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The heart of Ancient Rome
I have to admit that Roman Forum and its view from Capitol Hill was my favorite spot in Rome. I knew that this place was the host of all the main temples and halls of justice. I also knew that this was the political, religious and commercial center of the city, but nothing, in all the readings that I have done prior to my trip to Rome, prepared me for the surprise and the wonderful feeling I had once I laid my eyes on this site. My mind started to wonder and my imagination to run wild while I was walking the streets of this jewel and I was listening to the audio guide that I downloaded from Rick Steve's web site before leaving Chicago.
There is so much to do and to see here and you should plan your visit accordingly. You also need to make sure that you wear comfortable shoes (sneakers are best!) as streets are uneven and rocky. You will find several fountains scattered all over the place with really good water, just in case you get thirsty or you need to refill your water bottle (in case you carry one, like I always do).
Regardless of the bad weather (rainy, windy and cold most of the time of our visit), we ended up spending close to 4 hours visiting the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill and I still feel that I could have easily spent more time here. We had to make sure, though, that we had time to visit the Colosseum also during the same day since we decided to buy the Roma Card and this gave us admission to these sites for 1 day only. There are some advantages if you buy the Roma Card, so do your homework and decide if it's better to get the card or to get the individual ticket from the site.
The ticket (if you buy it from the ticket booth) costs 11 Euros and it gives you admission to Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and Colosseum for 2 consecutive days, one entry per site. If you decide to buy the ticket from one of the sites, then make sure you buy it from the Roman Forum entrance instead of the Colosseum. The lines are much shorter here and I think it is a good strategy to visit Roman Forum and Palatine Hill before going to the Colosseum.
My favorite things that we saw here: Caligula's Palace, the forum Main Square, Temple of Saturn and the House of Vestal Virgins.
- Historical Travel
Fantastic - but arrive early.
I was very pleasantly suprised by the Roman Forum. It had always been on our list of things to do in Rome but hadn't been our top priority. We did however visit it first thing in the morning on our first day as we had been told that the ticket for the forum could also be used to get in to the colosseum without so much queuing (this is true and I would strongly recommend doing this).
The Forum covers quite a large area really with a large number of buildings (or rather the remains of buildings) on the site. I personally enjoyed the curia (with bronze doors dating from ancient Roman times still intact), the house of the vestal virgins and the Arch of Titus to be most impressive. The views of the colosseum from the Arch of Titus are well worth taking a photo of.
I'm very pleased that we arrived very early. We got there about 15-20 minutes after opening and there were only 2 people ahead of us in the queue so we were in in no time at all. When we left a couple of hours later the queue was horrendous! Do go early.
They have an audio guide available which was fairly pricey and you have to leave an item of ID (such as passport or drivers licence) with them as security. Don't bother with this. Whilst I don't doubt the accuracy of the information contained on the audio guide it was dry, boring and unengaging and we stopped using it within the first 20 minutes of our visit. take a good guide book with maps of the forum with you instead.
- Historical Travel
A lot of ruins to see.We love to watch the ruins,but even if I love hot weather,it was hottet day at our Rome-trip,and after walking around Colosseum,we might have missed something here,because we run out of water,and had to leave earlier than we would have othervice.
It was good to have a Rome pass,we jut walked in without staying in line.Lines were quite short anyway,if you came in from the Colosseum side.
I have a link and describtion of Rome pass at my Colosseum-tip.
The vast Roman Forum
I found it good to view the patchwork quilt, that is the Forum, from the Capitoline Hill before embarking on the journey around its many gardens and ruins.
This way i could pick out a route through the virtual carnage of tour groups and crumbling statues and columns, to see the things i actually wanted to see, and to miss the things i didn't.......
Well-worth a atleast a passing glance is the Temple of Castor and Pollux (AD5), the Temple of Romulus (only the doors remain of the original AD4 building, but its now part of the Santi Cosma e Damiano standing behind it), the Vestal Virgins (8BC), the Temple of Vesta and the Basilica Julia (54BC).
The Basilica of Constantine and Maxeritius (3 large barrel vaults) was my favourite as its ruins are all that remain of the Forums largest building.
Entrances are at the Largo Romoloe e Remo, Via del Foro Romano, and also at the Arch of Titus on Via Sacra.
personal tour of the forum
One of my favorite things to do in Rome is to visit the forum. I love walking around, soaking up the ambiance and trying to imagine what it must have been like 2 thousand years ago. Well...I have found something that makes this even easier to do. I found a downloadable guide that I put on my ipod and took with me. I simply started where the tour said to start and followed it thru the forum. It gives great detail on the specific buildings, some of their history and some interesting information that you might not find in the guidebooks. Best of all, you can skip any part that doesn't interest you and continue on tho the next. I found it very easy to use and very interesting. The forum tour started at the top of the forum and worked its way to the colosseum. It was in two parts so you could easily stop for lunch or a soda before continuing. The name of the guides are: pocketvox. You can check them out at pocketvox.com. They cost 5 euros to download but each tour lasts about two hours and you do it at your own pace. If you don't want to carry a guidebook thru the forum then these are the guides for you.
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One of the greatest places in Rome, in my opinion. You just have to see it during your trip. You can feel the history around you and close your eyes and listen to your own imagination and you can see the ancient Rome then...
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
We spent a day looking over the early Roman areas; we didn’t see it all, but got a good overview of the area and what’s in it. Our day began at the Roman Forum, primarily because we had read a good VT tip that said the lines were shorter here than at the Colosseum for purchasing your combo-ticket. From what we saw, this tip was spot-on! We waited in line for about five minutes (remember, we weren’t there in high tourist season) but later we were able to bypass the very long line at the Colosseum; so we were very happy about all this.
