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
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.
Temple of Caesar
Remains of the temple of Julius Caesar.

Related Tours

Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill Private Highlights Tour
On this three-hour tour, you will time travel back 2,000 years and visit sites that were of significance to the Roman Empire and do as the Romans do. On your private tour, you will: 

  • Enjoy the personalised attention of a private, expert, tour guide.
  • Enjoy skip-the-line entrance tickets to the Colosseum, learn of its architectural secrets, and of the gladiators who fought here.
  • Hear stories about some of the empire's greatest emperors, like Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar, and stories of its' cruellest emperors: Nero and Caligula.
  • Explore the Roman Forum, the downtown of Ancient Rome.
  • Take in the vast scale of the Imperial Palaces on the Palatine Hill.
First, your guide will take you to the ancient Colosseum, which is an enduring symbol of the power, prowess and bloodlust of the Roman Empire. Although damaged over the years by earthquakes, pollution and stone-robbers, it remains a truly spectacular structure. The building hasn’t been used for entertainment since the early medieval era; in the following centuries, it was employed variously as a fortress, Christian shrine, and housing for a religious order. 

After your guide will take you through the Roman Forum where you will come across remnants of magnificent temples, law-courts, palaces and marketplace, while your guide informs you of daily life in the heart of the Roman Empire. The tour will eventually lead you to Palatine Hill – the birthplace of the Roman Senate, and where Rome’s Emperors lived and ruled from. 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. 

Please note that the order of this tour may change based on ticket availability. 
Colosseum & Ancient Rome Group Walking Tour
  • With 10 people or less per group, your journey through the world’s biggest Open-Air Museum will be personal and at a slow pace, while always maintaining full interaction with your experienced tour guide. 
  • A no-line quick access means you’ll enter the sites before the general public without wasting any time of your precious holiday. 
The tour will start with an introduction at the top of the Oppian hill, where a scenic view over the Colosseum and the Arch of Costantine will bring you face to face with one of history's greatest example's of architecture, the Flavian Amphitheatre. Once inside, your friendly and professional English-speaking tour guide will illuminate the history of the greatest “Show on Earth”: you will be almost be able to feel the vibration from the lion’s roar and the screaming crowds, as if you were yourself one of Ancient Rome’s victorious gladiators. 

During a short pause to admire the beauty behind the structure of the Arch of Constantine you will hear the tales of triumphal parades that fuelled the egos of the Emperors, you will discover the secrets of Rome’s mysterious and gory sacrifices and learn about Ancient Rome’s everyday life. While exploring the Sacred Way and its many ruined temples you will reach the heart of the Roman Forum: the Altar, where the body of Julius Caesar was once cremated. Today inside the Forum is the reconstructed rostra siting on that site near the Temple of Saturn. Next to the body, was a torso of Caesar made of wax, which showed all 23 of his stab wounds. 

In the foot-steps of the most famous dictator in history you will then learn how Rome evolved from a Republic into an Empire. On this tour your English-speaking guide will bring the ruins to life for you and your group in a way that is not possible without an expert leading the way. 

We built this tour because 
the Colosseum is recognised as Rome's architectural centre, and so your experience will be enriched  with art history.
Ancient Rome Live Virtual Tour
On this Live Virtual Tour, you will be transported to Ancient Rome where you will go on an archaeological walk with your local guide around the Colosseum; it is the largest ancient amphitheatre ever built, and the largest standing amphitheatre in the world today.

You will:

  •  Learn about the origins of the city, dating back to when Romulus founded Rome; with a fascinating mix of history and legend that revolves around the she-wolf who nursed the twins,
  • Hear tales of the perils and triumphs of gladiators, fratricidal kings, imperial intrigues between opium Hill and Palatine hill - which passed straight through the valley where the Coliseum lies,
  • Discover the secrets of its construction and who the brave warriors were who bathed the sand of the arena with their blood
  • Enjoy spectacular views of the seven hills around which the ancient Romans lived, ruled, and loved. 
 Historians, culture vultures and Italy lovers will love the immersive virtual tour of this iconic landmark which has been watching over Rome since 70–80 AD.


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