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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 41°53′33″N 12°29′09″E / 41.892534°N 12.485715°E / 41.892534; 12.485715

This page refers to the main forum in the center of Rome. See Imperial forums or Other forums in Rome (below) for other forums in Rome and other Roman provincial cities.
See Forum (Roman) for the type of building.
Roman Forum (Forum Romanum)
Roman Forum (Becchetti).gif
The Roman forum at the time of the Empire
Structures Tabularium, Gemonian stairs, Temple of Saturn, Temple of Vespasian and Titus, Arch of Septimius Severus, Curia, Rostra Augusti, Basilica Aemilia, Forum Main Square, Basilica Iulia, Temple of Caesar, Regia, Temple of Castor and Pollux, Temple of Vesta
Imperial Comitium Curia Julia, Rostra Augusti, Umbilicus Urbi, Milliarium Aureum, Lapis Niger,
The Roman Forum is the oldest part of the city of Rome.
These articles cover the Ancient Roman Comitium and Forum of the Republican and Imperial periods

The Roman Forum, also known by its original Latin designation (Latin: Forum Romanum, Italian: Foro Romano), is located between the Palatine Hill and the Capitoline Hill of the city of Rome, Italy. Citizens of the ancient city referred to the location as the "Forum Magnum" or just the "Forum". It is part of the centralised area around which the ancient Roman civilization developed.

The oldest and most important structures of the ancient city were located in or near the Forum. These include its ancient former royal residency the Regia as well as the surrounding complex of the Vestal Virgins, both of which were rebuilt after the rise of imperial Rome. The kingdom's earliest shrines and temples were located on the forum's western edge. These shrines developed into the Republic's formal Comitium, where the Senate, as well as Republican government began. The Senate House, government offices, Tribunals, religious monuments, memorials and statues cluttered the area. Over time the archaic Comitium would be replaced by the larger Forum, moving government to the Basilica Aemilia. 80 years later the Basilica Julia would be built along with the new Curia Julia moving both the judicial offices and the senate itself. The Forum would serve as the new city square where the people of Rome could gather for political, judicial and religious ritual in greater number. The Forum became the economic hub of the city, as well as the center of the Kingdom, Republic and Empire.

Eventually all economic and judicial business would transfer away from the Forum to larger and more extravagant structures. After the building of Trajan's forum, economic and judicial activity transferred to the Basilica Ulpia. Shortly before the empire split in two, Constantine built the Basilica of Maxentius with the last major expansion of the Forum. This returned the political center to the forum before the fall of the Western Roman Empire.



The ancient Greek plateia (πλατεία), a public plaza or town square, was the model utilised as the basis to the Roman forum. Its basilicas, although originally designed as government offices, were the bases of the first elaborate Christian churches. The architecture of the temples and judicial buildings of the Roman forum can be seen copied in many of today's modern government structures that are still arranged around a central public space.

Because of its location, sediments from both the flooding of the Tiber River and the erosion of the surrounding hills have been raising the forum floor. As the ground around buildings began to rise, residents simply paved over the debris that was too much to remove. Excavations in the 19th century showed one layer on top of the other. The deepest level excavated was 3.60 meters above sea level. Archaeological finds show human activity at that level with the discovery of carbonised wood.

The original Forum began as an open air market near the Comitium, but out grew its day to day shopping and marketplace needs. As Politics, judicial matters and trials began to take up more and more space, forums throughout the city began to emerge to expand on specific needs of the growing population. Forums for cattle, pork, vegetables and wine specialised in their niche products and the associated deities around them.


Map of the Roman Forum, from Samuel Ball Platner's The Topography and Monuments of Ancient Rome (1904) (altered for clarity)


The area of the Forum was originally a grassy wetland. It was drained in the 7th century BC by building the Cloaca Maxima, a large covered sewer system that drained into the Tiber River, as more people began to settle between the two hills.

