How long does it take to buy Pantheon ticket online on AD Arte? We tried

We tried the new AD Arte portal to purchase a ticket at the only monument so far included in the platform: the Pantheon. And then we compared AD Arte with the Louvre's purchasing procedure. Here is the result.

“At the Pantheon at night you see actresses/They talk with friends in late spring/At the Pantheon by night they break glasses/There are foreigners, oh yes, okay, all right.” So sang the eclectic Roberto Benigni in 1980 with a ditty about what the Pantheon and the surrounding square already iconically represented in the life of Rome. And it is precisely the Temple of Pagan Gods later to become the shrine of the Kingdom of Italy that is always at the top of the charts of the most visited monuments in Italy, because of its charm, its special features, the symbols contained therein such as the many tombs of famous people... But perhaps also because admission until a month ago was free. Was. As of July 3, 2023, in fact, admission is charged and was chosen to be the first, and so far only, museum/monument on AD Arte, the unique Museitaliani portal that allows online ticket purchase set up by the Ministry of Culture.

“...However, the majority has never seen it inside/Who knows what’s there, chasms or killers/Or maybe another bar with lots of tables...” continued Benigni, and indeed even today it is likely that the majority will never see the 27 B.C. Roman building.C. because to make the ticket is worse than the Greco-Roman struggle for resistance: as many as 28 clicks to be made on buttons or fields to get to the coveted ticket at best, 40 at worst. Yes: forty from the moment you land on the ticket portal and choose to proceed to payment by taking advantage of Spid (!!) or 28 if you choose the “use email” alternative. Paradoxically with the universal pin that was supposed to simplify we take longer than those who do not have it. But above all: what is the point of asking for Spid, which is a personal identification tool in the same way as the ID card, which is certainly not tied to a bank account or other payment system?

But let’s start at the beginning. We open the Internet and not remembering the exact address of the ministerial portal we googled “Pantheon Rome.” Of the approximately 28 thousand results found by the search engine, the first two that come to us are two sponsored ones: the first is a perfume boutique, or rather an online store that also sells fragrances with courier shipping. The second actually refers to the Roman building and we are offered information and booking options. “Book now!” is peremptorily written. But beware: the site offers guided tours but specifies later that the cost of the ticket is not included in their reservation.

Let’s go back and try again.

Scrolling down among the many tourist or guidebook sites we find the State Museums of the City of Rome Directorate. We enter it and on the page devoted to the short and aseptic description we find the news that you can buy the ticket at a site indicated. It is the AD portal. We click on it and land on the ministry’s site where the first thing we have to do is to register: first name, last name, email, choose a password, repeat it, cross out the little square where we confirm that we have read (right!) and accepted the privacy policy, cross out the little square where we confirm that we are at least 13 years old, confirm that we are not a robot (but why would a robot be interested in Raphael’s tombs and the Guard of Honor?). Once this is done we have to wait for them to send us an email confirming that the email address entered is correct and click on the link and we are finally registered. We go in. We choose the museum: there is only the Pantheon, we are fine with that. The page opens, we have to choose the date, time slot, ticket Full 5 euros or Reduced (3 euros), free or “Free AIRE - Free AIRE.”

We make our choice, add the number of tickets by clicking on “+” or “-”, the quantity is added to the “cart”, we click on it, a summary page opens, we click on “Finish and Pay”, whereupon a dialog box pops up with a caution sign reminding us that we are purchasing the ticket (yes we know), writ large, and that “Clicking Confirm will proceed to purchase the tickets in your cart.” All right, that’s what I want. We click on confirm. And there comes the page you don’t expect: to pay it asks for my Spid or, “Sign in with email.” We take pride in the advancement of public administration simplification and fearlessly choose Spid! It will take a second! But no: after already having made 22 clicks between all the previous steps by choosing Spid it will take another 18 between app confirmations, sms and acceptance and various consents, and in the end we won’t even be able to buy the ticket. We try 3 times with Spid and at the final stage of payment it tells us that “Something went wrong” or “Payment refused by your bank”, twice, even though our Spid is made with Poste Italiane and our account and card are from Poste Italiane...

After the first unsuccessful attempt with Spid we then try again with the “Enter with email” option. We click and find that the purchase procedure is the same but without as many identity checks, and that the card details had kept them from the previous attempt with Spid, eventually we purchase our ticket which arrives to us by email with a QR code and with our first and last name.

Going from getting in for free to getting tickets online via Spid in 40 steps to fill out or click is a snap! If the view is one of efficiency, it does not seem to be fully centered. Besides, concretely how long could it take to migrate all public museum payment systems to that portal?

And on the other hand ... abroad, how long would it take to purchase a ticket online? Let’s take the most visited museum in the world as a reference: the Louvre. With its 7.8 million visitors last year (70 percent of whom were foreigners) and more than 9million 800 thousand in 2019, in the last year before covid, (in 2018 it exceeded well over 10 million setting its record) let’s see how they set up for the main function a visitor needs for a museum without going to the ticket office.

We type “louvre tickets” into Google and in fifth place we find the official site, simple:, after two sponsored sites and three other unofficial ones. We enter, are greeted by a panoramic photo of the museum with “Escape with the Louvre” written in large letters, and immediately below the “ticket” button. Certainly the start is easier than for the Pantheon, but still it will take 5/6 minutes to get to the bottom and about 20 clicks. Let’s imagine that, understanding that we are not accessing from French territory, that is why the text of the Louvre site comes up in English. However, the buttons to click to go forward or make choices are a bit too small and defiladed; perhaps the initial impact of the home page should have been used on the following pages as well.

After the first click, a simple grid appears to us with a calendar for choosing the desired day based on which a second one consequently opens with the available bookable time slots (as you may know, in fact, from January a maximum of 30 thousand people per day will be able to enter “to facilitate a more comfortable visit and ensure optimal working conditions for the museum staff,” argued the official motivation of the Museum’s management last January 5). The route is straightforward but even here at a certain point they ask you for your (blessed) data: you have to register. Oh yes, because here they don’t have Spid (nor Pec: only in Italy apparently we use Pec to buy a ticket) and so we register with names and data that we could also invent, after which it automatically returns to the choice we made of the day and time, asks us how many tickets we want to buy in the various discounted cases (few). The full ticket costs 17 euros and this figure will be the one we are actually going to pay since there is no commission whatsoever: for the purchase of the ticket at the Pantheon of just 5 euros there was a commission of 1.5 euros that at this point we understand is not taken by our bank circuit. We deduce that if goes to whoever runs the ticketing system.

How long does it take to buy Pantheon ticket online on AD Arte? We tried
How long does it take to buy Pantheon ticket online on AD Arte? We tried

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