Rome may be one of the most popular traveller destinations in the world, but it doesn't have to cost a fortune to visit. There are many exciting attractions and experiences in Rome that are totally free, so you can have an unforgettable trip on the cheap. Here are the top 9 free things to do in Rome.
The Appian Way was the first highway in Europe. It was built in 312 B.C. to connect Rome with Capua, and much of the highway is still close to Rome. No vehicles are allowed on Sunday, so it's a great time to walk onto the road to see the attractions and landmarks along the way. You'll pass catacombs, old churches, Roman ruins and the Parco Regionale dell'Appia Antica, a captivating nature and archaeological park.
The Spanish Steps, the staircase leading from Piazza di Spagna to Trinità dei Monti, are one of the top experiences in Rome. When you climb the staircase to the top, you're rewarded with spectacular views of the city below. At the base of the stairs, you'll find the Keats-Shelley Memorial House, a fascinating museum dedicated to English romantic poets.
The Mouth of Truth is located in Piazza Bocca della Verità outside of the Church of Santa Maria. The world-famous marble mask has a unique legend. As the legend goes, the Mouth of Truth will bite the hand of those who lie. A husband once mistrusted his wife and took her to the sculpture to test her loyalty. When she pretended to swoon, her lover caught her in his arms, so she said she had only ever been in the arms of her husband and the man who caught her. Many people visit the Mouth of Truth to test the legend and take photos with their hands in its mouth.
The Vatican Museums have an admission fee most of the time, but they're free to visit in the morning on the last Sunday of each month. The museums are a must-see attraction that contains a massive collection of artwork from ancient to contemporary periods, such as the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo's famous ceiling and Stanze di Raffaello by Raphael. You'll also see some of the most important pieces from the Renaissance period and a collection of modern religious artwork.
The Pantheon is a former Roman temple that's now a church and among the top sights in Rome. It was constructed in A.D. 120, and it's known for its ideal balance and stunning architecture. The Pantheon is also the final resting place of the artist Raphael and Italian kings Umberto I and Victor Emmanuel. The Piazza della Rotonda surrounds the Pantheon, which is a lovely place to explore and grab a quick coffee or gelato.
The Santa Maria della Vittoria is a stunning baroque chapel and one of the most popular sights for art lovers. It holds many notable pieces of art, such as the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa by Bernini, reliefs by Pierre Etienne Monnot and paintings by Guercino.
Trastevere is a charming neighbourhood with restaurants and shops on narrow, cobblestone streets. Often compared to the Left Bank of Paris, Trastevere has a laid-back atmosphere with authentic Italian food options and local artisan shopping, making it a great destination to get a glimpse into the lives of Roman locals. There are a few landmarks in the area as well, such as the 12th-century Basilica di Santa Maria and the Basilica di Santa Cecilia.
Piazza Navona is one of the most famous squares in Rome. Dating back to the 15th century, the square is a popular destination for restaurants, cafes and shops. Many street performers and local artists work in the square, and there are remarkable sculptures and monuments, such as the Fountain of the Four Rivers by Bernini and Sant'Agnese in Agone.
The Trevi Fountain is a stunning baroque water feature that dates back to 19 B.C. It was built at the end of the Roman aqueduct, which brought water to baths and fountains. It's traditional to throw a coin into the fountain to ensure you'll return to Rome once again. In addition to the good luck, the fountain also showcases gorgeous architecture, complete with a triumphal arch, hippocampus, a shell chariot, columns and other iconography.
With so many free things to do in Rome, it's an ideal destination for a budget-friendly holiday. To save even more on the trip, visit Expedia to check out deals on Rome holidays and plan your trip!