Published on : Thursday, December 14, 2017
On 11 December, Italy’s culture ministry has announced the move and confirmed that visitors will have to pay €2 to see the Ancient Roman temple-turned-church.
The money raised will be used for “development and protection of the monument, maintenance and guaranteeing increased security during visits,” according to the ministry.
Initially the idea was proposed in September 2016 where it was discussed that the charges would help to cover the running costs of the monument. In fact, The Pantheon is one of the only Ancient Roman sites in the Italian capital to still be free of charge.
Every year, more than seven million people visit the Pantheon – a number which has put a gradual stress on the structure. It was originally a Pagan temple built between 118 and 125 AD but was converted to a Catholic church in 608 AD.
Also, it is one of the best preserved ancient Roman monuments which still hold the 142ft dome with the original marble floor remains intact. It contains the tombs of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of united Italy, his successor, Umberto I, and the Renaissance artist and architect, Raphael.
Italy has been the prey to overtourism in the last couple of years along with Florence and Venice – both of which are trying hard to plan and implement strategies for looking after their famous monuments. The country has seen a record boom in the visitor numbers of up to 56 million a year.