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40 free things to do in Rome 1

Travelling to Rome on a budget?

Never fear – sightseeing in Italy’s magnificent capital city doesn’t have to cost the earth. Although many museums and monuments charge hefty admission fees, a surprising number of the famous sights are actually completely free. The doors of the city’s art-laden churches are flung open to all, ancient architectural wonders await around many a corner and it costs nothing to wander the historic streets, piazzas and parks. Check out our run-down of the best things to do in Rome without spending a thing:

1. Gaze heavenwards at the Pantheon, it’s an exhilarating experience to enter this iconic Roman building and look up at the largest unreinforced concrete dome ever built.

2. Pay homage at St Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican’s showcase basilica is free, though you’ll probably have to queue to get in. Once inside, look out for Michelangelo’s Pietà statue and Bernini’s baldachin (altar canopy).

3. Hang out on Piazza Navona, and enjoy the daily circus of street performers, artists and tourists acted out against a backdrop of baroque palazzi and ornate fountains.

4. People watch on the Spanish Steps, these grand stairs have long been a popular hangout – in the 1800s local beauties would parade up and down hoping to be picked as artists’ models.

5. Tell a lie at the Bocca della Verità, just keep your hands well out of the way. Myth holds that the mouth of the huge ancient face will slam shut on the fingers of anyone who fibs.

6. Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, according to legend, this will ensure your return to Rome. You and thousands of other people – on an average day about €3000 is chucked over people’s shoulders into the water.

7. Explore Villa Borghese, Rome’s most famous park is an oasis of shaded walkways, verdant corners and excellent museums.

8. Survey the city from Il Vittoriano, few views can top those from this massive marble monolith. You have to pay to take the lift to the top (€7) but there are plenty of free viewing spots.

9. Explore the Jewish Ghetto, this atmospheric area is studded with artisans’ studios, vintage clothes shops, kosher bakeries and popular trattorias.

10. Walk the Via Appia Antica, antiquity’s most famous road sets the perfect scene for a leisurely amble with its pine trees, Roman ruins and eerie catacombs.

11. Lap up the atmosphere in Trastevere, this vibrant district buzzes well into the night as locals and tourists hang out on its picturesque lanes and piazzas.

12. Go on a free tour, New Rome Free Tour (newromefreetour.com) runs a daily walking tour of the historic centre.

13. Take a timeout at the Cimitero Acattolico, The last resting place of Keats and Shelley, Rome’s non-Catholic Cemetery is a serene spot to recharge your batteries.

14. Learn about Rome’s war at the Museo Storico della LiberazioneRome’s Nazi occupation is recounted at this chilling museum housed in what were once the city’s SS headquarters.

15. Marvel at the mosaics in the Chiesa di Santa Prassede, the sparkling Byzantine compositions in this easy-to-miss church are among Rome’s most impressive.

16. Admire modern architecture in EUR, a highlight of the southern district is the Palazzo della Civiltà del Lavoro, a masterpiece of Italian rationalism known as the Square Colosseum.

17. Experience religious ecstasy at the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vittoria, this roadside church is the unlikely setting for one of Italian baroque’s great masterpieces, Bernini’s Ecstasy of St Teresa.

18. Find architectural perfection on the Gianicolo hillBramante’s Tempietto (little temple) is considered the first great building of the High Renaissance.

19. Search out the Arco degli Acetari, discover the picture-perfect medieval courtyard hiding behind the dark Vinegar-Makers’ Arch (Via del Pellegrino 19).

20. Meet Moses at the Chiesa di San Pietro in VincoliMichelangelo’s muscular Moses is the star turn at this 5th-century church. Also here are the chains that St Peter supposedly wore in captivity.

21. Peek through the keyhole of the Priorato dei Cavalieri di Malta, and you’ll see St Peter’s dome perfectly framed at the end of a hedge-lined avenue.

22. Partake in the passeggiata, Head to Via del Corso and join the locals on their early-evening passeggiata (stroll).

23. Catch a Caravaggio at the Chiesa di San Luigi dei Francesi, better still, catch three. This baroque church is home to the St Matthew cycle, a trio of the artist’s earliest religious paintings.

24. Get into the swing on Campo de’ Fiori, by day, poke around the much-loved market; at night, grab a drink and see in the small hours with hundreds of like-minded revellers.

25. Seek light relief in the Quartiere Coppedè, with its turreted villas, fairytale towers, gargoyles and arches, this Art Nouveau neighborhood stands in contrast to Rome’s more serious sights.

26. Watch the world go by on Piazza del Popolo, there’s always something going on on this grand neoclassical square. Nearby, the art-rich Chiesa di Santa del Popolo is well worth a look.

27. Do a double take at the Teatro di Marcello, a dead ringer for the Colosseum, this ancient stadium looms over the Area Archeologica del Teatro di Marcello e del Portico d’Ottavia.

28. Investigate a crime scene at the Largo di Torre Argentina, modern investigators have identified the spot where Julius Caesar was murdered. It was in the Area Sacra on Largo di Torre Argentina.

29. Take in a concert during Estate Romana, Rome’s big summer event stages everything from concerts and dance performances to book fairs and late-night museum openings. Some are free.

