A sprawling mass of ruins, the Roman Forum (Fori Imperiali) was once the center of ancient Rome, with temples, courts, markets, and government buildings in full swing until the 4th century AD. While all that remains today is an array of ancient columns and arches, the forum is one of the most important archaeological sites in Italy, and excavations occur to this day. Aside from a lesson in Roman history, visitors can get a great view of the Eternal City from the overlooking Palatine and Capitoline hills.The Basics
The site is most often visited on three-hour tours that combine a visit to the ancient city with a Colosseum tour. Whether you choose a private tour or small-group tour, it's wise to visit with an expert guide who can help you navigate the large space and bring the ruins to life with true stories of gladiators, Roman emperors, and Julius Caesar. After your visit, check out the adjacent ruins at Circus Maximus or pay a visit to the Capitoline Museums to see the display of classical Roman empire sculptures.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get to the Roman Forum
- Most tour options include hotel pickup and dropoff.
- Standard admission tickets to the Roman Forum include entry to the Colosseum and Palatine Hill.
- Don’t waste time in line—skip-the-line entry is available for both the Roman Forum and the Colosseum.
- Staying in Florence but want to see Rome? Book a day trip with round-trip transportation by high-speed train, also available from Milan and Naples.
The Roman Forum is located in the area between Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum in the southeastern end of Rome’s historical center. You can get there by metro and bus from most central hotels. The closest metro stop is Colosseo.When to Get There
As the Roman Forum shares an admission ticket with the Colosseum, it stays consistently busy throughout the day and often has long lines. Choose a walking tour with priority access to jump the queue and maximize your time.Discovering the Roman Forum Ruins
Inside the archaeological area, stick to the Forum’s main thoroughfare, Via Sacra, to pass by important ruins such as the Julia Curia and the house of the Vestal Virgins. Some of the forum’s most impressive ruins include the white marble arch of Settimio Severo, the first-century Arch of Titus, and the remains of the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine. If you can’t get enough of ancient Rome, there’s plenty more history just outside the city with day trips available to Pompeii and the Appian Way.