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

Amazing tour. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly.

Absolutely loved this tour and cannot recommend it enough. The tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and she really sparked your imagination into what it was like living in the Roman times! 5 stars!!!

Skip the Line: Colosseum, Forum & Ancient Rome Guided Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 03/19/2018

Excellent tour, very informative and Giuseppe very friendly.

I would definitely recommend this tour. Giuseppe was very friendly and informative, answering every question. We were given ample time to take photos and never felt rushed. The whole tour was extremely well organised.

Fantastic tour with very knowledgeable Stefano

Out of this world sights. Just like the pictures but so much better in real life. Our guide Stefano was very knowledgeable striking a perfect balance between facts & humour. Skip the line is a must as a 3hrs there is no time to waste. Loads of steps in this tour so not recommended for those with any mobility issues.

Fantastic tour because of our tour guide Francesca!

This was a great tour brought to life by our tour guide Francesca! She was born in Rome and studied Rome so she knew about every little detail. Would highly recommend. Seeing these historical sites without a guide wouldn’t of been so impressive.

Well put together guided walking tour with an excellent guide

Had great time found the knowledge my guide had very valuable and it enhanced my experience greatly

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