Roman Forum, Rome

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  • Roman Forum
    by Ines_
  • Roman Forum with Arch of Septimus Severus
    Roman Forum with Arch of Septimus...
    by zadunajska8
  • Foro Romano -View from Palatino.
    Foro Romano -View from Palatino.
    by breughel
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    Ruins of an Empire

    by goodfish Updated Feb 12, 2014

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    Once the Roman center of religion, commerce and justice, the Forum is now a jumbled maze of tumbled columns, ruined foundations, and churches erected on pre-Christian temples. It is not an easy place to visit as you need to either bring a very good guidebook, rent an audioguide or book a tour to make sense of it all. It can also be very crowded, very hot in summer, and tough on your feet but to walk the Via Sacra (Sacred Way) is to follow in the footsteps of Kings, Emperors, Senators, Roman generals and Vestal Virgins over two thousand years ago. This not to be missed - however you choose to do it.

    Tickets include entry to Palatine Hill and Colosseum and are good for two days: see this link for hours, prices and other good info:

    http://www.060608.it/en/cultura-e-svago/beni-culturali/beni-archeologici/area-archeologica-foro-romano-palatino.html

    Best place to buy same-day tickets is at Palatine Hill where lines are shortest (see previous review).

    PLEASE NOTE: the Palatine and Forum are considered ONE SITE, even though they are separate, so you cannot split your visits to these two; they must both be done on the SAME DAY. It is possible however to do these two on one day and the Colosseum on the next (or vice versa) you wish to explore the 3 sites over two days.

    To help understand the maze of ruins before your walk, there are excellent overlooks from the Campidoglio on Capitoline Hill, and Farnese Gardens on Palatine Hill. Getting a handle on some of the more interesting sites before your trip is a good idea too so I'm attaching this website with lots of pictures and background on many of the remaining structures, and will include individual reviews on a few of those as well.

    http://sights.seindal.dk/sight/4_Forum_Romanum.html

    The Forum is hauntingly beautiful when illuminated night so it's well worth a stroll past the fences just to see it all lit up, or you might want to book an evening tour (not available in winter):

    http://www.tickitaly.com/tours/forum-rome-night-tour.php

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    Et Tu, Brute?

    by goodfish Updated Feb 9, 2014

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    If you've had any Roman history, read certain bits of Shakespeare, or seen the most expensive American movie ever made (Cleopatra: 1963) you'll know that Julius Caesar met a messy end at the hands of some very cranky Senators. What was news to me was that they didn't finish him off in the Forum. The building that was normally used for gatherings of the Senate - Curia Hostilia - had burned down some years before so they were using Pompey's Curia in the interim. This was part of a gigantic complex covering several blocks - roughly from Campo di Fiori to Largo Argentina - northwest of the Forum.

    The Senators having fled the scene of the crime, the body was dragged by a mob of angry citizens (who had no love for pushy Caesars) to the Forum where a cool-headed Marc Anthony did some fast talking to transform the fallen dictator into a hero deserving of a noble send-off. Heroes being rather popular in ancient Rome, the mob settled down nicely, threw together an altar, grabbed whatever furniture they could lay their hands on and built a nice big bonfire in which to incinerate Julius' sorry remains. The Temple of Julius Caesar was later raised on the spot. There's not much left of it but parts of some walls and rubble of the altar but it's an interesting little piece of history so give it a go.

    The ruins are covered with a roof to protect them from the elements. It's the semicircular grey thing in the very center of the frame in the 2nd shot. Here's a website with some good background on the temple:

    http://sights.seindal.dk/sight/171_Temple_of_Caesar.html

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    Very Big Basilica

    by goodfish Updated Feb 7, 2014

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    Basilica of Constantine (in the background)
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    These three gigantic barrel vaults are about all that remain of what was the largest structure in the Forum. Constructed in the 4th century under Maxentius (him again!) and Constantine I, this building was used for judicial, commercial and administrative purposes. While we think of a basilica as church, in the ancient empire it simply meant a public building. When Christianity was allowed out of the closet and became the primary religion of Rome, some of these structures were converted into Catholic churches which you'll see on your wanders about the city.

