of buildings and through areas where cars aren't allowed to drive.

  • 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! 
Private Family Scavenger Hunt in Rome – with a Gelato Prize!
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 histories, 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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