Visiting the Eternal City may be expensive, but you can do 10 things completely for free in Rome!

The Italian Capital is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the world. Monuments, museums, churches, that you often need to pay for. After the 10 things to see in Rome, we want to suggest an itinerary in Rome completely for free to have a low cost trip.

1st FREE THING TO DO IN ROME: VISIT THE PIAZZAS IN ROME

Froma Piazza Navona to Piazza di Spagna, there are many squares in Rome worth visiting.

First of all, Piazza Navona, one of the most well-known squares of the city, always crowded, especially during the holiday season, because it houses the Christmas market and on the 6th of January the Befana magically arrives at the square. It has the shape of a stadium, since in ancient times the square was flooded and became a theatre for naval battles.

Piazza Navona at night (Rome)

Piazza Navona at night (Rome)

Not less important, there is Piazza di Spagna with the beautiful staircase leading to the church of Trinità dei Monti, always heaving with tourists. 

It is worth noting also Piazza Farnese, the most imposing Renaissance square in Rome, including Palazzo Farnese, which houses the French embassy, beautiful buildings and fountains.

There are also Piazza del Popolo, Piazza Venezia, Piazza Campo de’ Fiori and many other squares that we have classified in the 10 most beautiful squares in Rome, and they are obviously all free!

Piazza di Spagna with the beautiful staircase leading to the Church of Trinità dei Monti (Rome)

Piazza di Spagna with the beautiful staircase leading to the Church of Trinità dei Monti (Rome)

2nd FREE THING TO DO IN ROME: FOUNTAINS IN ROME

Rome is full of fountains of every kind, from monumental fountains to the so-called “nasoni”. You wouldn't have time to see all of them even in one week.

For sure, the most suggestive fountain is the Trevi Fountain, in Barrroque style, famous for the film “La Dolce Vita” by Federico Fellini, where Anita Ekberg invites Marcello Mastroianni to swim in the fountain with her.

The Trevi Fountain is in the square with the same name, next to the palace of Conti di Poli. It was built by Nicola Salvi, commissioned by Pope Clemens XII, after two centuries with many projects for a monumental fountain but none was completed. The inauguration took place in 1735, although the fountain was not finished until 1762 by Giuseppe Pannini.

Trevi Fountain (Rome)

Trevi Fountain (Rome)

The Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, also known as il Fontanone, ("the big fountain") is located on the Janiculum Hill. It marks the end of the Trajan-Paul Aqueduct, built by Pope Paul V Borghese and it is constructed with a gateway of five arches flanked by columns and an inscription above praising the Pope. Unfortunately, only the exterior can be visited for free.

We must mention too the Fountain of Neptune in Piazza Navona. Really, all fountains in Rome are worth visiting (for free!).

Fontana dell'Acqua Paola - Il Fontanone (Rome)

Fontana dell'Acqua Paola - Il Fontanone (Rome)

Fountain of Neptune in Piazza Navona (Rome)

Fountain of Neptune in Piazza Navona (Rome)

3RD FREE THING TO DO IN ROME: ORANGE GARDEN AND THE KEY HOLE

The third free thing to do in Rome is visiting the Aventine Hill, where you will find the Orange Garden and the Key Hole. Two unique places!

The Orange Garden is a park with wonderful bitter orange trees and a spectacular view over Rome. The Key Hole allows you to see the Dome of the Basilica of St. Peter, through a unique perspective: the key hole of the gate of the Priorate of the Knights of Malta.

Another park in Rome worth visiting is Villa Borghese and Villa Pamphili, two wonderful green lungs in the city.

St. Peter seen through the Key Hole (Rome)

St. Peter seen through the Key Hole (Rome)

4TH FREE THING TO DO IN ROME: APPIA ANTICA

The Appian Way or “Regina Viarum” is an old Roman road that connected Rome to Brindisi, built by Appius Claudius in 312 BC. The road starts at the curve side of the Circus Maximus (which you can also visit for free), or Porta Capena, part of the old Servian Walls.

The first monument you will see is the famous Tomb of the Scipios. From there, along the Appian Way with the original pavement, there are a series of places like the Villa of the Quintili, the Park of the Caffarella, and, especially, the Basilica of Saint Sebastian.

