Five free things to do in Rome

City break culture-vultures after Caravaggios or lovers looking for a romantic whistle-stop adventure can find plenty to do on the cheap in Italy's capital city.

On arriving in Rome, head to the Pantheon, Rome's oldest example of a pagan temple that was converted into a Christian church. Boasting simple yet contemporary-looking 2nd century architecture, this monument commissioned by Hadrian contains a gigantic unsupported dome for a roof. Be sure to check out the memorial to Raphael.

Stop-over at the nearby Piazza Navona for some people watching and to soak in the bustling atmosphere before heading to the Spanish steps, and a fantastic panorama across the city at its summit. Beware the designer shops at its base though - a good excuse for window-shopping.

Behind the Pantheon is the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, containing artwork by Michelangelo, and the tombs of St. Catherine, Fra Angelico, and the 16th century Medici popes. Outside sits a Bernini sculpture of an elephant with an obelisk on its back.

Finally, head a little further out of town to the banks of the Tibur and the church of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin, where you can find the 'Mouth of Truth' or Bocca della Verita. Put your hand inside its mouth and if you tell a lie, it might get bitten off! A good place to test whether your fellow travellers have enjoyed the holiday!

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