    An apse on the west side originally held an enormous statue of Maxentius that Constantine, ever the thrifty and egotistical Emperor, later altered to look like himself - probably because he was peeved with Max for not playing nice in the imperial sandbox. You can see the head and some other remaining bits of this colossus in the Palazzo dei Conservatori. In my humble opinion, Constantine either resembled a frog, or the dude he hired for the statue's facelift was mad at him 'cause it's sort of a homely, bug-eyed thing.

    http://sights.seindal.dk/sight/177_Basilica_of_Maxentius.html

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    House of the Vestal Virgins

    by goodfish Updated Feb 6, 2014

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    Being a Vestal Virgin wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

    While you had free rent, great seats at the Colosseum, got to vote, own property and other cool perks, you were mostly stuck looking after a temperamental fire and doing housekeeping at the Temple of Vesta for 30 long years. Keeping that fire going was a big deal 'cause if it went out Vesta, goddess of the hearth, would have a hissy fit and remove her protection from the city. There would also be no community flame for the citizens to borrow from if their household fires burned out. If that happened on your watch, you would be flogged with whips tipped with metal or bone. And there was no fooling around for you, no sir. Caught making whoopie with some cute young Legionnaire? You were buried alive, and he was lashed to death. Ouch.

    The good news was that you were free to marry once your 30 years were up...although that wasn't much of a bonus at a time when Roman women had few of the rights and privileges of a V.V. It was usually much more attractive to continue living high on the Vestal hog you'd become accustomed to. Who needed a boring old Senator in a bed sheet anyway?

    One may see the visible outlines of the atrium (center of the picture) and the remains of rooms in the house the V.V.s lived in. Battered statuary on the pillars are of senior Vestals and date to 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The cult was banned, along with other non-Christian orders, in the late 4th century, and the house was converted to office space.

    There's lots more fun stuff about Vestal Virgins on this site:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vestal_Virgin

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    Roman Forum or foro Romano

    by gwened Updated Aug 25, 2013
    main entrance Foro Romano and Palatino
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    This is one of the highlights of coming to Rome, the old Roman forum is impressive as it is all the buildings around it.
    There is so much to see here, it needs a full day, and some previous study on the monuments.

    a bit of history
    Before becoming the political, administrative and religious centre of Rome, the Forum was an inhospitable marshland. From the late 7th century CE, after the area was drained and reclaimed, several monuments were progressively built on it: first the buildings for political, religious and commercial activities, then, during the 2C BC, the civilian basilicas, where judicial activities took place.

    By the end of the Republican era, the ancient Roman Forum was already fully built up so that only a few monuments were added during the Empire: the Temple of Vespasian, that of Antoninus and Faustina, the monumental Arch of Septimius Severus, the imposing Basilica of Maxentius. The last monument was the column erected in 608 BC in honour of the Byzantine Emperor Phocas.

    The Palatine is the hill where, according to tradition, Romulus founded Rome in 754 BCE: the remains of huts confirm in full the details of the legend. The elevated position and the proximity to the Tiber made the Palatine very suitable for the settlement; during the Republican era it became the residential district of the Roman aristocracy.

    The Emperor Augustus turned the Palatine into the official seat of power and started the construction of the Imperial Palaces, subsequently enlarged by the Julio-Claudian Emperors and by Nero. Yet it was Domitian who radically transformed the hill, by building atop the previous dwellings the majestic Flavian Palace, designed by the architect Rabirius.

    Currently situated within the Palace of the Caesars is the Palatine Museum, where the most important finds of the excavations are on display.

    Like I said lots of time to see very old buildings so give it ample time and carry a guide book to know what you are looking at. I was just there wandering around as old ruins is not my thing. Been around it before on business trips and now with the family; its a nice place to walk on .

    The admission is 12€ per adults and times are :
    Open every day from 8.30 to 19.00.
    Closed 1 January and 25 December.