Appian Way with the original pavement (Rome)

Appian Way with the original pavement (Rome)

5TH FREE THING TO DO IN ROME: ROME ROSE GARDEN

On the Aventine Hill, a stone's throw away from the Circus Maximus, there is the Rome Rose Garden, one of the most prestigious botanical collections of roses, that will allow you to go through the history and evolution of the rose from ancient times until today. Inside the park, there are some rose varieties dating back from 40 milion times ago

The perfect time to visit for free the Rome Rose Garden is from late April until mid June, but it is wonderful along the whole year.

The Rome Rose Garden

The Rome Rose Garden

Close to 1,100 varieties of roses are grown in the Rome Rose Garden, ancient, new and from different countries around the world.

The varieties grown come from the Far East to South Africa, from Old Europe to New Zealand, passing through America.

6TH FREE THING TO DO IN ROME: QUARTIERE COPPEDÈ

Not far from the city center, close to quartiere Parioli and the historic club Piper, there is the quartiere Coppedè, where different architectural styles blend together. From Art Nouveau to Art Deco, including Greek, Gothic, Barroque and Medieval architecture.

Coppedè is not exactly a neighbourhood, but a residential area of 27 luxury apartments and 17 small houses, built by architect Gino Coppedè in the first half of the 20th century.

In the area, you can visit the Fountain of the Frogs in piazza Mincio. Inhabited by 12 frogs and well-known because the Beatles jumped into the fountain dressed after a concert in the Piper. Some of the important buildings are the Palazzina del Ragno ('Appartment of the Spider'), with an Assirian-Babylonian style stands up for the big spider on the façade, and the Villino delle Fate ('House of the Fairies') famous for the asymmetrical structure and a blend of different building materials.

Villino delle Fate and Fountain of the Frogs (Rome)

Villino delle Fate and Fountain of the Frogs (Rome)

7TH FREE THING TO DO IN ROME: TIBER ISLAND AND JEWISH GHETTO

The Tiber Island is a bit of Rome, very close to the Jewish Ghetto. An area inhabited sine Roman times, built to connect the two banks of the Tiber river. It is a perfect engineering work, that protects Rome from floods since the late 19th century.

We recommend a visit to the Jewish ghetto, since it is very close, the oldest ghetto in the western world, built by pope Paul IV as a Ghetto in 1555 and dismantled in the late 19th century.

Tiber Island (Rome)

Tiber Island (Rome)

Jewish Ghetto with the Sinagogue (Rome)

Jewish Ghetto with the Sinagogue (Rome)

8TH FREE THING TO DO IN ROME: JANICULUM HILL

The Janiculum was important historically because it was used to defend the city and it became a battlefield of the battle of Garibaldi against the French troops.

In addition to the breathtaking views, you may also visit on the hill:

  • Fontana dell'Acqua Paola
  • Faro Manfredi
  • Church of San Pietro in Montorio
  • Monument to Garibaldi
Night views from the Janiculum (Rome)

Night views from the Janiculum (Rome)

9TH FREE THING TO DO IN ROME: CHURCHES

Rome is the city with most churches in the world. There are close to 900 churches. 

Many of them you can visit for free. First of them all are the four Papal basilicas:

It is worth visiting also the Church of St. Louis of the French, placed between the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.

From an artistic point of view, the church is an exaltation of France through the representation of its saints and the most important historical characters, from the facade that hosts the statues of Charlemagne, St Louis, Saint Clotilde and St. John of Valois.

You can't miss the famous Contarelli chapel where you can see paintings by Caravaggio for freeincluding the famous triptych composed of the Martyrdom of St Matthew, the Calling of St Matthew and St Matthew and the Angel.

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (Rome)

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (Rome)

Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls (Rome)

Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls (Rome)

Martyrdom of Saint Matthew (Caravaggio)

Martyrdom of Saint Matthew (Caravaggio)

10th FREE THING TO DO IN ROME: PANTHEON

The last activity in our ranking of the “10 free things to do in Rome” is a visit to the famous Pantheon, even if it has no longer free admission, since from May 2, 2018 to visit the Pantheon you will pay a €2 ticket.

However, since the Pantheon is the best well-preserved historical monument of Rome, going inside is just compulsory!

Inside the Pantheon (Rome)

Inside the Pantheon (Rome)

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