According to tradition, the forum's beginnings are connected with the alliance between Romulus, the first king of Rome controlling the Palatine Hill, and his rival, Titus Tatius who occupied the Capitoline Hill. Accordingly, an alliance formed after combat had been halted by the prayers and cries of the Sabine Women. Because the valley lay between the two settlements, it was the designated place for the two peoples to meet. Since the early forum area was mostly pools of stagnant water, the only accessible area was the northern part of the valley which was designated as the Comitium. It was here that the two parties laid down their weapons and formed an alliance.[1]

The forum was outside the walls of the original Sabine fortress, which was entered through the Porta Saturni. These walls were mostly destroyed when the two hills were joined.[2]

The second king, Numa Pompilius, is said to have begun the cult of Vesta, building its house and temple as well as the Regia as the city's first royal palace. Later Tullus Hostilius erected the Curia and enclosed the Comitium. In 600 BC Tarquinius Priscus had the area paved for the first time.


During the republican period the Comitium continued to be the central location for all judicial and political life in the city of Rome.[3] However, in order to create space, as well as a larger gathering place, the senate began expanding both the forum and Comitium by purchasing existing private homes and removing them for public use. Building projects of several consuls and emperors repaved and built onto both the Comitium and the Forum.[4]

Many of the traditions from the Comitium such as the popular assemblies, funerals of the nobility and games were transferred to the forum.[5] Gaius Gracchus is credited or accused of disturbing mos maiorum (“custom of the fathers/ancestors” ) in Ancient Rome. A long held tradition of speaking from the elevated speakers Rostra facing north towards the senate house to the politicians and assembled elite put the orators back to the people assembled in the Forum Romanum behind the Comitium. A Tribune known as Caius Licinius was the first to turn away from the Roman elite towards the people in the forum an act repeated later by Gracchus.[6] This began the tradition of locus popularis, where, even young nobles were expected to speak from the Rostra.

The 5TH century saw the construction of the Temple of Castor and Pollux. The temple of Concord was added in the 4TH century BC, possibly by Marcus Furius Camillus. The Basilica Aemilia is a Republican structure but had several names after it's initial dedication in 179 BC.In 78 BC,the Tabularium was built by order of M. Aemilius Lepidus and Q. Lutatius Catulus.

Over time the Comitium was lost to the ever-growing Curia and to Julius Caesar's rearrangements before his assassination in 44 BC. After Caesar's death Octavius finished the work and the focus shifted to the Forum. The relationship between the Comitium and the Forum Romanum eventually faded from the writings of the ancients. It is last written of in the reign of Septimus Severus.


Augustus Caesar is said to have stated "I found Rome a city of brick, and left it a city of marble". What is true is that Octavian continued the building projects of his predecessor and began many of his own directly in the forum. After the death of Caesar and the Battle of Actium, the victor erected the Temple to the Deified Caesar an act of raising the status of his uncle to, not just a political position, but making him a god in the eyes of the Empire.


Rome: Ruins of the Forum, Looking towards the Capitol by Canaletto, 1742

In the 5th century AD the old edifices within the Forum began to be transformed into Christian churches. By the 8th century the whole space was surrounded by Christian churches taking the place of the abandoned and ruined temples.[7]

After the 8th century AD the structures of the forum were dismantled, re-arranged and used to build feudal towers and castles within the forum area. In the thirteenth century these rearranged structures were torn down and the site became a dumping ground. This, along with the debris from the dismantled medieval buildings and ancient structures, helped contribute to the rising ground level.[8]

Excavation and preservation

Original archeology sketch of the forum.

An anonymous 8th century traveler from Einsiedeln (now in Switzerland) reported that the Forum was already falling apart in his time. During the Middle Ages, though the memory of the Forum Romanum persisted, its monuments were for the most part buried under debris, and its location was designated the "Campo Vaccino" or "cattle field," located between the Capitoline Hill and the Colosseum. The return of Pope Urban V from Avignon in 1367 led to an increased interest in ancient monuments, partly for their moral lesson and partly as a quarry for new buildings being undertaken in Rome after a long lapse. Artists from the late 15th century drew the ruins in the Forum, antiquaries copied inscriptions in the 16th century, and a tentative excavation was begun in the late 18th century.

