Top 5 Fun and Free Things to Do in Rome

There's no doubt that travelers on a tight budget can often feel like they're missing out the fun and entertainment that a major city has to offer. But when you visit Rome you'll discover that there are all kinds of freebies just waiting for you to find. Here are a few activities and attractions that won't cost you a dime.

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St. Peter's Basilica. This, the largest Roman Catholic building in the world, is an architectural delight that will take your breath away. Although you will likely want to check out other famous buildings like the Colosseum and the Pantheon, you shouldn't hesitate to put this freebie on your list of must-see sights while in Rome. You can wander the main floor for free (although they charge to take you up to the dome). And that includes attractions like Michaelangelo's 'Pieta' and the statue of St. Peter (rub his foot for good luck). Best of all, you can join a free tour every day of the week (except Sunday) by showing up at 9 a.m. (offered by Sky Tours Rome).

Hiking Gianicolo Hill. This free activity can not only help you to stretch your legs after a long flight, but it is also said to offer some a spectacular view of the city and of the Tiber River. Although it is not one of the famous "seven hills" of Rome, you'll get an unfettered view of the city that includes everything from the Colosseum to the
gardens of the Villa Borghese (and every building that lies in between). Plus, you'll find something on this hilltop that few other spots in this bustling urban habitat offer: peace and quiet.

Picnic at the Villa Borghese. The expansive gardens surrounding the titular Villa (now the Galleria Borghese) were commissioned in 1605 by Cardinal Scipione Borghese (nephew of Pope Paul V). So it's no surprise that the facility is not only exquisite, but also happens to be the second largest public park in Rome (after being donated to the city in 1903). For the traveler seeking a peek at how the other half lived, an afternoon spent touring the grounds and lunching by the lake is a great way to work in some free fun.

After-hours bakery visits. It's a little known secret that Roman bakers would rather give their day-old goods away than throw them in the trash. So if you happen to befriend a local baker by purchasing wares in the morning, you may be able to stroll by after dinner and get some breads and pastries before they go in the trash. What could be better than free dessert after a long day of sight-seeing and a satisfying meal?

Estate Romana. This summer festival happens every year in the eternal city, and visitors will delight in all of the free entertainment. You'll enjoy all kinds of outdoor performances, including concerts, plays, dances, film screenings, and even art displays. And the events are spread out all over the city, so regardless of where your hotels or apartments in Rome happen to be, you'll never be far from a little evening entertainment in the warm, summer air.

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