A free rotunda wonder
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One evening, my husband Zac and I were on a mission to find the famous Pantheon in Rome. We thought we were getting closer as we started wandering down this narrow laneway when we spotted a decent-sized crowd lining up. So we joined the queue, only to realise that it was the queue for Cremeria Monteforte, the best gelato I found during my time in Rome. We figured as the line was so long with tourists and locals alike that we were probably onto a winner. Our instincts were correct. It was incredible! I had raspberry-ripple flavour, and Zac had some kind of mango-y passionfruit flavour. Mine was so sweet, creamy, and just perfect. We’d been doing a lot of walking that day, and as it was still quite warm so I took a seat at one of the tables outside, enjoyed our gelato and watched the world go by. Heaven!
With our tummies sufficiently filled on ice cream, I felt ready to take on our next mission of finding the Pantheon. As we walked to the end of the alleyway and took a right, we came face to face with our next stop of the day, the gorgeous Pantheon. As it turns out, we’d been merely a few hundred metres from the building this whole time.
I’ve heard some people say that from the outside, it really isn’t that special. But I’m afraid I have to disagree. Yes, it’s super old (tick for me, as I love old buildings); it was built over two thousand years ago and it is actually well preserved. Construction was completed in 125 AD, with a simple exterior and a frontage that looks like the Acropolis in Athens.
Before heading inside, be sure to admire the massive 20-tonne doors made of brass. Seriously, as fabulous as they are, how on earth do they open them up every day?
Even though the sun was starting to set as we headed inside, this didn’t deter the crowds one bit. In fact, it was still quite busy. The interior is amazing. Built in a circular shape, it is decorated in blue and pink marble, making it look similar to the design of St. Peters Basilica at the Vatican [>>>>> Click here for St. Peters Basilica <<<<<].
In the centre, you are presented with a beautiful dome sporting a coffered ceiling that is the largest dome of its kind up until the 15th century. Have a walk around the perimeter and check out the seven alcoves. At some point, they would have held statues that were dedicated to the planets Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, The Sun and Moon. Depictions suggest they were very opulent and incredibly detailed, but, unfortunately, they are no longer on display, and some alcoves were replaced with altars for Christian martyrs. This probably happened after it was consecrated in the 6th century and was used as a church and later a public place to hold gatherings and give speeches.
Essentially it is a beautiful building and a great addition to your bucket list, but it’s just one room, so you won’t need to spend heaps of time here.
Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Rome | Book your Rome tours >>> Click here!
Thanks you for reading my post on visiting the beautiful Pantheon in Rome. It was amazing to walk around and admire this piece of history. We were slightly red-faced at finally finding the place after stopping for a rest, when we were only round the corner from it the whole time.
Are you planning on visiting Rome this year? Will you be adding the Pantheon to your bucket list? Let me know in the comments below.
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