The Roman Forum (Forum Romanum in Latin) is located just across from the Colosseum. Due to its location, this is a very easy place to get to in Rome and something that should definitely be seen if you are in the area. The Colosseo and Circus Massimo metro stops are very close to the Roman Forum which are both a 5 minute trip from Termini Station.
The Roman Forum runs in a valley between Palatine Hill and Capitoline Hill which made it the center of public, religious and political life in ancient Rome. The Forum was once surrounded by home of the most important people in Rome and also some great government buildings. In later years, the Forum was used as a marble quarry. Marking each entrance to the Forum is an arch; the Arch of Titus marks the Colosseum entrance while the Arch of Septimus Severus marks the Capitoline Hill entrance,
Before going to the Roman Forum, I had no real idea what to expect as I hadn't really read much about it before. Stupidly, my boyfriend and I visited Palatine Hill, the Roman and Imperial Forums before going to the Colosseum. We didn't know that our ticket into the Colosseum also gained us entry to these areas as well so really, we ended up paying twice. However, as we went just before our Colosseum tour, we didn't see everything the first time around. Our tour guide was a much better person to go there with so I was actually glad that we got to go again. Tickets cost roughly Euro12.
Upon entering the Roman Forum, it pretty much looks like a large site full of ruins. Some large buildings remain while parts of arches and statues remain in places. To someone who doesn't know what everything is, the Roman Forum can be a very confusing place. There are barely any information signs around explaining what everything is so this is definitely a place to see with a guide or guidebook to hand. Luckily, our guide told us what everything was but without her, I wouldn't have had a clue.
What was very interesting to see was the levels of the buildings. Modern day Rome is clearly built above these ruins so it made me wonder just how low the ground was back then. Over time, the ground has been built up so getting to the old buildings during archaeological excavations proves difficult. Our guide explained that during the process of archaeological excavations many years ago, people thought that most of the statues etc. that can be seen now were lost forever due to now knowing how low the ground used to be. It would have been a real shame had these not been discovered. We were lucky enough to see an excavation in process during our visit.
As you walk around the paths of the Forum, it really does feel like you are in a whole other world. As the ground here is so low, modern Rome is quite shut out apart from the sound. The area is very peaceful and quiet which makes it possible to really take in what you are looking at. The Roman Forum is home to buildings such as the House of the Vestal Virgins and the Basilica of Julius Caesar. The Roman Forum is home to so many different parts of history and I loved exploring here. There are a fair few temples to be seen here too such as the Temple of Castor and Pollux, the Temple of Romulus and the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina.
As we visited Rome at the end of June, it was extremely hot and the Forum doesn't offer much shade. However, there are toilets on site and a fountain to fill up on drinking water. I've always been told not to drink from places like this in foreign countries though so I would advise taking a good couple of bottles of water with you, which can be bought just outside of the Colosseo metro stop quite cheaply. I would also recommend spending a good few hours here. I don't think we spent nearly enough time looking around the Forum but it was hot and we had just done a 3 hour tour of the Colosseum as well. There is so much to see here that is so interesting and I wish I would have had time to see more.
I went to Rome last summer and spent two of the best days of my life in the eternal city.
It was during the high season in the middle of July and Rome was hot and crowded.
Luckily I have an Italian as a partner and thus avoided many tourist traps, such as overpriced food and drinks, long lines and expensive parking.
Contrary to what many think Rome can be done on a budget, we stayed with friends but costs in the city were kept at a minimum.
First off we parked in a park called Villa Borghese which is about a kilometer from the center. There is parking in the center but during the day it is hard to get good parking on the streets and underground lots are pricey. In the evening you can find street parking in the city center and it is about 1 euro a hour. Parking in Vila Borghese is a little over 1 euro an hour and it is an underground lot. It is not a good idea if you are walking but in the park you can rent bicycles for about 10 euros an hour. This is an great tip as it will save you tired feet and even gives you a light breeze. They come with locks and we would chain them to a fence and walk around to see the different sites. With a simple city center map you can navigate easily by bike, and get from place to place in record speed. You can also get baskets and carry your cameras drinks etc without tiring your shoulder.
A friend had given me a tip that was a lifesaver for Rome, the biggest attraction is generally the Colosseum and the line can stretch around the building and people have been known to wait for hours.
However.... The ticket for the Palatine is also good for the Colosseum and the line is literally non existent. The Palatine is right around the corner from the Colosseum and so it will save you allot of time.
I couldnt figure out why there was so few people there as it was such a fascinating place, and even more diverse and varried then the colossuim.
The Roman Forum and Palatine hill are in reality two different sites but they are in the same enclosure, and it is easy to walk from one to the other.
The Roman Forum:
The oldest and most important structures of the ancient city are located in the forum. This is where the senate, as well as Republican government began. The forum served as a city square and central gathering point where the people of Rome gathered for justice, and worship. The forum was also the economic hub of the city and considered to be the center of the Empire.
It is comprised of Temples, Basillicas and the Curia Julia the Senate building.
It lies several meters below street level, and is accessible by stairs,
The Palatine Hill:
It is the center most of the Seven Hills of Rome and is one of the most ancient parts of the city. It stands high above the Forum, looking down upon it on one side, and accessible from there by stairs. And on the other side of it is the Circus Maximus.
On the hill lies the Flavian palace where several Emperors resided Right beside the palace is the Hippodrome of Domitian. This is a structure which looks like a miniature Roman Circus and whose name means Circus in Greek, but is too small to accommodate chariots, and was probably used for sporting events.
The entrance fee is 10 euros each.The one downside is that none of the signs are in English, for being such a Vacation hot spot I was rather shocked, and I seriously advise investing in a good guidebook, so you can fully appreciate what you are seeing.