Palatine Hill, Rome
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.
This is where it all began. It was on this hill that Rome was founded. Remains dating as far back as 1000 BC have been found here. Most of the remains however date to the Republic and the Early Empire. This area was part, along with the forum which is adjacent, the center of what was Ancient Rome. It is also one of the famed 7 hills of Rome.
The Augustus House (we call it in Italian la casa di Augusto but in fact only few rooms are available!!) is located on the Palatine so it is already included in the same ticket that allows you to visit Colosseum + Forum + Palatine. There should be a student discout so take the student card with you or any evidence that you are a student. Go to the entrance on Via di San Gregorio 30, located 100 mt away from the Arch of Constatine.
It took about two hours to explore all of the ruins and was very educational. But folks please please do not crawl or climb up on the ruins that have been around since 500 B.C. It was a little embarrassing to see American tourists being so disrespectful for the sake of a picture and the security guards will escort you out.
If you imagine the seven hills of ancient Rome as a wheel (albeit a rather squashed one), the Palatine Hill is the hub, the central hill. Right from the earliest days of the Republic, it was the most desirable part of the city in which to live, both for its wonderful views and because it was here that legend says the she-wolf who suckled the twins, Romulus and Remus, had her den and Romulus decided to build his city. Throughout the years of the Republic , this hill was the preserve of the the richest and most influential citizens and as Empire followed Republic, it was where the emperors and their families built their palaces.
The views are still beautiful and, after the crowds around the Forum and the Colosseum, it offers plenty of welcome quiet and shady paths as well as the archaeological treasures of the newly retored and now open House of Augustus and the exquisite House of Livia (closed the day we were there but once seen, never forgotten, and I was lucky enough to see it the first time I was in Rome).
What we were lucky enough to find open this time was the Capanne Romulee - the remains of Iron Age huts dating back to the 9th century BC - the earliest dwellings on the hill. We also had the good luck to arrive there just as a study group of young history students were having the site explained to them by their lecturer. Of course we listened in.
There are ruins all over the hill, most of which are active archaeological sites and often out of bounds to tourists. There are few signs and if you want to gain an indepth appreciation of the area, you're probably best to take a tour but there's plenty to enjoy here by just making your own way around.
Don't miss the lovely Farnese Gardens at the top of the hill.
The Palatine Hill is the centermost of the Seven Hills of Rome and is one of the most ancient parts of the city. It stands 40 metre above the Forum Romanum, looking down upon it on one side, and upon the Circus Maximus on the other.
According to Roman mythology, the Palatine Hill was the location of the cave, known as the Lupercal, where Romulus and Remus were found by the she-wolf that kept them alive. According to this legend, the shepherd Faustulus found the infants, and with his wife Acca Larentia raised the children. When they were older, the boys killed their great-uncle (who seized the throne from their father), and they both decided to build a new city of their own on the banks of the River Tiber. Suddenly, they had a violent argument with each other and in the end Romulus killed his twin brother Remus. This is how "Rome" got its name - from Romulus. Another legend to occur on the Palatine is Hercules' defeat of Cacus after the monster had stolen some cattle. Hercules struck Cacus with his characteristic club so hard that it formed a cleft on the southeast corner of the hill, where later a staircase bearing the name of Cacus was constructed.
The palatini was one huge ruins!! But it showed us what rome must have been all those years ago! However do carry an umbrella if u are there in summer, the heat sure got to us and no water was available for a long mile!! The red flowers in bloom added to the beauty of the place however by this time Aj had just about given up in the heat!!
Toilets and wash rooms are also far and few. We really missed the convenience of Paris here!
Palatine Hill oozes history and unlike other ancient places where you have to use your imagination to get a sense of history from the place . . Palatine Hill does not disappoint. Rome first became a city on the Palatine Hill on 753 B.C. It later became a place where palaces were built by the many emperors and the rich lived. On the Palatine hill, you will find mostly ruins of palaces and homes of the rich. You can walk around this huge area for hours upon hours and one of my favorite little piece of history is the old massive library I believe, the original key is still in the massive 20 foot door and this place is truely a wonder.
It is said that Rome was founded on Palantine Hill, which is home to some of the oldest structures in Rome. Sadly many visitors miss out on Palatine Hill because they are unaware that its something they can visit or they fail to realize that admission is included when you buy a ticket for the Coliseum. Palatine Hill is worth visiting for the view from the top that offers a panoramic view of the Roman Forum. Additionally the gardens surrounding Palatine Hill are beautiful and worth experiencing and the back end of Palatine Hill also offers a view of Circus Maximus. You can gain entrance through the Roman Forum or from the side entrance on the main street that runs from the Arch of Constantine.
Now, I just loved the Pallatine. Just a few steps away from the Roman Forum and the Colloseum, yet so peaceful, almost deserted. Great place to sit down, rest your feet and plan the rest of the day... or just simply enjoy the greenery. Mind you, can be a bit windy, but apart from this it's just lovely. Home of the aristocracy, and no wonder why.
One of Rome's seven hills, the Palatine Hill was ancient Rome's residential area for the most important. Today, it is a large archeological park planted with Pine trees around half excavated Roman ruins. The Palatine Hill is located between the Circo Massimo and the Roman Forum. It can be entered (for a fee) from the Roman Forum. The Park is a most relaxing place and one could visit, not only to see the ruins, but also to spend a quiet afternoon. Some of the ruins include the Domus Flavia, Domus Augustana and the Palace of Septimius Severus.
Palatine Hill was the site of the earliest latin settlement in Rome. It became the residence of Rome's ruling class and was the birthplace of Augustus. The homes of Augustus and his wife are still well perserved. It is worth the climb to Palatine just to see the gardens, which are beautiful.
Underneath the gardens is a long tunnel which may have been a secret route to other parts of the palatine. It is often attributed to Nero, but part may be earlier, part of the Domus Tiberiana, as it is thought that this was the site of the murder of Emperor Caligula in AD41.
It's a lovely cool spot, it would be nice to linger there on a hot day.
From the Arch of Titus, the road leads up to the Palatine Hill, where the imperial rulers of Rome lived in luxury. Follow the paths and steps up to the Farnese Gardens, which were pleasure gardens laid out in the 16th century for Cardinal Farnese over the ruins of the Palace of Tiberius.
From what I have read, scholars aren't certain what the name of the hill means - it may derive from 'palus' (marsh or swamp, apparently quite descriptive of the area of the Forum Romanum before it was drained), or it may stem from 'pales', an old pastoral deity. Later, the word 'palatium' was associated as much with the imperial palaces as with the hill, and this eventually became the word 'palace'.
One of the lovely things about the Palatine is that it is a park where you can wander in any direction you please. On the other hand, it is a large park without signposts, and very few labels, so it could be very confusing for the first-time visitor to know exactly what they are looking at. I advise you to have a map handy!