Sequences of remains of paving show that sediment eroded from the surrounding hills was already raising the level of the forum in early Republican times. Originally it had been marshy ground, which was drained by the Tarquins with the Cloaca Maxima. Its final travertine paving, still visible, dates from the reign of Augustus.

A cardinal took measures to drain it again and built the Alessandrine neighborhood over it. But the excavation by Carlo Fea, who began clearing the debris from the Arch of Septimius Severus in 1803, and archaeologists under the Napoleonic regime marked the beginning of clearing the Forum, which was only fully excavated in the early 20th century.

Remains from several centuries are shown together, due to the Roman practice of building over earlier ruins.

Site today

Today archeological excavations continue along with restoration and continued preservation. Now a tourist destination in the city, the forum is open for foot traffic along the ancient Roman roads restored at a late Imperial level. In 2008 heavy rains caused structural damage to the modern concrete covering holding the "Black Stone" marble together over the Vulcanal.

The Forum Romanum. View facing North East from above the Portico Dii Consentes.


Many of the Forum's temples date to the periods of the kingdom and the republic, athough most were destroyed and rebuilt several times.The ruins within the forum clearly show how urban spaces were utilized during the Roman age. The Roman Forum includes a modern statue of Julius Caesar and the following major monuments, buildings, and ancient ruins:


Temple date built Built by location in the forum
Temple of Castor and Pollux 494 BC Aulus Postumius Albinus South side, east of the Basilica Julia
Temple of Saturn 501 BC Tarquinius Superbus South side, west of the Basilica Julia
Temple of Vesta 7TH century BCE Numa Pompilius South east corner, next to the Temple of Castor and Pollux
Temple of Venus and Roma 135 AD Hadrian Late Imperial forum expansion to the farthest east of the Regia, Directly across from the Colosseum
Temple of Antoninus and Faustina 141 AD Antoninus Pius North side, east of the Basilica Aemilia
Temple of Caesar 29 BC Augustus East side, west of the Regia
Temple of Vespasian and Titus 79 CE Titus and Domitian West edge below the Tabularium South of the Temple of Concord and north of the Portico Dii Consentes
Temple of Concord
Temple of Romulus
Shrine of Venus Cloacina




  • Regia, originally the residence of the kings of Rome or at least their main headquarters, and later the office of the Pontifex Maximus, the high priest of Roman religion.
  • Rostra, from where politicians made their speeches to the Roman citizens.
  • Curia Julia (later reconstruction by Diocletian), the site of the Roman Senate.
  • Tabularium, the records office of Rome.
  • Portico Dii Consentes
  • Gemonian stairssteps situated in the central part of Rome, leading from the Arx of the Capitoline Hill down to the Roman Forum.
  • Clivus Capitolinus was the street that started at the Arch of Tiberius, wound around the Temple of Saturn, and ended at Capitoline Hill.
  • Umbilicus Urbi, the designated centre of the city from which and to which all distances in Rome and the Roman Empire were measured.
  • Milliarium Aureum After Augustus erected this monument, all roads were considered to begin here and all distances in the Roman Empire were measured relative to that point.
  • Lapis Niger, a shrine also known as the Black Stone.
  • Atrium Vestae, the house of the Vestal Virgins.
  • A processional street, the Via Sacra, linked the Atrium Vestae with the Colosseum. By the end of the Empire, it had lost its everyday use but remained a sacred place.
  • Column of Phocas, the last monument built within the Forum.
  • Tullianum, the prison used to hold various foreign leaders and generals.
  • The Lacus Curtius, the site of a mysterious pool venerated by Romans even after they'd forgotten what it signified.

Other forums in Rome

Other fora existed in other areas of the city; remains of most of them, sometimes substantial, still exist. The most important of these are a number of large imperial fora forming a complex with the Forum Romanum: the Forum Iulium, Forum Augustum, the Forum Transitorium (also: Forum Nerva), and Trajan's Forum. The planners of the Mussolini era removed most of the Medieval and Baroque strata and built the Via dei Fori Imperiali road between the Imperial Fora and the Forum. There is also:

Other markets were known but remain unidentifiable due to a lack of precise information on the function of the sites. Among these, the Forum cuppedinis, was known as a general market for many goods.

