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The Pantheon, one of the last major landmarks in Rome with free entry, will soon begin to charge admission.
Updated (Dec 2018): Rejoice! Local authorities changed tack and decided NOT to impose an entry fee to the Pantheon.
Il Messaggero reports that the Ministero per i Beni Culturali will soon begin charging €3 for entry into the Pantheon. An exact date was not specified.
In 2016, the Pantheon welcomed 7.4 million visitors, half a million more than the previous year, making it one of the most visited sites in the country. Given Italy’s economic problems and Rome’s recent degrado, it’s no wonder that the government needs to find more and more clever ways to earn money for the upkeep of its precious monuments.
Built in the second century and re-branded as a church in the 7th century, the Pantheon houses the tombs of Italy’s two kings (Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I); the tomb of Umberto’s wife, Queen Margherita; and the tomb of painter Raphael. The Pantheon has the world’s largest un-reinforced concrete dome, making it an architectural marvel.
The Beni Culturali Ministry began charging entry to the Roman Forum in 2008. Santa Maria in Cosmedin, the church that houses the Mouth of Truth, recently began charging a €2 admission to help stem the tide of visitors.