23 Attractions in Rome that are free all the time
1. Trevi Fountain
2. The Spanish Steps
3. St Peter’s Basilica
4. St. Peter’s Square
5. The Pantheon
6. Giardino di Arancia
7. Knights of Malta keyhole
The Knights of Malta headquarters feature a large green door with a small keyhole people line up to peek through. The rewarding view is St. Peter’s Basilica perfectly framed by the keyhole and garden arches behind the door.
8. Piazza di Popolo
9. Piazza Navona
10. Aventine Hill
One of Rome’s seven hills and the location of the Knights of Malta keyhole. The hill is home to 5 different churches all with stunning architecture and history.
11. Campo de’ Fiori
12. Pincian Hill and Park
The large park is the ‘Central Park’ of Rome and has a striking view of Piazza del Popolo and the city beyond.
13.Wander down Via Apia Antica
14. Bocca Della Verità
A large marble carving that depicts a face of Oceanus, the sea god. In film, the carving is famous for the legend that no one can tell a lie while their hand is within the mouth, a hole, in the carving.
15. Circus Maximus
This was the stadium where Ancient Romans raced their chariots and put on large events. The area is now an open park so tourists can wander as the Romans did.
16.See Byzantine mosaics
17. San Clemente Basilica
Church built on a church, built on a Roman temple. The structure is made up of a basilica built in the middle ages, over a 4th century home of a Roman noble, over a temple to the Roman god Mithras.
18. Piazza Venezia
A central square in Rome surrounded by beautiful sites. Trajan’s column and the Capitoline hill border one side, and Altare della Patria – a monument to the first king of Italy – sits on the other.
19.Engage in the Italian custom of passeggiata
In the early hours of the evening, put on your best clothes and go wander along the main streets of the city like Via del Corso. This is a time where Italians are out walking, and the point is to see and be seen (and maybe stop for gelato or an aperitivo).
20.Go find where Caesar was murdered
This important landmark cannot be missed if you are in the city to discover ancient Roman history. If you go to the Area Sacra at Largo di Torre Argentina you can see where historians have identified the place where Caesar was murdered at the height of the Roman republic.
21. Explore the colourful neighbourhood of Garbatella
If you head over to Garbatella, you can get snap happy walking through the streets full of colourful buildings, red brick facades, beautiful palazzi and community gardens.
22. Learn about the Nazi occupation
Some of Rome's more recent history is in the Museo Historico della Liberazione. Come to this museum where you can learn about the Nazi's occupation of Rome. The museum is located in the house that used to be the SS headquarters, where people were held as prisoners and tortured - not a museum for the faint hearted!
23. Attend a free summer event
During summer, the city of Rome puts on a number of concerts and events that run on different days and different times, and some of these wonderful concerts are free. Check out the city's Estate Romana calendar for when you are in town!
Visiting top attractions for free
Visiting Colosseum for free
One of the city’s most well-known attractions, the ancient home of gladiators and circuses is free to all visitors on the first Sunday of each month. Reservations aren’t available on these dates however, and the non-existent entry free attracts hordes of visitors to this world-famous site, so expect significant waiting times.
Visiting Galleria Borghese for free
The Galleria Borghese is one of Rome’s most impressive art museums, boasting work from giants like Bernini, Caravaggio, and Raphael. It is also situated in a beautiful, authentic Roman villa in central Rome. As a result, it’s a popular tourist destination. Entry is free on the first Sunday of the month, but reservations are required as the gallery restricts the number of guests allowed in the villa at any one time. Call on +39 06 841 3979 to ensure your entry.
Visiting Vatican attractions for free
Entry to St. Peter’s Square and Basilica is completely free on all days, but you’ll have to pay to reach the Basilica’s Dome and the Treasury.
Papal blessing is held every Wednesday in the Square, and free seating tickets can be collected from the reception area in the Basilica, the evening before the blessing. Seated tickets are limited but those who miss out can still view the blessing from a standing area. Papal blessings only take place when the Pope is himself in Rome, so it’s a good idea to check on the papal itinerary when arranging your visit. This information can be found here
The Vatican Museums themselves usually come with a €16.00 entry fee, but are also free on the last Sunday of each month. It should be noted that that guided tours are not available on these days, but this shouldn’t be an issue if you’re planning a free visit.
Free Museums in Rome
Rome is host to some of the finest surviving examples of classical, renaissance, baroque, and neoclassical art from titanic figures like Michelangelo, Raphael, Caravaggio, Bernini, and Salvi.
Art isn’t just to be found in the galleries and exhibition halls, however. As the Roman Catholic Church was one of art’s greatest patrons throughout the city’s history, many fine examples of art and sculpture can be found in churches dotted around the city:
Situated in the eponymous piazza near the ever-popular Piazza Navona, Sant’Agostino is one of the first churches built during the renaissance era and is home to Caravaggio’s baroque painting Madonna di Loreto. The church also houses a Raphael fresco and sculptures by Andrea and Jacopo Sansovino.
This modest church, nestled in the Piazza di San Pietro in Vincoli has the unique honour of housing the chains of St. Peter himself, and Michelangelo’s famous marble sculpture of Moses. The church doesn’t look like much on the outside, but is of considerable historical note and is rarely overcrowded.
Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
Built over the ruins of temple to the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis, this minor basilica is located in the Piazza della Minerva, just one city block away from the Pantheon. As a result, the church is often overlooked by visitors. The church is one of the few medieval churches in Rome not to receive a Baroque makeover, and is the last remaining example of Gothic church design in Rome itself.
