Roman Forum
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5 historical facts about the Roman Forum's development

Unlike the other forums across Rome's empire, the ancient capital's center of public life wasn't simply planned and built, but evolved slowly as the great city grew. Here are five facts about the original Forum Romanum's history!

It was a meeting point before a stone was laid

Situated on a marshy plain between the key Capitoline and Palatine Hills of Rome, the site naturally became a local meeting point long before an official Forum was planned.

The marshland was drained by Tarquin the Elder

Legend has it that the initial Comitium emerged after both hilltop tribes made peace. Until Rome's 5th king built the Cloaca Maxima, most of the site was too swampy to be usable.

It served several uses

The forum served as the center of Rome's public life for centuries, hosting public speeches, military processions, criminal trials, gladiatorial matches, markets, and much more!

It became home to early Roman Catholic monuments

Constantine I built the Basilica of Maxentius in 312AD as the last major expansion of the forum. Over time, several of the other temples were converted into Christian churches.

Rising ground made it impossible to maintain

Flooding of the Tiber river and erosion from its surrounding hills caused the ground to rise, slowing covering the monuments. By the Middle Ages the site was being used as a pasture!

Our insider tips

When to visit?

Tickets are valid for two days but also cover the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. That's a lot to see so make sure you arrive there nice and early on both days! The Forum opens from 8:30AM (except holidays), but closing times vary depending on the season. You'll have more time between April and September.
If not booking in advance, use the Palatine Hill ticket office, as the queue will be mercifully short compared to that at the Colosseum!

How to get there?

Don't let the maps fool you! Although there are Metro stations nearby, none of them are that close to an actual entrance! Colosseo (by the Colosseum, in case it's not obvious) is the closest but you'll still need to walk to the main entrance up Via dei Fori Imperiali. Otherwise, take either the 51, 85, 87, 118, or 810 bus to the stop Fori Imperiali.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    The Forum opens at 8:30AM daily (except holidays) and closes an hour before sunset.
  • Is it expensive?
    The adult ticket is just € 12,00 and is valid for two days, for the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
  • Will I need a guide?
    It will definitely help. Might be worth it to check out our best-selling tours.
  • How to get there
    Plan to walk from the Colosseo Metro stop, or take the 51, 85, 87, 118 or 810 bus to the Fori Imperiali stop.
  • Additional information
    Admission is free the first Sunday of the month! | There is a € 2 booking fee for booking in advance and skipping the queue.

What people are saying about Roman Forum

Max was an exceptional guide, kept it interesting and commical.

Spot On! I got a phone call moments before showing up to correct location for the tour/guide. It was just a little confusing on meeting location for the tour start rendezvous location. The tour guide, Max, kept the tour interesting, knew the history/information, kept it interesting and then added a few jokes here and there. Excellent. I'll do it again given the opportunity. I would like to have a copy of the "Book" that he used to reference photos and historical events. Please provide the name of the book and i'll either go on line to purchase a copy or have a friend in Rome send me on. Thanks. Much appreciation.

Wonderful tour. Couldn’t have done it without a guide.

Not only were we able to skip the line but we received valuable insight into these historic sites.

Fantastic tour. Covered so much and great guide

Starting at the Colleseum then on to the Forum followed by a walk to the Pantheon ( you may need cover up ladies although not mentioned by your co) then walk to Trevi fountain and concludes at Piazza Norvana. Excellent English guide with good communication via earphone.

Best way to see the beautiful history of Rome.

Our guide was Lorena she was fabulous!!!! Very friendly, competent and gave me great confidence with her reassurance. My husband went into a plant pot and I panicked and reversed into a car. This was just as we had finished our 30 minute training session. Felt sick and was on the verge of leaving the tour but Lorena was just fabulous! Very professional and looked after my husband and me. Lorena made the tour extremely interesting, really knew her history and great personality to keep your attention. This was our first time in Rome but when we return we will be booking a tour with the same Segway company and hopefully Lorena. Having been on the Colosseum tour the day before with another company - we learnt more from Lorena. The virtual reality was fantastic. Actually seeing how things were all them centuries ago was just amazing.

Imperial Rome Segway Tour with Virtual Reality Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 06/14/2018

Tour guide was excellent, wait time was horrible.

Tour guide painted a picture about how the area once thrived. It was a hot day walking in the sun. I didn't like walking around and waiting for a group coming from the colosseum. My vacation time is valuable.

Palatine Hill and Roman Forum Skip-the-Line Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 06/07/2018

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