From Appia Antica to Villa Borghese, here are the best things to do in Rome without any need to pay.
1. Appia Antica
Walk the old road out of Rome on Sunday, when no cars are allowed. There are lots of ancient things to see on the peaceful walk, and the park has detailed routes and maps of the best walking and biking routes.
2. Stadio dei Marmi
This athletics stadium is free to visit and the big draw here are the statues which show various ancient sports as displayed by the embodiment of the sportsmen who would have played them.
3. Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona is one of the best free things to do in Rome because it’s a virtual museum of amazing art and sculpture, all on its own. You want sculpture? There is Bernini’s Four Rivers Fountain…but how about the other two fountains on the ends? Yep, one of them was by Bernini also. And architecture? The church of Sant’Agnese in Agone was designed by Francesco Borromini, but don’t miss the façade of the palazzo Pamphilj (today the Brazilian embassy.) And there is even a bit of ancient Rome you can see here as well. Piazza Navona was originally a stadium about 2000 years ago. You can see some of it (for free) from street level just on the outside western end of the piazza.
4. Vatican on vacation
While the Vatican Museums usually exchange filthy lucre for entrance peeks, you can visit free on the last Sunday of the month (see “Free Days in Rome” on page 2). Also free is an interesting visit under the Vatican to see the excavations or a Wednesday audience with the Pope.
5. Villa Borghese
The gardens of Villa Borghese are some of the most stunning in the city and can come as a much-welcome stretch of greenery. Here you will find fountains, flower gardens, and the art collection of Villa Borghese smack in the center.