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    FORO ROMANO - The heart of ancient Rome.

    by breughel Updated May 21, 2013

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    Foro Romano.
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    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 12 € (full price) have to be bought at the ticket offices (biglietterie) largo Salara Vecchia or Via di S. Gregorio 30.
    Price combined ticket (2013): normal 12 €; reduced 7,50 € for EU citizens between 18 and 24 years. Valid 2 days .
    The combined ticket can be bought on-line at http://www.coopculture.it/en/ticket with a reservation fee of 2 € for print home ticket.

    Free for EU citizens under 18 or more than 65 years.

    Open all days from 08.30 H till 1 hour before sunset.
    Closing times in 2013:
    02/01 - 15/02 = 16.30 h
    16/02 - 15/03 = 17.00 h
    16/03 - 30/03 = 17.30 h
    31/03 - 31/08 = 19.15 h
    01/09 - 30/09 = 19.00 h
    01/10 - 26/10 = 18.30 h
    27/10 - 31/12 = 16.30 h
    Attention: closed on 1/01 and 25/12 !
    The ticket office closes 1 hour before above times.

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    From Roman Temple to Christian Church

    by goodfish Updated May 15, 2013

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    In this picture are two examples of Roman temples which were recycled into Christian places of worship. In the background is the rather bizarre-looking church of San Lorenzo in Miranda - which was originally the 2nd century Temple of Antoninus and Faustina. Built by Emperor Antoninus Pius in memory of his deceased wife, the temple was rededicated to them both after the emperor's death. Sometime in the Middle Ages the remains of the temple were converted into a church named after St. Lawrence as it was believed he'd been sentenced to death on this site. Many alterations have been made to the original structure and the resulting exterior is a goofy mix of 17th century facade above the columns of an ancient Roman porch. The church - entered from Via dei Fori Imperiali - is almost always closed but may be open on Thursdays between 10-12:00.

    The circular building in the foreground was probably the Temple of Divus Romulus and dedicated to the son of Maxentius; the same emperor of Villa Massenzio. In the 6th century it was incorporated with the library of Vespacian's Forum of Peace into the Basilica of Santi Cosma e Damiano and named for twin physician brothers, Cosmas and Daimian, who were martyred in the 3rd century. The temple has since been restored to original form and is, along with the Pantheon, the best preserved of the pre-Christian temples in Rome. We hit this one when it was closed so didn't get to visit the interior but if you do (entrance is also from Via dei Fori Imperiali - free) it can be viewed from behind a protective glass wall, and the church is said to have magnificent 6th and 7th-century mosaics. Entrance is free; see this site for hours:

    http://www.060608.it/en/cultura-e-svago/luoghi-di-culto-di-interesse-storico-artistico/chiese-cattoliche/ss-cosma-e-damiano.html

    More web info on Temple of Romulus:

    http://sights.seindal.dk/sight/176_Temple_of_Romulus.html

    Web info for Temple of Antoninus and Faustina:

    http://sights.seindal.dk/sight/175_Temple_of_Antoninus_and_Faustina.html

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    PALATINO - The Romantic Hill.

    by breughel Updated May 1, 2013

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    Palatino - terrasse with views
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    The best and 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 visit begins thus with the vestiges of the thermal baths of Settimo Severo at the South-eastern angle of the Palatine.
    The entry of Palatine is to be paid for but it gives right to a combined entry to the Coliseum and the Foro Romano and avoids consequently the long lines at the Coliseum which can be joined by going down towards the Arc of Titus and the Via Sacra.

    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 splendour of this site of the time of the Empire but the place is quiet and shaded by beautiful trees of which the famous romantic umbrella pines.
    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.

    Open all days from 08.30 till 1 hour before sunset.
    Attention: closed on 1/01 and 25/12 !
    The ticket offices close 1 hour before above times.

    Tickets available at the "biglietterie" Largo Salaria Vecchia and Via di San Gregorio, 30 (also the ticket offices of the Forum and the Coliseum as the ticket is a combined one).
    Price combined ticket: normal 12 €; reduced 7,50 € for EU citizens between 18 and 24 years old.
    Free for EU citizens less than 18 or 65 years old.

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    Tito's Arch

    by solopes Updated Mar 31, 2013

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    Rome - Italy

    It's impossible to remember in detail the image and name of each monument lined in the forums, but, travelling with Tito, who could skip Tito's triumphal arch?