How do you make sense of all the stones in the Forum? Best thing is to get a good audio tour or a very good guide book. I had done a good bit of reading prior to our trip and my copy of The Blue Guide – Rome more than paid for itself, but there was just too much material to try to read the book during the actual tour (hint: get the book a couple months before your trip and read up on it). So we downloaded the Rick Steves’ audio tour (free from iTunes!) and printed up the free maps (also on iTunes) and used that instead of purchasing the audio guides provided at the Forum. The guided tour was about 45 minutes long and covered all the highlights of the Forum – I thought it was well worth it! Hubby and I each had our own iPods with the tours so we were able to go at our own pace. This is a cost effective method if you are coming with a larger family and want to save a bit of money but still get a good history and cultural history.
Our tour began at the Arch of Titus (on the Colosseum end of the Via Sacra), which was nice since we were there when everything opened and most of the groups arriving were starting in the other section of the Forum, so we pretty much had the area to ourselves!
Highlights of our tour included (see additional tips) the Basilica of Constantine, the temple of the Vesta Virgins, temple of Julius Caesar, the Curia, and the Arch of Septimius Severus.
From the Forum area, you can walk up to the Palatine Hill. All our books told us we could also walk from the Forum to the Capitoline, but that was closed off (not sure if it was temporary or more permanent – it was just a simple chain blocking the access). Once you have had your fill of the Forum area, exit towards the Colosseum to continue your tour of Roman ruins.
There was so much more to see, some closed and some areas blocked by construction or excavations. The Arch of Septimius Severus was massive but due to excavations nearby, you could not get near it from the Forum side. Later in the week we made our way down towards the Mammertime Prison from the Capitoline and from that vantage point had a much better view of the arch.
Bottom line – go on a nice day and get a good audio guide or book to help you understand all that you are seeing. Purchase the combo-ticket if you also want to go to the Colosseum so you can save money and avoid the lines at the Colosseum.
- Historical Travel
The Foro was the comercial, politic and religious center of all Rome. Its situated on Capitolino and Palatino valley. On the Republic it was a tipical piazza but as that Roman Empire started to frofile, more buildings, temples and tribunals. It importance started to decline at the same time that Rome Empire, from century IV and its buildings buildt by emperors, senators and consuls were on ruins. On Renaissance, the forum was an inspiration fountain for artists and arquitects.
El foro era el centro comercial, politico y religioso de toda Roma. Esta situado en el valle capitolino y palatino. En la epoca de la Republica era una tipica plaza pero a medida que el imperio empezaba a perfilarse edificios, templos y tribunales. Su imporancia comenzo a decaer al mismo tiempo que el imperio romano a partir del siglo IV cuando sus edificios construidos por emperadores, senadores y consuls se fueron a la ruina. En el renacimiento, el foro fue una fuente de inspiracion para artistas y arquitectos.
- Historical Travel
The old and the Beautiful!
It was the first thing that I saw in Rome. It was so big that I could only see a little bit but worth the time spent in there. Its so amazing that some of those buildings are still standing. You have to see this!
Free entrance but you can book guided tours!
The Birth of Civilization
No trip to Italy is complete without a visit to the Roman Forum. This is where much of the major events of history too place. Events which still resonate today. Over two hundred years ago, the founding fathers of America took the model of the ancient Roman Republic and drafted the Constitution of the United States based on its system.
This is a funeral pyre of Julius Ceasar, and although he was the final assasin of the Republic (Marius and Sulla bear some responsibility too) his name lived on in Russia when rulers adopted the name "Tsar".
The Forum is where the ancient civilizations of Rome existed. All of the business was taken care of in this area. You can walk through the forum for free, and if you're lucky you'll find a free English speaking tour. They will accept tips at the end.
Experience the ancient rome
I think a good place to start with the Fori Romani is from the capitol hill. First you see the monument for Vittorio Emmanuelle II and imagine how impressive the ruins in the fori romani where 2000 years ago. You also have a good overall view of the area from the hill.
Be sure to take along a good guide book that explains the different buildings. Some books even have good pics with reconstructions what it used to be like.
- Historical Travel
Oh… come on we all do it. It’s fun listening in on other people’s conversations and there is nothing better than hearing someone say something really stupid.
So… why the Foro Romano? Well it was here that I nearly chocked to death laughing after over hearing what has gone down in my travel diaries as the dumbest tourist comment yet.
I’ll set the scene…. a small boy holding his father’s hand is walking past two American tourists, a couple which I am behind. The child turns to his father and says something to his father in Italian. After a few meters the American woman turns to her partner and said,
“isn’t that cute…even the children speak Italian”
Walk the circumference in the early morning...
Like I said in my intro, you can see a TON of the Forum without paying a single penny. Thanks to a loud, insomniac baby in the room next to ours, I got up at 6:00am one morning and decided to walk the perimeter of the Forum. It was absolute magic! Without the hordes, it was even peaceful and a wonderful chance to take some good photos.
Walking the perimeter takes awhile--if you do go in the morning, plan on taking two hours or so for a leisurely stroll with pastry sidetrip thrown in.
Audio Walking Tour of the Roman Forum on your iPod
The Roman Forum was the center of daily life in Rome, filled with temples, markets, courts and all kinds of other public buildings. Today, the Forum is little more than a few scattered rock piles, but with a little imagination and the help of an audio guide the glory of Rome unfolds at your very feet. In the Forum, you'll see the Roman Senate, where Rome’s finest citizenry met to decide the issues of the day, as well as the remains Rome's greatest temples including the Temple of Saturn, The Temple of Jupiter and the Temple of the Vestal Virgins. This tour is designed help you make sense of the rubble and recreate the story of Rome from the time when Caesar built it into the greatest city in the Empire until Nero watched it burn. A great resource for budget travelers. http://www.walki-talki.com/index.html
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