Rome is probably not the first destination you think of when it comes to budget travel, but the great thing is that there are so many free things to do in Rome that once you have found cheap apartments in Rome – the rest of your budget planning is easy.
The city is practically an open-air museum, and there are so many historical sites that won’t cost you a dime – to give you an idea. Here are 7 free things to do in Rome …
Free things to do in Rome
Take A Stroll In Foro Romano
Stroll among the ruins of what once was the commercial, governmental and religious center of ancient rome and its powerful empire.
Used as a venue for public speeches, criminal trials, gladiatorial games, it was the heart of ancient Rome and one of the most important meeting places in history – an ancient beauty not to be passed up!
Toss A Coin In Trevi Fountain
Rome is home to many incredible piazzas and almost as many fountains.
One of the most famous is the Trevi Fountain, where the Swedish beauty Anita Ekberg splashed in La Dolce Vita – a scene that would become one of the most iconic in film history.
The flamboyant baroque fountain was completed in 1762 by Niccolo Salvi, and legend says that if you throw a coin in the fountain over your shoulder you will return to Rome again some day.
Visit The PantheonVisit The Pantheon
The Pantheon is the oldest standing domed structure in Rome, built in 27 B.C. as a temple honoring the Roman gods (in 609 it was converted into a Christian church).
The structure is the burial place of several famous artists, and the reason for the huge 30 ft hole in the ceiling is still a mystery.
One of the most popular explanations is that the opening was built as a sundial to illuminate the emperor as he entered on important occasions.
It’s the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world, and a must see when in Rome.
Try Your Luck At La Bocca della Verita
Literally translated to “the mouth of truth”, this quirky sculpture is thought to once have been a piece of an ancient Roman fountain.
A legend from the middle ages has it that if you put your hand in the gaping mouth of this grotesque sculpture and tell a lie, you will pull out nothing but a stump!
Relax In Nature
For panoramic views of Rome, Park Gianicolo on Janiculum Hill is perfect!
Another great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the huge city are the fardens at Villa Borghese, some of the largest and most beautiful gardens in Rome and a great place for a picnic.
Check Out The Free Events
Summer is the high-season for free events in Rome, with music, film and theater festivals accompany wine-tastings and food events.
The International Urban Theater Festival has plenty of spontaneous and free dance, music and acting performances throughout the city in September.
The main summer festival, Estate Romana, is dedicated to outdoor performances and practically the whole of Rome becomes a stage.
During the festival hundreds of concerts, film showings, art displays and dances are held, many of them free of charge in all sorts of places, from the ancient ruins at Ostia Antica to open squares.
Visit These Two Churches
There are many absolutely stunning churches in Rome, but you can only see so many churches until you get so sick of them that if you see another church you swear you will go mad.
But before that happens, there are two amazing churches in Rome you should take the time to visit – the first one is St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest Roman Catholic building in the world and an amazing work of art.
Make sure you rub the foot of the bronze statue of St. Peter before leaving, as it’s supposed to bring good luck!
The second church is San Clemente, which actually holds three churches in one.
Made up of three levels, the lowest one is an ancient worship site, the second level is the first version of the church as a Christian worship site and the third a sanctuary from the 12th century with beautiful mosaics!
3 Amazing Roman Architecture
The rise and fall of the Roman Empire may be ancient history, but Roman architecture is still on prominent display in countless European cities.
From arches to aqueducts, temples to baths, there is no shortage of places to admire the remains of the great civilization.”
While not as famous as the Coliseum or the Pantheon, here are three sites that demonstrate a range of architectural techniques and give visitors a sense of what it was like to live in ancient Rome:
Verona Arena – Verona, Italy
Built in 30 AD, this structure is one of the best preserved Roman arenas, and despite a damaging earthquake in the 12th century, it is still in use today.
Originally built outside the city limits, the arena accommodated up to 30,000 spectators, and Romans would flock to it to watch barbaric gladiator fights and other games.
The Verona Arena is famous for its wonderful acoustics, and it is a currently popular venue for opera productions and rock and pop concerts.
A great option is to stay in local Verona apartments and take in a show.
Villa Adriana – Tivoli, Italy
The Emperor Hadrian’s expansive villa, comprised of 30 separate buildings, is a testament to his appreciation of and influence on Roman architecture.
Built in the early 2nd century AD, Hadrian’s vacation home included vast gardens, multiple pools, theatres, libraries, baths, underground tunnels, and housing for guests and servants.
Especially interesting is the Maritime Theatre, a pool with a small island in the center that could only be reached by drawbridge.
On the island was a small Roman house – allowing the emperor to retreat from his retreat!
The Ruins – Pompeii and Herculaneum, Italy
Destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD, these Roman towns were buried under the volcano’s pyroclastic flows.
Pompeii is well known for its ruins, but Herculaneum’s ruins were even better preserved: the city was completely buried so even upper stories of buildings remain intact, and the hot ash preserved wood objects such as furniture.
There are bakeries, bars, luxurious homes, and brothels.
Sharp-eyed visitors will notice ancient graffiti and a “beware of dog” sign.”
Visitors can even come face-to-face with the towns’ last inhabitants; eerie plaster casts are all that remain of those who failed to escape the volcano and were quickly overcome by super-heated air.