Insider’s Rome: The Pantheon

Pantheon, Rome, Italy

Proposals to charge entry to the Pantheon remain controversial, after plans were announced to start charging visitors from May this year… Words by Jon Palmer. Image by iStock Up until now, entry to the Pantheon was free, and had been throughout its 2,000 years of continuous use. This January, however, Italy’s culture minister, Dario Franceschini, confirmed […]

Insider’s Rome: The Capitoline Museums

Constantine Capitoline Museums Rome Italy

If it’s ancient statues you want, this is the place to be, but don’t ignore the works on the piazza outside the museum either… Words & image by Jon Palmer Recognised as the world’s first public museum (though that really depends on what you mean by ‘museum’, what you mean by ‘public’, and what you […]

Insider’s Rome: The Forum

Santi Luca e Martina, Arch of Septimius Severus and the Temple of Saturn at the Roman Forum, Rome, Italy

The Forum is where Roman history begins, but when it begins is a question that has recently had to be asked again… According to the story, Rome was founded on 21 April 753 BC, which means this April it was… umm… very old. How do we know the date so precisely? Because it’s just a […]

Insider’s Rome: le Terme di Caracalla

Though they are named for the Emperor Caracalla, it was probably his father, Severus, who laid the plans for these huge baths… Most tourists come here by public transport, though the walk from the Forum takes you past a number of sites. Or, if you really liked walking, you could combine the trip with a […]

Insider’s Rome: the Villa Borghese

Cardinal Scipione Borghese (1577-1633) was a patron of Bernini and Caravaggio. The Baroque legacy at his Villa is a wonder to behold… People are often surprised to learn that, at least as far as major European cities go, Rome actually has a very good green space to concrete ratio. It certainly doesn’t feel like that […]

Insider’s Rome: the Spanish steps

The official name is the Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti but we know them as the Spanish Steps, for the embassy once located here… After our visit to the Vatican Museums last month, we thought it unlikely that you would want to go straight to the Galleria Borghese (where we will be going next month), […]

Insider’s Rome: St Peter’s Basilica

Indeed, Rome was not built in a day… Work on St Peter’s began in 1506, but the church wasn’t ready to be consecrated until 1626… Like many other buildings in Rome, St Peter’s uses stone recycled from the Colosseum. As is usually the case when a building takes longer to finish that one might have […]

Insider’s Rome: The Colosseum

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you won’t see it all in a lifetime, but our new series will guide you through what you mustn’t miss… Perhaps the most iconic of all the tourist destinations in Rome, the Colosseum looms large at the heart of what was once the city centre. There will be […]