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.
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.