External links

Comprehensive sites

Primarily visual


  1. ^ Marucchi, Horace (1906). The Roman Forum and the Palatine According to the Latest Discoveries. Paris: Lefebvre. pp. 1–2. 
  2. ^ Parker, John Henry (1881). The Architectural History of the City of Rome. Oxford: Parker and Company. p. 122. 
  3. ^ Vasaly, Ann (1996). Representations: Images of the World in Ciceronian Oratory. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 61. ISBN 0-520-07755-5. 
  4. ^ Young, Norwood, ed. (1908). Handbook for Rome and the Campagna. London: John Murray. p. 95. 
  5. ^ Baedeker, Karl (1903). Italy: Handbook for Travellers. Leipzig: Karl Baedeker. p. 251. 
  6. ^ Beard, Mary; North, John A.; Price, Simon (1998). Religions of Rome: A History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 109 (note 139). ISBN 0-521-30401-6. 
  7. ^ Marucchi, p. 9.
  8. ^ Goodyear, W. H. (1899). Roman and Medieval Art. New York: Macmillan. p. 109. 

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Rome/Colosseo article)

From Wikitravel

Europe : Italy : Central Italy : Lazio : Rome : Colosseo
The Colosseum
The Colosseum

The Colosseo district is the heart of ancient Rome. It has the Colosseum, the Forum, and the Capitoline Museum.

Get in

Via dei Fori Imperiali cuts through the centre of the Rome/Colosseo district, connecting Piazza Venezia with the Colosseum. It is well served by buses, although if you are into serious sightseeing you are likely to want to walk instead as the Roman Forum is on your right for most of the journey. After the Colosseum, the road becomes Via Labicana and takes you close to San Giovanni. Buses serving Via dei Fori Imperiali include No. 60, from Via Nazionale and beyond (beware, this is an express bus with limited stops), No. 75, which connects Termini Station with Aventino- Testaccio and No. 85, which connects Piazza San Silvestro in the Modern Center (close to the Trevi Fountain) with San Giovanni. The Colosseum has a metro stop on Line B, two stops from Termini toward EUR.

