Italian culture minister says numbers “exceed all expectations”.
The Pantheon has taken in more than €865,000 in ticket sales since the launch of a new ticketing system at the Rome landmark a month ago, Italy’s culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano said on Saturday.
The ancient site has welcomed almost 230,000 paying visitors since it began charging tourists entry fees on 3 July, according to Sangiuliano, who said the numbers “exceed all expectations”.
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Around 50,000 visitors had “taken advantage of the free admissions provided for by law”, the minister said, along with more than 20,000 people aged between 18 and 25 who pay a discounted rate.
Under the new system tourists are charged €5 to enter the historic site whose daily opening hours are 09.00-19.00 (last admission 18.30).
The site remains free to Rome residents, visitors with disabilities and the under-18s, while visitors aged 18 to 25 pay €3.
It is also free to all on the first Sunday of the month, as part of the popular Domenica al Museo initiative, however visits must be booked online in advance.
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Proceeds from the ticket sales are divided between the culture ministry, which takes 70 per cent, with the remaining 30 per cent going to the diocese of Rome.
The culture ministry pays for cleaning and maintenance at the Pantheon while church authorities use the funds for charity and the upkeep of of state-owned churches in Rome.
The Pantheon is the most visited heritage site in Italy, attracting around nine million visitors a year.
Photo Ministero della Cultura