Rome makes the list of the top cultural cities in the world. The mix of ancient history with modern energy makes it an exciting place to visit, though it can be expensive. Many of the most beautiful experiences here, however, don’t require any money. Here are the top three free sights you can see in Rome.
There’s no other site in Rome that’s as iconic or breathtaking as the Trevi Fountain. This work of art is centuries-old, and access to it is through narrow cobblestone streets. When you come upon it, especially in the sunlight, the sight is breathtaking.
The fountain was created by Niccolo Salvi in 1732. It’s the end of the aqueduct that carries water from the Aqua Vergine spring in the hills outside of the city. Legend says that a young girl revealed the source of the spring that gave the aqueduct its name. Another legend has it that if you throw a coin in the fountain, it will ensure you return to Rome. Go ahead and make a wish while you’re there too.
If you want to avoid the crowds, go very early in the morning or very late. Just don’t try to recreate the scene in the classic movie La Dolce Vita where Anita Ekberg dives into the fountain. There are police posted at the fountain day and night.
Want to really experience true Roman culture? Then head down to the best free spot to hang out in Rome, the neighborhood of Trastevere. It’s a wonderful combination of rough charm and elegant private homes.
The piazzas and cobbled streets are picturesque, perfect for sitting with an espresso and people watching. There are plenty of cafes and bars to choose from, so take your pick. Mingle with the locals as they stroll during their evening walk, “la passeggiata”. If you’re tired of planning out an itinerary, set aside a day to just wander this beautiful district.
As a bonus, visit Basilica di Santa Maria, in a quiet corner of Trastevere’s main square. A number of other churches including Santa Cecilia and San Francesco a Ripa, are located here as well. In addition to locals, you’ll also see a fair number of tourists. The nightlife and drinking spots come alive after dark, so you can keep the party going for as long as you want.
The Vatican is forever associated with the great city of Rome, and you can see it for free. There’s a catch though, the Vatican Museum is only free on the last Sunday of each month. Among great works of art, it houses the Sistine Chapel. This is where you can see Michelangelo’s depiction of the creation of the beginning of the world and the birth of man. The Vatican was founded in the 16th century, so take a moment to soak up the hundreds of years of history and the faithful who have passed through its doors.