Roman Forum: FORO ROMANO - The heart of ancient Rome

Roman Forum
It seems to me that it is vain trying to describe here a place like the Forum when a well-known guide such as the “Michelin Rome” devotes ten tight pages to it!
Best thing to do is to walk around, look in all directions, stop here and there to consult the guide book to find out to what corresponds such section of wall, such columns or ruin. I call that "humer l'air antique" sniff the air of the antic Rome.
My favoured walk starts on the height of the Capitole, then descends the staircases towards Via Sacra and joins the Coliseum. The return is even more spectacular with its superb sights on the Capitol with the back of the Vittoriano monument.

What strikes the visitor is the cluttering of this forum by all sorts of constructions. Already during the five centuries of the Roman Republic this place overflowed of administrative, legal, commercial and religious buildings. From this period not much remains.
It is under the Empire that the Forum fills up with temples, basilica, and triumphal arches dedicated to the emperors of which we see now some vestiges. This glorious period stops with the barbarian invasions of the beginning of 5th c. after J-C.
Rome becomes then the city of the Popes and the imperial buildings are transformed into churches. From the 9th century on the buildings on the forum start to collapse or are stripped off their ancient ornaments. The deserted forum becomes a sewage farm and cows feed on the meadows. During the 16th century the old forum is used as career for the construction of other buildings, of which the St-Peter Basilica!
Finally towards 1800 start systematic excavations by Carlo Fea who are continued during two centuries. It is only in the 20th century that the topography of the heart of ancient Rome is reconstituted such as the tourist discovers it today.

TICKETS FOR THE FORO ROMANO + COLLOSSEO + PALATINO at 9 € (full price) have now to be bought at the ticket offices (biglietterie) largo Salara Vecchia or Via di S. Gregorio 30.
Reduced price: 4,50 € for EU citizens between 18 and 24 years.
Free for EU citizens under 18 or more than 65 years.

Open all days from 08.30 till 1 hour before sunset.
From 25/03 - 31/08 that is 19.00 h; in September 19.00 h; October 18.30 h; 28/10 - 15/02 16.30 h; 16/02 - 15/03 17.00 h.

It is certainly sad for those who used to pass here each day but it was not very logical to make people pay for the Palatine or Trajan market and not for the most important monumental area of Rome.

  • Address: On Via dei Fori Imperiali, near Via Cavour
  • Phone: 06-699-0110
  • Directions: Between the Colosseum, Palatine and Campidoglio




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