  • Arch of Constantine. located a short walk west of the Colosseum, this well-preserved monumental arch was erected (sometime soon after 315) to commemorate the victory of Constantine, the first Christian emperor, over his rival Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312. In general design, the Arch of Constantine imitates the century-earlier Arch of Septimius Severus (nearby in the Forum) - the quality of its sculptural decoration, however, betrays the slow degradation that Classical Roman sculpture had experienced in the 3rd century AD. Free to view.  edit
  • Colosseum, Piazzale del Colosseo / Via dei Fori Imperiali, +39 06 700 4261. open daily October-January 15 9AM-3PM, January 16-February 15 9AM-4PM, February 16-March 17 9AM-4.30PM, March 18-April 16 9AM-5PM, April 17-September 9AM-7PM,. Known properly as the Flavian Amphitheatre, this most famous of Roman landmarks takes its name from the giant statue of the emperor Nero that once stood near this location. Originally capable of seating some 50,000 spectators for animal fights and gladiatorial combats, the amphitheatre was a project started by the Emperor Vespasian in 72 and completed by his son Domitian sometime in the 80s. The Colosseum when completed measured 48 m high, 188 m in length, and 156 m in width. The wooden arena floor was 86 m by 54 m, and covered by sand. Expect a long queue and an even longer wait. You can skip the queue if you decide to take a tour, but if you don't want a tour, you can STILL skip the queue. If you walk across the street to the Roman Forum, you can buy various one or three day passes which allows you to bypass it. There are lots of people offering tours in English just outside the entrance to the Colosseum. Inside you can take a tour (English, Spanish, or German) every 30 minutes or so for an additional fee of €4.5 per person. The tours are given by knowledgeable archeologists, but they don't take you to any areas you couldn't visit on your own. Admission.  edit
Colosseo in the night-time
Colosseo in the night-time
  • Palatine Hill, (Right next to the Roman Forum). contains the ruins of several large villas that belonged to wealthy Roman families. You can buy a combined ticket for the Palatine Hill and the Colosseum here, avoiding the long lines at the Colosseum.  edit
  • Piazza del Campidoglio. On top of the Capitol hill. The piazza was designed by Michelangelo. The Capitoline Museum is housed in the palaces flanking the piazza. You can walk behind the palaces and to a wonderful viewpoint which overlooks the entire Forum.  edit
  • Piazza Venezia, (at the opposite end of Via dei Fori Imperiali to the Colosseum). More of an enormous traffic circle than a piazza, but a good central location. The centerpiece is the enormous Vittorio Emanuele Monument (aka the Wedding Cake or the Typewriter) with the Capitoline hill next door. Mussolini used to harangue Romans from the first floor balcony of Palazzo Venezia (see under Museums), to the west of the square.  edit
  • San Clemente, Via Labicana 95, walk round church for entrance (A short walk from the Colosseum), +39 06 70 45 10 18, [1]. A great little cathedral to visit, lovingly looked after by Irish Dominicans. There is an excavated older church below the medieval church you enter and a pagan temple below that. The only place in Rome to hear the underground river that flows beneath the city.  edit
  • San Stefano Rotondo, 7 Via di Santo Stefano Rotondo (From behind the Colosseum take Via Claudia almost to the top. Turn left and you are there.). Dating from the 5th Century this is believed to be the largest round church in the world. The national church of Hungary in Rome and dedicated to St. Stephen. Charles Dickens described its wall paintings of martyrdom and butchery as ‘hideous”. A good starting point to visit the attractions of the Celio Hill (see Rome/Aventino-Testaccio)  edit
    St. Peter's Chains, San Pietro in Vincoli
    St. Peter's Chains, San Pietro in Vincoli
  • San Pietro in Vincoli, Piazza San Pietro in Vincoli, 4A, +39 06 48 82 865. Daily 7AM-12.30PM/3.30PM-6PM. The chains that held St. Peter are displayed in a case before the altar. Also contains the impressive statue of Moses by Michelangelo. It's close to the Colosseum, but a little hard to find. Take the steps opposite the Colosseum on Via dei Fori Imperiali, cross the road at the top and seek directions. Also reachable through steps to the right leading off Via Cavour.  edit
  • Santa Maria in Aracoeli, Piazza del Campidoglio 4. Ballroom-like church which crowns part of the Capitoline Hill. Don't be fooled by the plain stone exterior.  edit
  • Trajan's Markets (Mercati di Traiano), (enter from Via IV Novembre, which leads off from Piazza Venezia). On the other side of the Via dei Fori Imperiali to the Roman Forum. Well-preserved market area that doubled as a way of stopping the Quirinal Hill from collapsing. Below in the Forum is Trajan's Column, built in 113 with reliefs depicting the Emperor Trajan's vistories in battle.  edit
  • Mamertine Prison (San Pietro in Carcere), (underneath the Capitoline Hill behind the Victor Emmanuel Monument). Leaders of Rome's defeated enemies were imprisoned here where they either died of starvation or strangulation. According to legend, St. Peter was imprisoned here.  edit
The Roman Forum
The Roman Forum
The Temple of Saturn in the Forum
The Temple of Saturn in the Forum
The Arch of Septimius Severus
The Arch of Septimius Severus

The Roman Forum (Italian, Foro Romano) [2] If stones could talk: these hallowed ruins were the most powerful seat of government in the world. The Forum is much less crowded than the Colosseum and, from a historical perspective, much more interesting. Free admission, except for an audio guide, which is highly recommended. To stand in the political, legal and religious centre of the whole Roman Empire brings shivers down one's spine. It is the best way of imagining the splendour and glory of ancient Rome.

Located in a small valley between the Capitoline and Palatine hills, access to the Forum is by foot only, from an entrance on the Via dei Fori Imperiali. Wheelchair access is available for most of the Forum but be aware that the path is often bumpy due to it containing original stones from the ancient Roman period. The Forum is often less crowded than the neighboring Colliseum, but holds even more history. Open Mo-Sa 9AM-6PM (summer), 9AM-3PM (winter), Sundays 9AM-1PM year-round. Admission is €12, and the ticket is valid for two days and includes entrance to the Colosseum and Palatine Hill as well.

