Travel Host Stanley Tucci's Favorite Non-Food Related Destination To Visit In Rome

Stanley Tucci is an actor-turned-reality-television host who presented "Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy" on CNN and "Tucci: The Heart of Italy" on National Geographic. Both shows follow the passionate star as he educates viewers about the Italian culinary scene. Through these projects, viewers discovered the one key thing Tucci wants tourists to know about food in Italy. What made Tucci's gastronomy exploration insightful is that restaurants and other eatery forms, whether famous or more under the radar, offered him behind-the-scenes access to their methods. However, the food expert is not all about delicious eats. He makes time to enjoy other aspects of the country's culture. For example, in a TikTok Q&A, Tucci stated that the Pantheon in Rome is his favorite non-food destination in Italy's sprawling capital.


Incase you missed my riveting Searching for Italy Q&A here it is again.... Reminder that Series 2 of Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy starts THIS SUNDAY on CNN at 9PM ET/PT #searchingforitaly

♬ original sound – Stanley Tucci

This may come as a surprise, given that Tucci often explores hidden and the most underrated destinations in Italy. By contrast, the Pantheon is a major tourist attraction with millions of annual visitors. It is also a prominent symbol of Ancient Rome's grandeur and was built nearly 2,000 years ago. Nevertheless, this historic landmark is not to be missed and is often considered one of the best things to do if you only have a one-day trip to Rome

The Pantheon is one of Rome's most well-preserved ancient structures

Fires destroyed the first two versions of the Pantheon, but the present-day structure still dates back to ancient times, specifically to the reign of Emperor Hadrian, who ruled from A.D. 117 to A.D. 138. He commissioned the Pantheon to be rebuilt but kept the original inscription on its façade, which credits the building to its original commissioner, Marcus Agrippa. The Pantheon's first purpose was to revere all deities of Roman religion, such as Jupiter and deified rulers like Julius Caesar; however, Pope Boniface IV turned it into a Christian church in A.D. 609.

Tucci is not the Pantheon's only famous admirer either. The iconic landmark is the final resting place for multiple influential figures in Italian culture. The most notable among them is perhaps Renaissance painter and architect Raphael, who before his death in 1520, specifically requested for his tomb to be placed in the Pantheon. Overall, what makes the Pantheon extra special is that it is considered the most well-preserved building from ancient Rome, even more so than the Colosseum.

The Pantheon still puzzles architects and scientists

Multiple buildings far outside of Italy have taken inspiration from the Pantheon over the centuries. Examples include the Elks National Memorial in Chicago and The Rotunda — The University of Virginia. Architecture lovers will also appreciate the seemingly impossible existence of the Pantheon in general. Even into the 21st century, researchers have studied the ancient marvel, especially to figure out how its 142-foot-tall dome with no structural reinforcements has survived this long.

The Pantheon is within easy walking distance of other Eternal City hotspots, such as Piazza Navona and the Temple of Hadrian (Tempio di Adriano). You can take in the incredible structure yourself, but guided and audio tours online can help you dive deep into the building's fascinating nearly 2,000-year history (and skip long lines). After your visit, have Italian food right around the corner at Armando al Pantheon. Stanley Tucci visited this restaurant for an episode of "Searching for Italy"; it has been a family-owned mainstay of the city's cuisine since 1961.