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Palatine Hill

This hill is where the Roman State began, and where Rome's Emperors used to live. Today it boasts many remains from their magnificent palaces.

TravelCurious Tip

It’s well worth following a guided tour to discover the layered history of the sites on the hill.

The birthplace of Rome

Palatine Hill is the most central of Rome’s seven hills, and the ancient seat of kings and emperors. According to legend the Palatine was the site of the Lupercal, the cave in which the infant twins Romulus and Remus were found and raised by a she-wolf, and where Hercules defeated the fire-breathing giant Cacus.

The Roman State was allegedly founded when Romulus, ruler of the Palatine who gave Rome its name, made a pact with Titus Tatius who ruled Capitoline Hill on the opposite side of what is now the Roman Forum. The Palatine Hill is therefore one of the oldest known seats of power in the world. Indeed, excavations on the site show that there has been human settlement there for approximately 3000 years.

Towering achievement

The word ‘palace’ is derived from the name of this hill, as so many Roman rulers built their lavish residences on the Palatine. Climb the hill today and you will find extensive ruins of the once splendid palaces and gardens of some of Rome’s most famous emperors, including those of Augustus, Tiberius and the Flavian Palace, as well as the Temple to Apollo built by Augustus, and Domitian’s impressive Hippodrome.

Not only is there a visual feast upon the hill itself, but from the top you can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding city, the Circus Maximus and the Roman Forum. There is also a museum at the top of the hill in which there are some recovered statues and other items, and a short informative video in various languages. You can visit Palatine Hill along with the Roman Forum and the Colosseum, all on the one ticket.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Rome
Roman Forum
The political, religious and civic heart of ancient Rome.
Circus Maximus
A magnificent ancient chariot racing stadium.
Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin
This Basilica dates from the Byzantine era, and is home to the Bocca della Veritá and the remains of St. Valentine.
Basilica of Santi Cosma e Damiano
An early Christian church in a converted Temple of Romulus, with some mosaic masterworks inside.
Arch of Titus
One of Rome's most iconic triumphal arches, and the model for the Parisian Arc de Triomphe.
Arch of Constantine
The largest and most magnificent of Rome's triumphal arches, with a curious history in its sculpture.

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We built this tour because 
the Colosseum is recognised as Rome's architectural centre, and so your experience will be enriched  with art history.
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