Tip: It is possible to hire an audioguide for €4 from a small booth just above the Arch of Titus near the Coliseum. These audioguides contain an audio jack meaning that two people can easily share one.

  • the Temple of Antoninus Pius and Faustina (Tempio di Antonio e Faustina) - built in 141 AD and dedicated to the empress Faustina; after her husband emperor Antoninus Pius died in 161 AD the temple was rededicated to the couple.
  • the Basilica Aemilia - completed in 179 BC
  • the Curia (Senate House) - the 4th rebuilding of the meeting place for the Roman Senate, once converted into a church during the Middle Ages, but now restored since the 1930s
  • the Lapis Niger (Black Stone)
  • the Arch of Septimius Severus (Arco di Settimio Severo) - erected in 203
  • the Temple of Saturn (Tempio di Saturno)
  • the Temple of Julius Caesar (Tempio di Giulio Cesare) - finished in 29 BC, marks the spot of Caesar's spontaneous cremation and Mark Antony's funeral speech, made famous by Shakespeare in his play Julius Caesar ("Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears....")
  • the Temple of Castor and Pollux
  • the Arch of Titus - built in 81 AD by the emperor Domition in dedication to his brother Titus, who died earlier that year and reigned as emperor from 79-81, overseeing the opening of the Colosseum in 80 and the eruption of Mt Vesuvius the previous year.
  • Tabularium, Foro Romano. The remains of the ancient Roman archives, where Cicero and Seneca did research. Visible from the Forum and accessible through the Capitoline Museum.  edit

Traveling tip

When visiting the Colosseum in late spring, summer, or early fall, it is not unusual to see long lines at the entrance, where the admission fee is €12. The ticket is valid for two days and includes admission to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill as well as the Colosseum.

It is possible to purchase an admission to the Palatino (or the Forum Romanum) for the same 14 dollars which also provides direct access to the Colosseum via an automated entrance.

Colosseum interior
Colosseum interior

The ticket for the Colosseum, Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill (one ticket for all three sites) can be ordered online and printed at home at [3]. The ticket is valid for two days. Please notice that, even with the printed tickets you do have to stand in the line for the Colosseum, since there is a security check first. This line goes quite fast and isn't nearly as long as the line in the Colosseum for the ticket office. When you have passed the security check, you can walk right to the ticket barriers. People who bought the ticket at the Colosseum have a small (metro style) ticket with a magnetic band. Your printed tickets won't fit in the machine. Therefore, make sure you use a barrier with a member of staff attending to it, they can scan your ticket with a hand scanner and let you pass. If no staff member is at the ticket barriers, go the the reservations office at the right, near the barrier.

If you already have a ticket (from the Colosseum or Roman Forum or printed at home) and want to visit the Palatine Hill, make sure you don't stand in line at the entrance at Via di San Gregorio. The entrance near the Arch of Titus is closed. The line at the entrance is for people without a ticket. If you have a ticket, enter the entrance building at the right side of the line. People with small tickets issued at the Colosseum can use the automated ticket barrier at the right side in the building, people who have home printed tickets should use the entrance on the left in the building, right after the ticket office. There is a member of staff with a hand scanner who can scan your ticket.

Near the Arch of Titus at the entrance to the Roman Forum, you might be approached by young, native-English speakers (often students) offering you free guided tours of the Forum. This is not a scam and is done as a way for tour companies to promote their other tours (i.e. at the end of the free tour, the guide hands out a brochure telling you about other tours around town that do cost). Even if you're not interested in the other tours, take the free one and you'll learn a lot about the most important archaeological site in the city.