30. Check out Piazza del Campidoglio, on the Capitoline Hill, Michelangelo’s exquisitely designed piazza is one of Rome’s most beautiful public spaces.

31. Look up at Trajan’s Column, this ancient landmark towers over the Imperial Forums. If you can make them out, the reliefs depict Trajan’s military campaigns.

32. Enjoy local colour in Garbatella, this sparky neighborhood presents a colourful front with its community gardens, faux baroque palazzi and red housing blocks.

33. Go jogging in the Circo Massimo, where once crowds cheered chariot racers in Rome’s largest arena, now locals come to stretch their legs.

Attractions that are free at specific times:

34ColosseumPalatino, and Roman Forum; first Sunday of the month.

35Vatican Museums; last Sunday of the month.

36. All state museums; first Sunday of the month.

37. Pope’s weekly audience; every Wednesday morning.

38Porta Portese market; every Sunday morning.

39Palazzo di Montecitorio; first Sunday of the month.

40. May Day Concert; May 1

Capitoline Museum Saturday November 4th only €1 2On Saturday November 4th an extraordinary opening of the Capitoline Museum and tickets cost only €1!  The public will be able to admire the extraordinary sculptural and pictorial works of the Capitoline Museum and attend the shows.

It will be the Italian music and the countless nuances of the Mediterranean sounds to inaugurate the first opening of the Capitoline Museums in November.  After crossing the cloister and corridors of the Rome Museum in Trastevere, the initiative starts this weekend, the art of soul moves to Piazza del Campidoglio on Saturday, November 4 from 20:00 to 24:00  (last hour 23 – a symbolic ticket of one euro), a two-way show organized in collaboration with the Musical Foundation for Rome and the Embassy of Israel.

The protagonists will be the Middle Eastern sounds of Turkish-Israeli composer Yinon Muallem and his two Italian accompanying actors Andrea Piccioni and Simone Pulvano.  The rhythm of the rhythm will stage a genuine musical journey through which you will discover rhythms, sounds and cultural instruments from far.  Simone Alessandrini and the group of musicians formed by Antonello Sorrentino, Federico Pascucci, Riccardo Gola and Riccardo Gambatesa will also be protagonists. Saturday’s performance will be the occasion for the preview of Storytellers, the album debut of Alessandrini, released on November 17 for the Parco della Musica Records, the record label of the Fondazione Musica per Roma.

On Sunday November 5 at 11.30 am the weekend in music will continue with the free concert ritual. At the Carlo Bilotti Museum – Villa Borghese’s Orange will resound the oboe and pianoforte by Alberto Signorile and Giuseppe Barile in the concert of classical music organized with the collaboration of Roma Tre Orchestra entitled L’oboe, a protagonist of music from the eighteenth century to today.

The first weekend of November will host one of the events at the start of MIX Meet the Museum, the new project of activities aimed at enhancing the museum’s artistic heritage and the aggregation of the public. On Sunday, November 5, at 11.30 am the Napoleonic Museum inaugurates the theme meeting with writers. The author Silvia Bencivelli will focus his attention on the opera The Urania pendulum and to this will dedicate, in front of the audience, an unpublished script called Time Speech.

The two days are part of the initiative “In the weekend the art animates” promoted by Roma Capitale, Department of Cultural Growth – Provincial Capitol of Cultural Heritage with the organization of Zètema Progetto Cultura. Collaboration with important cultural institutions such as: Casa del Jazz, Rome Music Foundation, Rome Theater, Fondazione Teatro dell’Opera, National Academy of Santa Cecilia and Orchestras of the Roma Tre University and Sapienza University From Rome.

The thematic path “Meeting with the Writers” is part of the project “MIX – Meet the Museum” (promoted by Roma Capitale, Department of Cultural Growth – Provincial Capitol Building with the organization of Zètema Progetto Cultura, financed by the Lazio Region Law No 26 of October 23, 2009 – Public Notice for the Development of Cultural Services Systems) and the “Contemporaneamente Roma 2017” program promoted by Rome Capital, Department of Cultural Growth.

CAPITOLINE MUSEUM   – Saturday, November 4th 

Change the museum but the winning formula remains the same. The symbol of a symbolic cost of one euro will allow the public to admire the extraordinary sculptural and pictorial works of the Capitoline Museums and attend the following show program:


Embassy of Israel – 21.00 and 22.30 hours Sala Pietro da Cortona

With: Yinon Muallem (oud or lute turkish, voice, riqq, darbouka, bendir), Andrea Piccioni (tambourine, bendir, oval), Simone Pulvano (riqq, bendir, darbouka)

The Turkish composer and poly-instrumentalist of Turkish-Israeli Yinon Muallem, specializing in frame, calico and turkish drums, will perform in the capital accompanied by an exceptional duo with the melody of the rhythm: Andrea Piccioni, artist who boasts important collaborations (Bobby McFerrin, Paul McCandless, Wu Man, Homayun Sakhi), and has been defined by the magazine Musica Jazz as an absolute master of frame drums; Simone Pulvano, the capital’s reference point for the Arab percussion and director of the Takadum Orchestra.

The program will be composed of compositions for lute, vocals and percussion from the repertoire for ensemble of Muallem, in addition alternating moments of compositions for solo drums framed by Piccioni.


Source in Italian language 


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