The Pantheon area is very central to most Rome tourist attractions, and right on the doorstep of the triangle of my favorite Rome areas - Piazza Navona, Campo de Fiori and Trastevere.
Wandering through the Pantheon area you don't realize how close you are to so many of Rome's finest historical treasures.
The reference point is the Piazza della Rotonda - the square in front of the Pantheon, which seems more like the Pantheon's courtyard.
Approaching the Roman Pantheon from its rear you might not even look twice at its plain circular brick facade, not even a hint is given as to the spectacle that awaits within. It's only once you approach the front portico and its massive granite columns that the goose bumps set in...
Not 100m from Piazza della Rotonda in Piazza di Pietra you find the remains of the Temple of Hadrian. Originally built to honor the Emperor Hadrian and his son, the most visible remains are the front facade of 11 marble columns. The building is now home to the Rome stock exchange.
In Piazza della Minerva, just behind Piazza della Rotonda, you find the Obelisk of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in front of the Santa Maria sopra Minerva church. It is believed that the church was built on top (sopra) of the ruins of the Temple of Minerva.
It was built in the 13th Century and in the Gothic architectural style. It is richly decorated with a treasure of art representing some of the greatest periods and styles of Italian history.
This is without a doubt one of Rome's little known secrets. If you can catch the choir rehearsing in the evening or some free orchestral performances I can guarantee the hairs on your forearms standing on end (if you have warm blood flowing through your veins, that is).
Visit rivistadellenazioni.it for info on upcoming events, only in Italian unfortunately, but click on the 'Grande musica in Chiesa' link and then translate the page using www.babelfish.com or perhaps google translator.
The obelisk of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, an elephant with an obelisk on its back, was originally intended as a decoration for Palazzo Barberini. It's a Bernini design (Bernini didn't lack an imagination or sense of humor) but the Friars from Santa Maria sopra Minerva liked it anyway. The elephant, according to Christianity, is the symbol of steadfastness, intelligence and piety.
Piazza Colonna contains the Column of Marcus Aurelius, built in AD 180 to celebrate the Emperor's many victories over the barbarians.
Getting to and from the Pantheon area.
(Refer to the street map of the Pantheon area above.)
Rome Metro: The closest Rome Metro station will be the Piazza Barberini stop on Metro Line A. It's about 1 kilometer (1600 yards) or a 15/20 minute walk from the Pantheon. Another option is the Metro stop at Cavour (Line B), which is marginally further.
From Barberini you can either head across the Tevere towards the Vatican City or in the other direction towards Termini Station. Termini is the central station (metro, train, bus and tour bus) and where you can also change Metro lines.
At Cavour you can travel to the ancient Roman Colosseum, Circus Maximus or Piramide.
For more information about the Metro see my dedicated page on the Rome Metro.
Rome buses: The main bus stop is on Via del Plebiscito (runs from Piazza Venezia to the Vatican) in front of Largo di Torre Argentina.
From Argentina you can take the No. 40 Bus to the Vatican or No. 87 Bus to the Colosseum, which will pass by Piazza Venezia and the Roman Forum on the way.
Good tip: The 116 Electric bus will take you from Via del Seminario (in front and to the right of the Pantheon) through Piazza Barberini up Via Veneto and into the Villa Borghese Gardens, and then going back it will head down past the Trevi Fountain, Roman Pantheon, Piazza Navona and finally to the front door of the Vatican City before heading back to the Pantheon area!
From Via di Torre Argentina you can take the tram to Trastevere.
For more about the buses in Rome see my dedicated page Rome buses and Rome public transport.
Rome taxi: There is a taxi stop at Piazza di San Pantaleo on Via Vittorio Emanuele - refer to the Pantheon area map above. It's about 100m after Largo di Torre Argentina on the right (in the direction of the Vatican).
Rome tourist buses: There are many tourist buses in the Pantheon area:
Largo di Torre Argentina
and Via del Corso
The Rome tour buses are a great introduction to the city, the easiest way to find your bearings and choose your must-dos for your next lap around.
Note: If you have not heard about it already on my site then the ATAC public transportation in Rome site has a great tool to calculate the quickest route from point A to point B anywhere in Rome (using Rome public transport).