In ancient Rome, the Forum Romanum was, without a doubt, the centre for cultural, political, economic, and religious life. It is located in the valley between three of the city's hills Esquiline, Palatine, and Capitoline.
Originally, this used to be a swampy area that was eventually dried out in the 7th century BC and integrated into the city. On this ground, the early Romans then built temples dedicated to their gods. Those buildings were complemented by spaces for markets and political assemblies. The Forum Romanum, this way, kept ever growing. The so-called Fori Imperiali, the Roman imperial forums, were built afterwards to create more space as the capacity of the Forum Romanum seemed to have reached its limits at some point.
Along with the downfall of the Roman Empire around 500 AD the Forum Romanum sank into oblivion. Only at the end of the 18th century people started remembering it again. This is no surprise as the whole of Europe was rediscovering ancient values and virtues during the Renaissance period. At that time, the first archaeological excavations were initialised.
Historically, there are three types of buildings on the Forum Romanum: religious buildings, politically used ones and some for economic purposes. Standing on several of these edifices allows a direct view on the Colosseum, which is situated in the vicinity of the Forum Romanum.
The Forum Romanum today
Nowadays, all that's left are the foundation walls of the ancient constructions. Some of the buildings got preserved way better than others were with the trick of being converted to churches. This way the buildings were saved from destruction and scavenging.
If you wish to visit the Forum Romanum, it's worth visiting the Colosseum first and buy a combo-ticket for both sights as well as for the Palatine hill.
- The day pass at Forum Romanum is €16 making it one of the 5 cheapest tourist Attractions in Lazio.
How to get there
By public transport
The Forum Romanum is accessible via two entrances. On the one hand, one has the possibility to enter the Forum Romanum from the Capitoline hill's side and thus from the Piazza Venezia or opt for the other entrance, coming from the Colosseum along the Via dei Fori Imperiali.
If you want to access the Forum Romanum from the Piazza Venezia, it's best to take any of the bus lines 40, 46, 62, 63, 64, 70, 119 and get off at the Piazza.
Alternatively, you can use the underground, which takes you to the east entrance if you get off at the station “Colosseo”. If you walk along the Via dei Fori Imperiali, you will pass the Fori Imperiali, the imperial forums.