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Roman Forum

The political, religious and civic heart of ancient Rome.

TravelCurious Tip

Walk up to the terraces of Campidoglio for a fantastic panoramic view of the whole Forum.

Temples and Triumphs

When you think of ancient Rome, the first images your mind conjures are usually of great stone buildings, with columned porticos, decorated arches and magnificent statues. To visit the Roman Forum in the centre of the modern city allows those images to take life before your very eyes.

Granted, a bit of imagination is required - but take a walk through the Forum’s enormous columns, ruined temples and grand state buildings, and you can really get the feeling that you are walking back through time. The Forum was the political and economic centre of Rome during the era of the Republic, and remained an important monumental arena during the Empire. It was down the ancient high street of Via Sacra through the Forum that Rome’s conquering military commanders would hold their triumphal processions, called the Triumphs, in order to commemorate and sanctify their victories.

The heart of Rome

The Forum is bursting with historic buildings. There are the Basilicas Iulia and Aemelia where judicial matters were handled, the Senatorial Rostra where Marc Antony delivered Caesar’s eulogy, the colossal and intricate Arch of Septimius Severus, the vast columns of the Temple of Saturn, and countless more fascinating fragments. The unassuming brick stump of the Umbilicus Urbis, the ancient ‘navel of the city,’ is the point from which all distances from Rome were measured.

After the Forum fell into disrepair in the Middle Ages, many of the buildings were quarried for use in other constructions. Eventually earth piled up to 7 metres above the ancient street level, and the area was even used as a medieval cattle field. It was not until the 18th century that the old Forum was excavated, uncovering the buildings’ lower portions and restoring the original ground level. Evidence of this change can be seen at the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina (later the church of San Lorenzo in Miranda), which has a door halfway up the wall.

Three thousand years ago, this area was watery marshland. It was only by an incredible feat of engineering - the Cloaca Maxima, the city’s drainage system that still functions today - that the Romans were able to build the centre of the world’s mightiest empire. Its majestic remains are now one of the world’s most important archaeological sites, and an awe-inspiring sight for any modern visitor.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Rome
Capitoline Museums
Yet another stunning museum of ancient art, in two Michelangelo-designed palaces.
Capitoline Hill
The ceremonial centre of ancient Rome, rejuvenated by Michelangelo in the Renaissance and offering amazing views over the Forum.
The Forum of Augustus and the Forum of Nerva
Two of Rome's finest Imperial Forums.
Trajan's Forum and Column
One of the more impressive Forums in the area, with a beautiful triumphal column.
Basilica of Santi Cosma e Damiano
An early Christian church in a converted Temple of Romulus, with some mosaic masterworks inside.
Mamertine Prison
Known in antiquity as the Tullianum, the dungeons were used to hold Saint Paul before he was beheaded.

Related Tours

Best of The Eternal City: Full Day Private Highlights of Rome inc Tickets
Discover the religious, historical, and cultural significance of Rome on this full-day tour. 

  • Take a step back into history as you explore the iconic Colosseum and Pantheon.
  • Do as the Romans do and take a stroll through the Roman Forum.
  • Explore the Old City Centre  to discover the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps.
  • Relax in one of Rome’s most elegant squares – the Piazza Navona.
  • Be mesmerized at the many treasures and masterpieces found in the Vatican when you step foot in the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican Museums.
We can’t wait to take you on a timeless tour of the Eternal City. Rome is often referred to as being one of the most important tourist destinations in the world due to its religious, historical and cultural significance. On this full-day eight-hour tour, you will take a step into the past and visit cultural and historical highlights throughout the Eternal City. 

Historically – Rome was home to one of the most powerful empires in ancient history, conquering almost all of Europe over thousands of years ago. Religiously - it is one of the most important cities in Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church as the Pope resides in Vatican City situated in Rome. Culturally – masterpieces from both the Renaissance and Baroque periods are found all over the city; Renaissance artists like Michelangelo and Raphael have left their mark throughout the city and the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps represents some of the best architecture creations from the Baroque era. 
Empire and Power Private Walking Tour inc Tickets: The Colosseum & Roman Forum
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. 

  • Take a step back into history and walk through the Roman Forum.
  • Learn about the fascinating history of the Roman Empire.
  • Hear stories about some of the empire's greatest emperors, like Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar, and stories of its' cruelest emperors: Nero and Caligula.
  • Explore the iconic Colosseum where gladiators fought to the death.
Walk 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. You will then discover the famous Colosseum, where you will learn more about this ancient amphitheatre; the Gladiators; and why violence was such a fundamental part of everyday Roman life. 
Gladiators and Games Private Walking Tour inc Tickets: The Colosseum and Forum for Kids
On this three-hour tour, you and your family will time travel back 2,000 years and visit sites that were imperative to the Roman Empire. Discuss the myths & legends of centuries past, uncover dynamic gladiatorial games, and marvel at the spectacular Colosseum.

  • Take a step back into history and walk through the Roman Forum.
  • Learn about the fascinating history of the Roman Empire.
  • Marvel with your kids at the history of Palatine Hill, where the Roman Senate began. 
  • Explore the iconic Colosseum where gladiators fought to the death.
Walk through the Roman Forum where you will come across remnants of magnificent temples, law-courts, palaces and marketplace, while listening to stories of great emperors like Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar and stories of insane and cruel emperors like Nero and Caligula. The tour will eventually lead you to Palatine Hill – the birthplace of the Roman Senate and where Rome’s Emperors used to live. Eventually you will end up at the Colosseum, where you will have the opportunity to walk around this ancient amphitheatre and learn more about the gladiators’ role and why violence was such a fundamental part of everyday Roman life. 
Colosseum & Ancient Rome Group Walking Tour
  • With 12 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 vacation. 
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 Amphiteatre. 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 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.
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