The most romantic way of discovering the Forum is to climb on the Palatine Hill by the entry located Via di San Gregorio 30, close to Porta Capena.
The place is quiet and shaded by beautiful trees of which the famous romantic umbrella pines.
Maybe that your will hear inside yourself that symphonic poem "Pini di Roma" composed by Ottorino Respighi in 1924.
The visit begins thus with the vestiges of the thermal baths of Settimo Severo at the South-eastern angle of the Palatine.
It is on the Palatine that Rome was born with Romulus in the 8th century before J-C, it is there that Cicero lived under the Republic and it is still on this hill that the emperors August, Tiber, Domitian had their residence.
Excavations started in the 18th century and are still going on; they made it possible to discover the palaces Domus Augustana, Domus Flavia, Casa di Livia as well as temples of Cibele and Apollo and a stadium. One needs some imagination to evoke the splendor of this site of the time of the Empire.
While moving towards North one reaches the Farnese gardens with a terrace from where one has an extraordinary view downwards on the Foro Romano. It is really a unique sight which no tourist, no photographer could ignore being in Rome.
Combined tickets giving right to enter the Coliseum and the Foro Romano. The entry Via di San Gregorio, 30 has less long lines than the others.
Palatine Hill is another of Rome's fabled seven, the mythological site of Lupercal Cave - where Romulus and Remus were said to have been raised by a she-wolf - and where some emperors and very wealthy citizens built massive palaces and splendid homes. Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Cicero and Marc Anthony all resided here at one time. Long after the fall of Rome, churches, convents and Cardinal Farnese's gardens were built on top of the remains of the previous structures.
Some of the ruins to see here are the palaces of Domitian, Caligula (Tiberius), Septimius Severus, and Augustus and his wife, Livia. There are also the remains of a stadium (photo 4) and the excavation of some Iron Age dwellings known as The Huts of Romulus and Remus. One of the best reasons to come is the view overlooking the forum from a terrace at Farnese gardens (photos 2). You can get an entirely different - and free - perspective by wandering over to what's left of the Circus Maximus for an eyeful of the massive pile from behind (main photo.)
Tickets can be purchased at the entrance near the Arch of Constantine on via di San Gregorio, are good for two days, and cover entrance to the Colosseum and Forum as well. To avoid long lines at the Colosseum, buy your combo ticket here, and plan to be at the gate early. Audio guides as well as guided tours are also available: ask at the entrance.
A note of caution? If not booking a tour or audioguide, bring along a guidebook that will walk you through the high points. You don't receive any information with your ticket, and there isn't much for signage. Use the website below as a good starting point.
The Palatine Hill is the hill that overlooks the Roman Forum; it was once the home of emperors and is a pleasant stroll through a much greener area than the Forum. Of course, it is in ruins, but you can get an idea of how large the residence was. Additionally, it was on this hill that the legend of Rome’s beginnings, of Romulus and his brother Remus, are believed to originated.
The Palatine is part of your combo-ticket to the Forum and the Colosseum. It is an easy climb from the Arch of Titus, on the Colosseum end of the Forum. As you make the climb, be sure to get a good view of the Forum from the hill – it puts it all in perspective from this vantage point.
Like most of the Forum, there is very little signage to tell you what you are looking at. You should have a good guide book and map to help you understand what you are looking at. As mentioned in my other tips, I highly recommend The Blue Guide – Rome, which has detailed maps and descriptions of all the areas of ancient Rome, as well as the Vatican and the many churches and cultural sights of the city.
We didn’t spend as much time in the Palatine as we probably should’ve, but we had stayed in the Forum for quite awhile and still had the Colosseum to go to, so we rushed a bit in the Palatine. However, it was a beautiful site to walk through. There were excavations still going on (these places are off-limits to the public), but the rest seemed very well maintained – not the piles of rocks impressions that I got from the Forum area.
There is one area that looked like a stadium, but it is actually thought to be a private garden. You look down upon this area from the private home of the emperors (so guess who’s garden it was?).
As we looked around the Palatine, we came to a wonderful spot on the northeastern corner of the Palatine that gave a great view and photo opportunity as we looked down on the Colosseum. If you are looking for that place to take group photos with the Colosseum in the background, this is a great spot.
I would like to return to the Palatine again, but next time I need to do more research on what I am looking at. I had read up on most of the other sites, but neglected to do as much for the Palatine. Next time…
Collis Palatium is one of the Seven Hills of Rome and it is the place where the Capitoline wolf lived according to the myth of foundation of Rome.
We enjoyed a lot the Palatine Hill. The visit took us a long time, although we didn’t perform an exhaustive exploration, but the shade, the fountains that allowed us to refresh and drink from time to time and the relative peace and views made our visit really enjoyable.
The main sights are the ruins of Domus Augustana, the Flavian Palace, looking out over the Circus Maximus, the Hippodrome of Domitian, the House of Tiberius, the temple of Cybele and the Farnese Gardens.
We bought the combined ticket for the Palatine Hill, the Coliseum and the Forum (12 €). The queue at the Palatine Hill was shorter.
The Palatine Hill is included in teh same ticket as the Colosseum and the Roam Forum and there is a direct entrance onto the Palatine Hill from the Forum near the Arch of Titus.
I visited on a hot and sunny day in September and walking about amongst the remains up here is a real pleasure but on hot days do take water (you can refill bottles at a fountain just opposite the Arch of Titus on the way up).
This is quite a large place and you could spend some time here alone, but you will presumably be trying to see a number of other attractions on the same day (the Forum and Colosseum for a start!) and so you will need to be fairly picky about where to linger.
I found the highlights to be the stadium and the ruins of the Domus Flavia. The Palatine museum was actually fairly disappointing (but all included in your ticket) but is useful as a place to use the toilet and get out of the sun for a few minutes as it is fairly cool inside even on a very hot day.
