Italy is one of the Mediterranean nations and is also one of the most popular vacation spots in the world. The nation as a whole attracts millions of visitors and for good reason. Italy is a nation that is rich with history and is also a cultural experience for curious visitors. While most people go to visit the countryside, the Vatican, or the ancient ruins of Rome, some people cannot afford the luxury of taking every tour offered. As with any holiday or vacation, traveling in Italy gets expensive. With that said, here are ten free things you can do in Italy.
10 Visit Saint Peter's Basilica
One of the best free things to do in Italy is to visit Saint Peter's Basilica. Although technically located in the Vatican City, tourists visiting Italy should drop by and visit the Basilica of Saint Peter. Because it is free, there are usually very long lines of tourists waiting to look at the wonders of the largest church in the world, but we can tell you it is worth the wait. Inside the basilica, you can view masterpieces by Michelangelo such as his Pieta and even Bernini's baldachin that stands 95 feet above the papal altar. The Church was originally built by Emperor Constantine in 349 B.C.
9 Go to the Vatican
Next up is another attraction that technically is not in Italy but in Vatican City. Although the Vatican City is a separate nation and is not considered a part of Italy, it is surrounded by Rome and the Italian countryside and it is typical for many tourists to drop by this historic city. Vatican City is the home of the Pope and is the location of the Roman Catholic Church and henceforth bears a significant religious significance. In addition to the church, there are also many museums within this nation that house famous works by artists such as Raphael and Michelangelo.
8 Throw a Coin in the Trevi Fountain
Another free attraction in Italy is the Fontana di Trevi, also known as the Trevi Fountain. The Fontana di Trevi is a historical site and the location of the fountain is surrounded by incredible artwork and sculptures such as a baroque masterpiece featuring mythical figures and wild horses. The artwork around the fountain was restored in 2015. Surrounding the Fontana di Trevi is a legend, that if you were to toss a coin into the fountain, it will ensure your return to Rome. As a result of this legend, over 3000 Euro is tossed into this fountain every single day.
7 Stroll along the Via Margutta
Next up is the Via Margutta. The Via Margutta is a cobblestone alley in the middle of Rome only open to pedestrians. This alley is covered on all sides with ivy and is free for anyone to take a stroll through. Originally, this street was named for a family of barbers who used to operate on the street in the 16th century but the street has also housed many popular artists such as Picasso who worked at a gallery at #54. The Via Margutta was also featured in the 1953 movie Roman Holiday which starred Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.
6 Take a Free Tour
Here is a tour you can actually take for free in Italy. The country is partaking in a program provided by an organization known as the New Rome Free Tour. As the organization's name suggests, the New Rome Free Tour company offers tours of Rome and Italy and has served over 150,000 tourists over the past ten years. To participate in this tour, tourists need to make a reservation and will not be allowed to participate without one. Tips are encouraged as it's the only source of revenue for the tour guides who lead this tour through all weather may it rain, hail or storm.
5 Visit a Crime Scene
Next up on this list is a tourist attraction that is sure to spice things up. Unlike a museum or ancient church, visitors in Italy can instead decide to visit a crime scene. While excavating for some rebuilding, older ruins were found, part of which is the Pompey Theatre. History states that Julius Ceasar was murdered on the steps of the Theater of Pompey, so you can have a look at the area that Julius saw with his dying eyes. The general area in question is called the Largo di Torre Argentina and contains the remains of ancient Roman temples that date back to the fourth century along with the Pompey Theater. Just this year the mayor of Rome has opened the area to tourists.
4 Visit the Colosseum
Next up is a classic sight that all visitors in Italy must drop by, the iconic Roman Colosseum. The Colosseum, at its height, was a Roman gladiator field that was originally named the Flavian Amphitheatre. Today, part of this beautiful and majestic sight sits in ruins, but still bears great historical significance which makes it a popular tourist destination. While many tourists expect a visit to this attraction to cost a few big bucks, it is important to note that on the first Sunday of every month, admittance into the Colosseum is free of charge and is a must-see sight for visitors.
3 Visit Some Museums
In case you have not caught on yet, Italy is an incredibly old country and is filled with history and historic attractions. What better way to learn more about the history of this wonderful nation than to visit one of its fine and free museums? There is a type of museum fitting for virtually any type of tourist within Italy, which is usually free of charge. Some museums, however, are only free on certain days of the month. If you are interested in the Roman Catholic Church, visit the Vatican Museum, if interested in war, there's one for that too.
2 Hear the Pope
Next on this list is a seemingly fun attraction, especially for religious visitors who believe in the authority of the Roman Catholic Church and its head, the Pope. Every Wednesday morning, the Pope gives a speech to his papal audience and leads them in prayer, and it's free for anyone to attend with or without a ticket. While these prayers start at around 10:30 AM, it's advised that tourists who choose to attend the Papal audience get to St. Peter's square at 8:00 to get past security and get a good seat. Tourists who are not religious can also attend.
1 Experience the Pantheon
Finally, the last free attraction on this list is the Pantheon. What was originally built as a temple now stands as a church and has been cited as being one of the most influential buildings in the western world. The Pantheon was built by Hadrian and replaced an ancient temple that was once built by Marcus Agrippa in 27 B.C. Since 125 AD, for the past 2000 years, the Pantheon has stood the test of time and is one of the best-preserved monuments in Italy and the world. One star feature of this massive temple is its unreinforced concrete dome.