Although studying abroad can rack up the bills, there are plenty of ways to explore without cringing every time you check your bank account. Here is a list of ten FREE ways to enjoy Rome.
1. Marvel at the Vatican Museums’ impressive collection for free on the last Sunday of each month from 8:30am to 2pm. Get there early, since the lines can get long!
2. Learn more about the Pantheon’s fascinating history. Simply admire the former temple-turned-church’s awe-inspiring architecture, or learn more from an Angel Tours tour guide at 7pm each night.
3. Reach your hand into the Bocca della Verita. The Bocca della Verita, or the Mouth of Truth, is a face carved into the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. It has been considered a lie detector dating back to the Middle Ages. Beware: if you are a liar, legend has it that your hand will be bitten off.
4. Visit St. Peter’s Basilica. The largest church in Christendom, St. Peter’s is a must see while in Rome.
5. Join an audience with the Pope at the Vatican. The audience begins at 10:30am. Security opens between 8-8:30a.m., and the larger crowds appear between 8:30-9am. Make sure to arrive early to get a seat.
6. Climb up the Spanish Steps. The Spanish Steps display the beautiful architecture of Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi, and are a great place to relax and enjoy the city.
7. Sneak a look through the keyhole on Aventine Hill. Typically overlooked by tourists, the view is simply unforgettable.
8. Walk along Appian Way, a 2,300 year old road that marks one of the Roman republic’s most important paths into the city. On your path you will pass by the famous catacombs, where Christians buried their dead and held secret church services during times of prosecution.
9. Stroll through the Gardens of Villa Borghese. The Borghese Gardens provide a stunning view of Rome and Piazza del Popolo. If you decide to spend a little cash, there are opportunities to ride a bike, rent a Segway, or tour the Galleria Borghese.
10. Toss a coin over your shoulder into the Trevi Fountain: a guarantee that you will someday find yourself back in the Eternal City.