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Rome’s Pantheon set to charge visitors entry fee

Rome mayor is open to discussing the idea.

Italy’s new culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano has revived a contentious plan to start charging people to visit the Pantheon in Rome, the ministry announced on Thursday.

The plan, which was at an advanced stage five years ago before being shelved in 2018, would see visitors pay an admission fee of €2, according to a statement from the ministry.

Sangiuliano, of Italy’s new right-wing government, is dusting off a plan first unveiled by his centre-left predecessor Dario Franceschini in 2016.

The plan, which followed talks between the ministry and Rome’s diocesan authorities, was due to come into effect in May 2018 but was scrapped by the then culture minister Alberto Bonisoli of the populist Movimento 5 Stelle.

However the project is now back on the table and talks have resumed between the culture ministry and Catholic Church authorities.

As a place of worship the Pantheon is free to visit, in line with the custom of the Rome vicariate which does not charge entry fees for churches.

Sangiuliano cited admission prices at other European cultural landmarks including the Musèe de l’Armèe in Paris where visitors are charged €14 to visit the tomb of Napoleon, or Westminster Abbey in London which has an entry fee of €25.

Under the new arrangement, tourist visits to the Pantheon would be suspended during religious services, which would not incur an admission fee.

Part of the funds raised from Pantheon ticket sales would go towards the maintenance and management costs of the ancient building which attracted a record 9.3 million visitors in 2019, the year before the covid pandemic struck.

Rome mayor Roberto Gualtieri said he was open to discussing the idea, telling reporters on Thursday that it “could be the right choice” for the city if it generated "useful resources".

Gualtieri's openness to evaluating the move was welcomed by Sangiuliano who said that Roman residents, students and under-18s could be exempt from being charged to visit the Pantheon.

Photo credit: Heracles Kritikos /

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Address Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

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Rome’s Pantheon set to charge visitors entry fee

Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

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