Poor or rich people they all want to have a garden, the difference is that the poor have a garden with onions and tomatoes while the rich ones pay decorators to create something more complicated that will include flowerbeds and fountains :)
It was back in the 16th century when the cardinal Al.Farnese bought the palace of Tiberius at the and asked architecture Vignola to create the (once) beautiful Farnese Gardens that spread down from Palatine Hill to Forum (the palace of Tiberius was at the foothill). The Botanical Gardens were one of the first in Europe but they also became famous for some other reasons like long nights with girls and dance :)
We were already tired and the sun was hard on us so we didn’t really stay much here as there are not any flowers or other interesting foliage left but there are different terraces and pavilions where you can enjoy the view and take numerous pictures (pics 3-4)
At the upper side of the Gardens was located the Temple of Cybele that was built in 204BC to house the Black Stone of the goddess, burned down 2 times later and restored again by Augustus. Cybele was the goddess of fertility (Great Mother for the Greeks) that was served by castrated priest (strange balance of fertility in the temple). Nothing left for us to see there today though.
Have you ever wonder where the word “palace” came from? Many emperors later built their palaces at the Palatine Hill. What’s more it was probably the spot of the earliest settlements in the area. So, Palatino isn’t just one of the 7 hills of Rome.
Have in mind though that if you are looking for impressive palaces you won’t see any here, the palaces here are ancient and ruined so you actually imagine most of them but still we enjoyed our tour on the hill because it was a tour through history.
The hill must be chosen for its position, 50m above the Tiber river and above the Roman Forum from the other side. Legend says that Rolulus and Remus were found here by the she-wolf and later they built a city that would become the eternal Rome.
The first site we saw when we walked up the hill was the Stadium of Domidian(pic 1),. It was used for games, fights and private hunts. Some sources claim that it wasn’t open to the public but only for the emperor and his guests! Columns ran round the stadium although we can only see the bases of them today.
Further up (pics 2-3) you can visit the Museum of Palatino which was closed during our visit so we kept walking and checked the ruins of the Palace of Flavians(Domus Flavia ) that was also built at the end of 1st century for Domidian(he was member of the Flavian dynasty, ruled as the emperor 81-96AD). Although you have to do some homework and read about the buildings you can still see some structures(or better call them ruins) here like the Peristilio(pic 4, it was the large pillared courtyard of the palace), the Triclinium(a big hall, probably the dining room), Aula Regia(the throne room) etc
At the far end of the Palatine Hill we visited the House of Augustus(Domus Augustana ) which is partly excavated and that’s why closed in most parts. House of Livia (she was Augustus’ wife) seems simple but I’ve read that ceramic pipes in the walls were providing central heating while expensive paintings decorated the walls, not bad for a house at the time of Christ, don’t you think? :)
The palatine hill is open 9.00-19.00(till 14.00 in winter) and the entrance fee is €12 including entrance to Colosseo+Mostra+Palatino+Forum.
On the Palatine hill, overlooking the Roman Forum
The vast complex was built for Emperor Domitian by Rabirius in 1st century AD and was the main imperial palace for over 300 years. It was constructed on the spot where many patricians, or Roman aristocrats, have built their villas in the centuries before.
The palace comprised:
- Domus Augustana, or the private residence
- Domus Flavia, the imperial palace with public function areas, and
- The Stadium
Just down the road from the Arco di Costantino, with entrances at Piazza di S. Maria Nova and Via di S. Gregorio.
Palatine is one of the 7 hills of Rome and is the place where Romulus killed Remus and founded Rome. Having happened in 753BC, it is Rome's oldest crime scene.
Palatine is an excellent place for both photographers and history buffs with both views and ruins. The ruins are mainly those of the complex built for Emperor Domitian, as fairly little remains of the numerous houses aristocrats have built there overlooking the Roman Forum - most of them where torn down to make way for the imperial palace.
Rome has its origins on the Palatine; recent excavations show that people have lived there since approximately 1000 BC. Many affluent Romans from 510 BC – c. 44 BC had their residences there. The ruins of the palaces of Augustus 63 BC – 14, Tiberius 42 BC – 37 and Domitian 51 – 96 can still be seen. Augustus also built a temple to Apollo here, beside his own palace.
It was at Palatine Hill where Rome's Imperial rulers lived in luxury. Legend holds that Romulus defeated his twin brother Remus on the Palatin Hill and became the city's first ruler in 753 BC. At the height of Roman opulence, the area offered a beautiful panorama of the city away from the chaos below and expansive villas packed the area.
These mid-16th century gardens by Alessandro Farnese is considered one of Europe's earliest botanical gardens. Studded with cone-shaped pines and dotted with roses, this is a pleasant area to relax after some serious sightseeing at the Palatine Hill - or in my case, seek shelter during a rainy day. The twin pavilions at the northern end overlook the Forum - a prime spot for photographing the Forum.
Praised by ancient architectural experts as most splendid of homes in the Palatine, Domus Flavia retains its air of grandness with its colored marble-paved courtyards. It is also said that this elegant mansion was once connected to the nearby Domus Augustana.
Southeast of Domus Augustana is the Stadio - a smaller version of Circo Massimo, used by Roman emperors for their own private entertainment. Other theories indicate that this may had been the emperors' private gardens.
If you are interested on how and where the Roman emperors lived, these ruins are worth exploring for 20 minutes. Even from the ruins, one cannot fail to realize how grand this place would have been. The building surrounds a garden courtyard with remnants of the fountain clearly visible. The floors are paved with colored marble, still strikingly exquisite. The colonnaded facade to the south offers the grandest view of them all - that of Circo Massimo - ancient Rome's venue for chariot racing and mass entertainment.