Tourists to face new charge to visit Italy’s top attractions

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British tourists holidaying in Italy’s capital city, Rome, will soon have to pay a fee to visit the city’s Pantheon. Tourists will be charged five euros (£4.38) to explore the majestic landmark.

The Pantheon drew more than nine million visitors in 2019 and was once described as “the work of angels, not men” by Michelangelo.

Although entrance is currently free, culture and church officials have signed a new agreement to introduce a fee.

Proceeds from the fee will be split between the culture ministry and Rome diocese on a 70-30 ratio.

Visitors aged 25 years or younger will pay just two euros (£1.75) to visit the popular attraction.

The incredible attraction was built by the emperor Hadrian and is one of the world’s best maintained Roman monuments.

The Pantheon has been used as a church since 609AD and churchgoers will still receive free entry.

Children, local residents and personnel of the Basilica will also have the fee completely waived.

Culture minister Gennaro Sanguiliano said the move to charge tourists to enter was “good sense”.

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He said the new entry fee was a “modest ticket charge for the most visited cultural site in Italy”.

The debate over whether to charge for entry to the Pantheon has run over a number of years.

Officials previously scrapped plans to charge a two euro fee (£1.75) to enter the site five years ago.

There is no official date for the launch of the fee and entry is currently still free. Tourists will need to reserve an entry ticket on weekends and public holidays.

Rome has had several incidents with tourists in recent years as the city tries to protect its ancient monuments.

In June 2022, an American tourist caused £21,000 of damage to the city’s famous Spanish steps after she hurled an electric scooter down them.

The Spanish steps are fiercely protected and tourists are even banned from sitting on them or eating food at the site.

Another tourist caused outrage when he drove a Maserati down the steps after he claimed he made a wrong turn.

Officials have also caught tourists bathing in the city fountains and using forbidden drones in the square.

Tourists already pay a tax to holiday in Rome which varies depending on the type of accommodation used.

Visitors will pay anything from three to seven euros (£2.63-£6.14) depending on whether they stay in a one star hotel or five star.

Tourist taxes are fairly common across Europe and used by several French and Spanish cities.

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