Colossus of Constantine, Capitoline Museum
Colossus of Constantine, Capitoline Museum
  • Musei Capitolini (Capitoline Museums), Piazza del Campidoglio, 06-6710-2071 (), [4]. open Tu-Su 9AM-7PM. Admission to both museums €6. . The two museums are located on opposite sides of the Piazza del Campidoglio, It is recommended to book tickets online [5] Ordinary €6,50 (+ €1,50 for exhibitions), Concessions €4,50 (+ €1,50 for exhibitions) Free entry on the last Sun of each month.  edit
    • Museo Capitolino (Capitoline Museum). Built in the 17th century to a design based on an architectural sketch by Michelangelo. Highlights include the ancient Colossus of Constantine statue (for which the Colosseum was named), The Dying Gaul, a magnificent marble sculpture that copies a bronze Greek original of the 3rd century BC and the Capitoline Venus. It also contains the remarkable original gilt bronze equestrian statue of emperor Marcus Aurelius (the one in the piazza is a replica).  edit
    • Palazzo dei Conservatori (Palace of the Conservators). Also based on a Michelangelo architectural plan, this compact gallery is well endowed in classical sculpture and paintings. Highlights include the small 1st century BC bronze Lo Spinario, a Greek statue of a little boy picking a thorn from his foot; the Lupa Capitolina (Capitoline Wolf), a rare Etruscan bronze statue probably dating from the 5th century BC; and (in the entrance courtyard), the massive head, hands, foot and kneecap from a colossal statue of Constantine the Great. The palace also contains a Pinacoteca (Picture Gallery) with paintings mainly from the 16th and 17th centuries - highlights include: Caravaggio's Fortune-Teller and his curious John the Baptist; The Holy Family, by Dosso Dossi; Romulus and Remus, by Rubens; and Titian's Baptism of Christ.  edit
  • Palazzo Venezia, V. del Plebiscito, 118, +39 06 6780131. Tu-Su 8:30AM-7:30PM, ticket sales end 6:30PM. In the very heart of the city center, the building was for centuries ago the seat of the Venice embassy. Today it houses a museum and art galleries. €4.00, €2.00 for EU citizens aged 18-25.  edit
  • Archeo Art, Via del Teatro di Marcello. Not far from the bottom of the Campidoglio steps. This shop sells beautiful reproductions of ancient sculptures; not the tacky kitsch sold by many of the street vendors, but museum quality miniatures that look incredibly close to the real things. Not cheap, but definitely unique and classy souvenirs. Also stocks reproductions of ancient Roman arms and armour, including full centurion outfits!  edit


Many places in this area are aimed at tourists and as a result don't have to offer high-quality food to do well. The best lunch spot near the Colosseum, if you like pizza, is Pizza Forum, at the end of the first block heading up the narrow Via San Giovanni in Laterano from the Colosseum (in the opposite direction of the Roman Forum and city centre). At Pizza Forum you will get huge, delicious woodfire oven pizzas starting at about five euro each.

  • Ulpia, Overlooking the West end of Trajan's Market, Mercati Trianei (Go down the steps near Largo Magnanapoli where Via Nazionale and Via IV Novembre join. Turn left on Via Sant Eufemia. It is on your left (the North side) just before the road dead ends.). In such a delightful location actually overlooking the ruins of Trajan's market and facing the Foro Di Augustus you might expect that the food could be second rate but Ulpia does not disappoint. Both food and service are good and, combined with the atmosphere and location it makes a memorable meal. A wide choice of menu items and a varied wine list and you can eat inside if the weather is too cold to enjoy the terrace over Trajan's Market. The inside has heavy Roman decorations. Lunch, including a bottle of good wine €35.  edit
  • Il Gelatone, Via dei Serpenti 28 (near the Colosseo).  edit


If touring the ancient sites of Rome is wearing you out and you're dying for an afternoon beer, head to Shamrock, a quiet Irish pub in a little laneway just off the right side of bottom of Via Cavour, which is a busy street that is more or less parallel to the Via dei Fori Imperiali, Mussolini's thoroughfare that links Piazza Venezia with the Colosseum.

