Italy’s culture ministry announced on December 11, 2017 that visitors to Rome’s Pantheon will be charged an entrance fee starting May next year.
The Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism and the Vicariate of Rome
signed an agreement to introduce a $1.17 (€2) fee for those visiting the ancient building. Tickets will be required on May 2, 2018, according to The Local Italy.
The revenue from the fee, the ministry said, will be used to cover the maintenance costs and improve security within the historical Roman site.
The revenue from the fee, the ministry said, will be used to cover the maintenance costs and improve security within the historical Roman site. For those attending religious services in the Pantheon, the entry fee is waived.
The 2,000-year-old Pantheon was visited by almost 8 million tourists last year. The streams of people going to the iconic monument on a daily basis add to the constant wear and tear caused by natural elements. This prompted the ministry and Vatican officials to come up with a way to fund the development and protection of the well-known religious spot.
In addition to being one of the best preserved buildings in Ancient Rome, tourists flock to the Pantheon to see its oculus. The Pantheon’s oculus is a 30-foot opening which gives natural light inside. Despite its age, the building’s dome remains the largest un-reinforced solid concrete dome in the world.
Rome’s Deputy Mayor Luca Bergamo, however, is against charging tourists an entrance fee to the Pantheon. He called for the cancellation of the “sad” initiative, reports Il Globo.
If the measure pushes through, Mayor Bergamo reminded the ministry to set a budget for monitoring the long lines of people as they wait for their entrance tickets.