Trip Planner Europe  /  Italy  /  Lazio  /  Rome  /  Historic Sites  /  Piazza della Rotonda

Piazza della Rotonda, Rome

Categories: Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.6/5 based on 320+ reviews on the web
The Piazza della Rotonda is a piazza (city square) in Rome, Italy, on the south side of which is located the Pantheon. The square gets its name from the Pantheon's informal title as the church of Santa Maria Rotonda.HistoryAlthough the Pantheon has stood from antiquity, the area in front of it had over the centuries become choked with a maze of sheds and small shops that had grown up around its columns. These medieval accretions were cleared by order of Pope Eugenius IV (1431–39) and the piazza was laid out and paved. It took its name from the Pantheon, which had been converted in the 7th century AD into a Christian church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" but informally known as Santa Maria Rotonda. The piazza is roughly rectangular, approximately 60 meters north to south and 40 meters east to west, with a fountain and obelisk in the center and the Pantheon on the south side.During the 19th century, the piazza was especially noted for its market of bird-sellers, who brought their cages with live parrots, nightingales, owls, and other birds into the piazza. A traveler in 1819 remarked that during Twelfth Night celebrations in Rome the Piazza della Rotonda was "in particular distinguished by the gay appearance of the fruit and cake-stalls, dressed with flowers and lighted with paper lanterns."Charlotte Anne Eaton, an English traveller who visited in 1820, was much less impressed with the piazza and deplored how a visitor would find himself "surrounded by all that is most revolting to the senses, distracted by incessant uproar, pestered with a crowd of clamorous beggars, and stuck fast in the congregated filth of every description that covers the slippery pavement... Nothing resembling such a hole as this could exist in England; nor is it possible that an English imagination can conceive a combination of such disgusting dirt, such filthy odours and foul puddles, such as that which fills the vegetable market in the Piazza della Rotonda at Rome." An 1879 Baedeker guidebook noted that the "busy scene" of the piazza "affords the stranger opportunities of observing the characteristics of the peasantry."
Use our Rome trip builder to arrange your visit to Piazza della Rotonda and other attractions in Rome.
Create a full itinerary - for free!
going to
read all reviews »
  • The most important of this square is the Pantheon, who steals all the looks, but also in itself is pretty, has a beautiful fountain and stay a while without do nothing more than look at the environment, it is a pleasure.
    show original
  • Many people seem to say don't eat here because it's pricey : I didn't find it much dearer than other nearby places and 5 euro breakfast at one restaurant proved good value. We just had simple pasta an...  read more »
  • Busy location. Not many places to sit except in the tourist traps that are on this piazza. A meeting spot for many people. Quite a few street vendors around who have just the thing you need depending ...  read more »
Nearby Attractions
Visit for 1​h
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 1​h
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 4​h
Visit for 2​h
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 1​h