Minor museums also litter the Eternal City, and often contain exhibitions of significant historical importance, if not world-spanning fame. The Gallery of the National Academy of San Luca can be found not far from the Trevi Fountain and the four-hundred year old building houses members of the Academy, including Baroque artist Guido Reni. The Museum of the Liberation of Rome can be seen at Via Tasso, within a few kilometres of central Rome. The museum houses artefacts from, and chronicles the events of the Nazi occupation of Rome during the Second World War. The building itself is discreet, having been used during the war by the SS to torture members of the Italian Resistant, and visitors can see examples of graffiti from the Roman resistance.
Free Attractions for Families
Rome isn’t a city reserved for romance or history – there’s plenty here for children and seniors. Families can enjoy a wide array of picnicking and play opportunities throughout the city, often at reasonable prices.
Park Gianicolo on Janiculum Hill offers a panoramic view of Rome, and the Teatro Verde historic puppetry show is performed here daily, free of charge. Shows are in Italian, but are visually exciting enough to keep younger children entertained throughout.
Younger visitors can also enjoy the only remaining Egyptian-style pyramid in Rome, built during a wave of Egypt-mania after the Roman conquest of the African country in 30 BC. The tomb conveniently has its own metro stop – Piramide.
Older children will perhaps show more interest in the somewhat morbid Crypt of Capuchin Friars in Santa Maria della Concezione, where the bones of some 4,000 monks have been used as decoration since 1631.
If you’re visiting in January, visitors can head to the Church of Saint Eusebio in the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II for the blessing of the animals; the blessing dates back to the eighth century and hundreds of citizens arrive annually to have their pets blessed by a priest. Later in the year cars are also blessed at the Santa Francesca Romana Church, near the Colosseum.
Free Performances and Shows in Rome
As a bustling, modern city situated in the heart of western culture, Rome has an abundance of musical, dramatic and artistic entertainments on offer. While most of these will cost you, the city plays host to a number of free shows at venues throughout the year.
With live jazz and blues performances and free seating, Vicolo San Francesco a Ripa’s ‘Big Mama’ music bar offers a cool, lively atmosphere in an intimate venue packed with tourists and local Romans alike. The bar offers food and drinks – neither of which comes for free. Big Mama is located in the trendy Trastevere neighbourhood of Rome, and during a season usually features around four-to-five jazz and blues bands a night. The club has just celebrated its 30th birthday, and remains a venue of choice for music-lovers and casual tourists.
The Roman Summer, or Estate Romana, is an umbrella term for the huge variety of music, film, art and dance events which take place throughout the summer months. The summer season runs between June and September, and includes events in Central Rome and the outlying districts. During the festival, the River Tiber plays host to a wide array of pop-up stalls, bars and entertainment tents, alongside an open-air cinema on Tiber Island itself. Many shows are free to the public, and visitors can enjoy walking from venue to venue while taking in some of the city’s more traditional sights.
As one could expect from the capital city of Roman Catholicism, the Feast of the Assumption is a significant event in the Roman calendar. While the Vatican Museums are closed for the August 14 and 15 dates, St. Peter’s is open, as are most of the major sights and museums around the city. The event is a summer holiday for Romans, so expect beaches and coastal hotels to be extremely busy.
The Gran Ballo di Ferragosto is a city-wide party held in honour of the public holiday, giving locals a chance to blow off steam before their mass exodus toward the coast. The star attraction of the event is dancing of all sorts: hip-hop, tango, ballroom and more can be seen on display. Participation is definitely encouraged, so if you’re planning to be around during the holiday, be prepared to dance!
1) Visit the Pantheon
The famous Pantheon by Marco Vispasiano Agrippa is one of the symbolic monuments of the city. The Roman monument is famous for its dome which still holds the record of being the largest in the world. The most passionate go to the Pantheon during the spring equinox on April 21, which is also the day of Christmas in Rome, when the light entering the building from the dome's oblong is reflected on the entrance; this system had to illuminate the emperor in his monumental entrance.
2) Visit the squares of Rome
In the historic city center there are the most beautiful squares in the world. Some are larger, such as Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza del Popolo, Largo Argentina and Piazza Venezia; others are smaller like Piazza degli Zingari, Piazza delle Tartarughe and Piazza del Fico. They are surrounded by Renaissance and Baroque palaces and hidden among the narrow streets of the center.
3) Visit the Jewish Ghetto and the Portico d'Ottavia
Located in the center of the city, between the monumental area and the bend of the Tiber, the Ghetto of Rome is a small town surrounded by a unique atmosphere. There are the artisan shops of the past and many restaurants of Roman kosher cuisine (which is delicious).
4) The Tiber island
The only Tiber island in Rome is home to one of the oldest hospitals in the city. Through the bridges on the island you can go from the Ghetto to the area of Trastevere, the district of Trilussa and the Romans of Rome par excellence.
It’s one of the most particular place you can see in Rome. Inside the park you can find some museum. When you are in, let’s find and visit “Casa delle civette", it’s a really wonderful place outside and inside. Everything is so detailed: glazed, rooftops, stairs.
A wonderful area with beautiful buildings. Here you can find the perfection, the art. Here, raise your head and look at the trees, there are a lot of parrots!
Parco degli Acquedotti
A big green area where there are six roman aqueducts. Here you can spend all day long: have a picnic, chill out, read a book or rent a bike and get around this place.
If you are in Rome between 7 and 10 december you can’t not go to via Margutta. Every year since 1953, in these days, one hundred painters display their works all over the street. This exhibition is called “One hundred painters of via Margutta” and it’s something magical.