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Worth a detour
Rating 1.8 (195 votes)

The Roman Forum

Listed under Archaeological Sites in Rome, Italy.

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The Roman Forum is a must visit site at any time of day - the ancient Roman market place, centre of Imperial power, location of the Senate (still standing) and of Julius Caesar's assassination. To get in amongst the stones, rather than just gawp from the fence like the bus tours, has to be done by day, and can be dusty, hot and exhausting. Rome was never comfortable!

However, there's a little experienced (though much photographed) view of the Forum, by night, that is truly spectacular. Of the tens of thousands of visitors lodged in Rome each night, maybe only a few hundred make it up the steep steps of the Campidoglio - designed by Michealangelo - behind the Vittorio Emmanuele Monument on Piazza Venezia. Head down the hill to the right of the town hall in the centre of the small square at the top of the hill - and prepare to have your breathe taken away after dark..

Written by  James Dunford Wood.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers


It will take longer to go through this wonder then they suggest but it is worth the extra time. Bring water and food as there is NO concessions in the exibit. Also take your automated tour guide back a few minutes before they close (find out when it is do back) or you may wined up having to come back the next day to get your identification back. They say they charge extra for keeping it to long but I did not have any problem with that. They sell pictures outside the ruins for 10 euros, we are glad we did not by them because we found the same exact pictures in the markets near the famous fountain (sorry I can't remember its name) for 2-3 euros. One last suggestion, there is a 2 and a 3 day pace for the sights in Rome get them it will save you money, if you are not able to get them get your tickets for the forum and the coliseum at the forum, the line is much shorter and you practically walk right into the coliseum. Rome is a very walkable city and the subway drops you off at the front door of the coliseum. If you want to walk down the spanish steps and not up there is an elevator to the left in the subway station, be aware that many of the shops in the area are way overpriced. I hope this helps.

1 Reply

Thanks for the tip on the multi-day pass!

Worth going for the sights as well as the people. I counted tour groups from four different continents, all in about half an hour. Take your time (and your pictures) and then head on up to the Palatine hill.

The Forum was largely intact until the Renaissance, though crumbling. But the architects who so admired the classical style and copied them in their great churches and palaces felt no compunction about using the Forum as a quarry for their building materials, which is why it is so broken down today. At one period in Roman times one end of it was used as a rubbish tip - the trash was so high that apparently if you climbed it you could touch the tops of the temple columns next door.

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