  • Cafè Cafè, Via dei Santi Quattro 44, 06 7008743 (). Cozy and quite cheap, this tea room is very close to the Colosseo, and it's ideal to have nice meeting with friends or a more intimate date. Very good sweets and tea, the choice is also good. Open all day and after dinner.  edit.
  • Enoteca Cavour, Via Cavour 313 (towards the bottom of Via Cavour, near the Forum), [6]. Closed Sundays. Great wine bar with a selection of wines by the glass and hundreds of bottles to choose from. Wooden decor, paper tablecloths and wines stored overhead. Good food too.  edit


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  • Aenea Superior Inn Rome – Via Urbana, 156 - Cap: 00184, Rome, Italy. [7]. Telephone +39 348 4067222 • Fax +39 06 4891634. Fifteen bedrooms divided in twin, double and triple. All the accommodations of this guest house come with air conditioning, private bath, internet wi-fi and satellite TV. At the Aenea Superior Inn Rome the breakfast is included and can be served directly in the guests’ rooms. From 120 euros.
  • Antica Residenza Monti, Via dei Serpenti 15, +39 06 4815736, [8]. Short let apartments are available in this guest house in Monti district. It's possible to choose between an apartment with two rooms, and a studio apartment with one room, both are self catering with kitchens. 120/140 euros per day.  edit
  • Hotel Adas Rome, Via Cavour 233, +39 06 4741432, [9]. This two-star hotel has single, double, triple and quadruple rooms with private bath. From €70 for a double..  edit
  • Hotel Ivanhoe Rome, Via De' Ciancaleoni, 49 (Via Urbana 50), +39 06 486813 (fax: +39 06 4828761), [10]. Cozy two star hotel offering 24 rooms – single, double and triple - hidden in a little side street. Located above the Roman Forums and next the Colosseum. From €70 for double rooms.  edit
  • Hotel Labelle Rome, Via Cavour, 310, +39 06 6794750 (fax: +39 06 69940367), [11]. A family run two star hotel. At the bottom of Via Cavour, close to the Forum. From €88 for double rooms.  edit
  • YWCA Foyer di Roma, Via C. Balbo 4, +39 06 4880460 (). Youth Hostel is four blocks from Termini on the Via C. Balbo. Rooms are spotless, bathrooms are extremely clean, and towels and linens are changed once a day. Internet for €1 per hour. Fridge on every floor. Continental breakfast included in room rate. €26 per person per night for a bed in a 4-person room. €31 for a double, €47 for a private room. You have to be female to reserve a room; however, men can stay if accompanied by a woman..  edit
  • Intown Luxury House Rome, Via Bocca di Leone, 7 (Rome city center), +39 0669380200, [12]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Choice of rooms: single, deluxe double, junior suite and terraced junior suite. All rooms are equipped with air conditioning, LCD tv sets with Sky satellite channels, hi-speed Internet connection, safe, minibar and direct telephone line. Bathrooms are fitted with marble and Jacuzzi tubs and/or showers. 290. (41.9044,12.4809) edit
  • Hotel Lancelot, Via Capo D'Africa 47 (in the built-up area behind the Colosseum, close to San Clemente church), [13]. Cosy hotel in an interesting area. For a three-day stay or more half-board is offered. €120 single, €180 double.  edit
  • Hotel Richmond, Largo Corrado Ricci 36 (At the bottom of Via Cavour..), +39 06 69941256, [14]. A three-star hotel with in single, double, triple, quadruple rooms, and suites. The average price for a double is around €175..  edit
  • Hotel Forum, Via Tor de' Conti, 25-30 (close to where Via Cavour joins Via dei Fori Imperiali), [15]. Grossly overpriced hotel close to the Forum. But it does have a roof garden restaurant with great views! €300+ for double or twin.  edit
  • Torre Colonna Guest House, Via delle Tre Cannelle 18, +39 06 62289543, [16]. The Torre Colonna is a guest house hosted in an medieval tower, 100 meters away from Piazza Venezia. The five bedrooms with private bath are divided in double, twin, triple and family. Rates go form 230 to 300 euros..  edit
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

Simple English

The Roman Forum is an area of the city of Rome which the ancient city developed around. It is the place where commerce, business, prostitution, cult, and the administration of justice took place.

Buildings in the Forum

The Roman Forum is famous for the amount of buildings and other ancient ruins that it contains. These include:

  • [[Temple of Castor and Pollux

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