    Built by Domitian in 82 AD, it was the model to several triumphal arches, including the modern one in Paris.

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    The Center of History

    by solopes Updated Mar 9, 2013

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    Rome - Italy

    You may go to Rome without seeing the Pope, but it's much more difficult to go without seeing the forums.

    If you are just curious, one day is more than enough to see and understand the essential. But if you are a serious student of history or art, then you'd better reserve a full week. And work hard...

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    The Forum.

    by IreneMcKay Updated Jan 5, 2013

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    Looking across the forum.
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    I remember strolling the forum as my favourite part of my first trip to Rome. This time due to huge queues I did not go in. However, if you climb Palatine Hill you get a free view of the forum. You can also see it from Via del Fori and from Capotline Hill. Entry 12 Euro which includes colloseum and Palatine Hill.

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    Roman Forum

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Jun 30, 2012

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    Roman Forum
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    The Roman Forum is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum.
    The main sight of the Forum include the Arch of Titus (Arco di Tito), the Temple of Saturn, Temple of Vesta, and the church of San Luca e Martina. These are all linked by the Sacra Via, the main road through the Forum.

    You can watch my 3 min 44 sec Video Rome Forum Romanum Circuses Capitoline Hill and Hyppodrome out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.

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    Roman Forum

    by Ines_ Written Mar 18, 2012

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    The Roman Forum is located in a valley that is between the Palatine hill and the Capitoline hill. Here were localized the main government buildings and every day politicians of ancient Rome strolled around these streets.

    It’s one of the most remarkable sites of the city (you must go there) and at Palatino Hill you have a good view of Rome.

    The tickets are 12€ and include Roman Forum, Colloseum and Palatine Hill. The queue at Roman Forum it’s quite smaller than the one of Colloseum, so if you want to go there buy the tickets here.

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    Foro Romano, Part VIII: An Archaeological Dig

    by von.otter Updated Mar 13, 2012

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    Roman Forum, An Archaeological Dig, 05/07
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    “There isn’t an inch of Rome that doesn't have some artifacts below the street. In AD 300, Rome already had one-and-a-half million inhabitants. If we were to bring to light everything they and subsequent generations built, we would have to eliminate all of the streets of Rome.”
    — Giovanni Simonacci, 2007, technical director of the new Roman subway line “C”

    You would think that after more than a hundred years of investigation through archaeological excavation all that there was to be found in the Roman Forum would have been found.

    Not so, or so it seems.

    During our May 2007 walk through Foro Romano there was a group of excavators using what appeared to be a child’s beach shovel to unearth Lord only knows what.

    During our previous two visits to Rome excavation work was being carried out in front of the Arco di Constantino; now, that work had come to an end by the time we paid our third visit to Rome. With pre-Republican, Republican, Imperial and Late-Roman civilization layered one on top of the other there will be many years of digging carried out in the Eternal City. The digging may go on eternally.

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    Spectacular Forum Romanum ...

    by TrendsetterME Written Feb 26, 2012

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    Forum Romanum, Rome , Italy
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    The Roman Forum is a rectangular plaza surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum. It was for centuries the center of Roman public life, the site of triumphal processions and elections, venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches, and nucleus of commercial affairs.

    Here statues and monuments commemorated some of the city's most notable figures. Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archeological excavations attracting numerous sightseers.

    Today, archeological excavations continue along with constant restoration and preservation. Long a major tourist destination in the city, the Forum is open for foot traffic along the ancient Roman streets which are restored to the late Imperial level. The Forum Museum (Antiquarium Forense) is found at the Colosseum end of a modern road, the Via dei Fori Imperiali. This little museum has a significant collection of sculpture and architectural fragments. There are also reconstructions of the Forum and the nearby Imperial Fora as well as a short video in several languages. It is entered from the Forum by the side of Santa Francesca Romana (No. 53 Piazza S. Maria Nova) and is open from 08:30 to one hour before sunset. Admission is 12 Euros.

    Avoid to be there in the noon time in summer, as it will be VERY hot weather, just have ur breakfast early and be there in some cooler tempereratures ... One of the major "must see's" in Rome ... :)

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