Free things to do in Rome
Rome is a city known for high fashion and refined tastes. Naturally, those things come at a price. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have great fun and experience the culture and history of Rome while on a budget. There are loads of activities throughout the city that won’t cost you a penny. Here are a few of our favorites.
Anyone who has seen the iconic movie “Roman Holiday” will want to stop by La Bocca della Verita. The wide-eyed, wide-mouthed face can be found at the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. Put your hand in its mouth, and according to legend, if you’re a liar, you’ll have your hand bitten off.
From there, you can head over to the Pantheon, which is the oldest standing domed structure in Rome. The structure was originally constructed as a temple to the bevy of Roman gods; however, it was converted to a Christian church in 609 AD. Not only is the Pantheon a visually striking structure with its stunning oculus and tall columns, but it is also the burial place of some of the world’s greatest artists, including Raphael.
If you’ve been indulging in some great Italian food or Rome gelatos, you can burn off some of those calories with a visit to the Spanish Steps in the Piazza di Spagna. This grand staircase proposed by the French holds record as the longest and widest staircase in Europe. It leads from the Piazza straight up to the Church of Trinita dei Monti, and has become a gathering spot for students, tourists, artists and shoppers.
If you want a real slice of culture, head on over to the Vatican Museums, which provide free entry on the last Saturday of each month, from 8 in the morning till 2 in the afternoon. Exhibitions change often, but you’re sure to find all sorts of interesting things to see. From the Sistine Chapel to Raphael’s rooms to the Gregorian Egyptian Museum, there’s something here for everyone.
The Historic Museum of the Liberation of Rome is another fascinating free spot to stop. The museum was converted from former Nazi headquarters, and is a display of the events that occurred in Rome throughout World War II. The museum is extremely interesting and pays something of a tribute to the many leaders of the Roman Resistance who endured torture and imprisonment there during the war.
Of course, there are a number of beautiful parks throughout Rome as well, where you can relax with your family and enjoy all sorts of recreation free of charge. At Park Gianicolo, children enjoy a free daily puppet show – a tradition that dates back for centuries. Largo Argentina is a no-kill cat shelter, and both adults and children will delight in seeing the animals roaming and playing amongst the ancient ruins. Finally, the gardens at Villa Borghese are among the most beautiful in romantic Rome, providing a great spot for picnicking, relaxing and exploring.