I spy with my little eye

Let beauty loose

One of Rome's most important must-see sites is the Pantheon. It is located near Piazza Venezia, Piazza Navona and Largo Argentina, so it's easy to get to and visit before or after a nice stroll in the city center or downtown.

Apart from it's historical importance and cultural significance, the Pantheon is an original and remarkable structure. It is especially famous for it's dome and the big hole called the oculus at the top of the home. This hole is never covered, so when it rains, water comes pouring through. It also provides the only source of light as there are no windows in the Pantheon. The Pantheon also houses the tombs of the Renaissance artist Raphael and the former King of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II.

The Pantheon is also sometimes the venue for various cultural events in Rome. You may even have the fortune of visiting it during a reading of Dante's Divine Comedy.

There are plenty of benches around the interior perimeter of the Pantheon, so feel free to have a seat and enjoy the stunning wonder of this ancient building. While it's history is extensive, a few basic facts help any visitor appreciate it even more. It was originally built in under Marcus Agrippa in 27 BC as a temple for all the gods, and then it was later rebuilt into it's current structure that we see today under the Roman Emperor Hadrian around 118 AD and it has remained more or less unchanged since then.

It is also worthwhile having a little break to soak in the beauty of the exterior of the Pantheon in the piazza. There are various cafes where you can have a prosecco or coffee and maybe catch a great street performance of a local artist. Gelato lovers should take a little stroll over to the very famous ice cream shops nearby; Giolitti, for those who like more classic flavors, and Gelateria della Palma, for those who prefer more experimental and extravagant flavors.

Opening hours at the Pantheon vary according to time of year. A good Rome travel guide will list the opening hours according to season.

Published on February 11th, 2009
© When In Rome Tours

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