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What & where to eat in Rome: Pantheon

Best restaurants near the Pantheon? Here you are even more: have a look at the list Enjoy!

What and where to eat: the best restaurants near the Pantheon

Here we don’t have particular specialties of this area, but for sure around here there are some of the best restaurants in the city.
I do have a tip for you, though, if you’re walking around during the day and you need some water, don’t buy it. You can always refill your bottle at the “Nasone” (Big nose). Those strangely shaped fountains that are everywhere in Rome. Well, if you find yourself thirsty at the Pantheon and you have an empty bottle with you,that is fine. But, if you’d not be provided by a glass or something, do as romans do. Drink directly from the fountain. Look local people how they do and try. The one in the square is the very first “nasoni” ever built.
Now, let’s go back to food.

One of the best trattorie (kind of a family business restaurant) of this area is Armando al Pantheon (Salita de Crescenzi 31). At Armando’s you can taste real roman specialties and almost everything is homemade: pasta, desserts, cakes and so on, it’s really amazing.
Another very very good restaurant, more fancy and elegant, is Fortunato (Via del Pantheon 55).

In this area, it’s quite difficult to find really bad places, so it’s just a matter of personal taste. However, we recommend you to skip restaurants with people inviting you to access from outside.
If you want a gelato, one of the best “gelaterie” in this area is Fiocco di Neve (Via del Pantheon 51). Here you can find the “classics” flavors and a very sweet dog on the door ready to be cuddled.

Pantheon: a little bit of history

This incredible site is, nowadays a Church. Do not looks like from outside, so take care to access properly dressed. Is one of the oldest monument in town, one of the most visited in the world. certainly you might have seen it on tv shows, documentaries and books, for many is one of the msot recongizable landmarks of Rome.

Firstly the coffered concrete Dome, an architectural masterpiece of all the times. Secondly the portico substaining the pediment.

On the pediment you’ll read an inscription in Latin. The present building was completed by the emperor Hadrian. He retained Agrippa’s original inscription, which has confused its date of construction. Indeed, The Pantheon is built on the site of an earlier building commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD).
The most peculiar thing of this building is the dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost three thousand years after, the Pantheon’s dome is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome.
It is one of the best-preserved of all Ancient Roman buildings. Never abandoned, since the 7th Century, has been used as a Church, and a prestigious burial place. As a church dedicated to “St. Mary and the Martyrs” (Santa Maria ad Martyres) but informally known as “Santa Maria Rotonda”. Piazza della Rotonda is the square in front of the Pantheon.
Today, the Church hosts many important people tombs, as, for example, Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino.

Likewise, the King Umberto I di Savoia, King Vittorio Emanuele II di Savoia and the queen Margherita di Savoia, first kings of Italy after the unification in 1860. The tombs of Giovanni da Udine and Annibale Carracci are both here.

When to go

The Pantheon opens every day, so you can go whenever you want and visit it. There are guided tours in different languages only on Saturday morning (better check on pantheonroma.com). However but it’s a really wonderful experience even if you go by yourself.
Certainly, the best day to come and visit it should be a sunny day, so you can enjoy the light that comes through the oculus. But is fascinating even when raining. In spite of the popular rumor that wants the rain not fall into the Church, waters is free to fall into. But it run fast away from special holes on the marble pavment.

A special day to access is the Pentecost day. In this special Catholic event, the Fire Brigade of Rome, climb the dome and let thousends of rose petals fall from the oculus over the head of believers. This emotional moment represents the Holy Spirit descending from the Sky over the Apostoles.

How to reach it

The best way to arrive at the Pantheon is to get to Largo di Torre Argentina, by bus or with the subway. From there you can walk for 400 meters, cross Piazza della Minerva and you will find yourself right at the back of the Pantheon (I’m sure you will easily recognize it even from the back!).

Contact us

Would you like to visit the Pantheon and surroundings, and eat like a local one?
Book our “Espresso, gelato and tiramisu tour” or write to Martina at love@ gourmetaly.com.
Martina is a local foodie and insider, she has a bachelor in fine art for tour operators and cultural management.