What is the best way to see the Pantheon in Rome?

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Angela Corrias
Photo by Angela Corrias

The Pantheon is one of the best kept ancient temples in central Rome. Built to honor all gods, it's a true architectural masterpiece created as a pagan worship place and turned into a christian church and mausoleum of important figures along with some members of former Italian royal family.

The best way to fully enjoy the Pantheon is obviously to go when it's quiet, but like all popular sights in Rome, it's always packed with tourists. However, if you manage to go early in the morning, you will have the chance to admire all its interior decorations and important tombs.

The Pantheon's only window is a huge hole in its dome (the oculus, of 9-meter diameter). This big opening was built for different reasons, such as allowing a light beam to enter and make it possible to conduct astronomy studies, for technical reasons as otherwise the dome would have fallen due to the heavy weight, and for the symbolic reason of directly connecting with the gods.

Maybe due to its unusual architectural style, there is a legend about the Pantheon saying that no rain comes down inside the church through the hole. As weird as it may sound, there is some truth in this. When it rains, in fact, the opening causes an upward current of air and the consequent crushing of the raindrops, giving the impression that even if outside it's pouring, inside it's raining less heavily.

Even if it sounds odd, an unusual experience can be visiting the Pantheon when it rains, to personally verify the myth and witness the phenomenon caused by its unique architecture.

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