The Roman Forum was where religious and public life in ancient Rome took place. The Forum is, along with the Colosseum, the greatest sign of the splendour of the Roman Empire that can be seen today.
After the fall of the Empire, the Roman Forum was forgotten and little by little it was buried under the earth. Although in the 16th century the existence and location of the Forum was already known, it was not until the 20th century that excavations were carried out.
Interestingly, the place where the Forum was built was originally a marshy area. In the 6th century B.C. the area was drained by means of the Cloaca Maxima, one of the first sewer systems in the world.
Points of interest
Besides the great number of temples that are in the forum (Saturn, Venus, Romulus, Vesta, etc.), it is worth paying special attention to the following points of interest:
- Via Sacra: This was the main street in ancient Rome which linked the Piazza del Campidoglio with the Colosseum.
- Arch of Titus: This is a triumphal arch that commemorates Rome's victory over Jerusalem. It was built after the death of the emperor Titus.
- Arch of Septimius Severus: An arch erected in the year 203 A.D. to commemorate the third anniversary of Septimius Severus as the emperor.
- Temple of Antoninus and Faustina: Built in the second century, the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina sets itself apart as the best preserved temple in the Roman Forum.
- Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine: Though now mostly destroyed, its size suggests that this was one of the most important buildings of the Roman Forum.
- The Curia: In this building the Senate met to make administrative decisions and about the Roman government.
- Column of Phocas: Erected in the year 608 A.D. in honour of the emperor of Byzantium, this column, which is over 13 meters high, is one of the few that have remained standing since being built.
Visiting Rome without walking around the Forum is like going to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower. As you travel along the Via Sacra, close your eyes and imagine it as it was more than 20 centuries ago, when Julius Caesar walked there.
The Roman Forum is one of the most beautiful and interesting places in the city, so it is easy to spend several hours strolling among its temples without getting bored.
Every day: 8:30 am until 7 pm
25 December and 1 January: closed
Combined ticket to visit the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine:
Adults: 12€ (US$13.2)
European Union members (18 – 24): 7,50€ (US$8.2)
Children (ages less than 17) and seniors (over 65) members of the EU: free entrance
Metro station: Colosseo, line B (blue).