The uniqueness of the Roman Forum, where the greatness of history can be read in stone. Find out here all the info to visit it at its best.
You should not leave the capital of Italy without seeing the Roman Forum. Actually, it is not possible to say you have been to the capital of Italy without having the chance to visit it.
In fact, visiting the Roman Forum makes it immediate to understand the greatness of the power of imperial Rome. Actually, right here it is possible to follow the traces of the Rome of origins, of victorious battles with neighboring peoples, and of the Rome of legend, with the timeless myth of Romulus and Remus.
So, a visit to the Roman Forum is a true rendezvous with a millennia-old history just waiting to be heard, again and again.
In this guide to the Roman Forum, we have gathered all the useful information about its history, visits, tickets, and how to get there.
Roman Forum: the history of Italy's capital city starts here
The ruins of the Roman Forum, which so fascinate visitors from all over the world, tell of a past of glory and splendor. It has long been the beating heart of Rome.
The Roman Forum originated many centuries ago, in the 7th century B.C., as a public area where the main political, economic and social activities took place.
To get an idea of its beauty, we should imagine the Forum surrounded by the city's most important buildings, such as the Temple of Saturn or the Temple of Vesta. Rallies were held here and citizens could participate in the city's political life and religious ceremonies.
Then, many emperors sought to leave the mark of their passage by having new monuments and buildings erected. We count, for example, the Temple of Caesar, the Temple of Mars Ultor, and the nearby Market of Trajan. The Forum also became the site of important trade and markets.
The fall of the empire brings ruinous consequences for the Forum as well. It was abandoned and used as a burial ground. In the Middle Ages, moreover, many of its buildings are demolished to build churches and monasteries.
With the Renaissance, a new phase of rediscovery and appreciation of classical culture and, therefore, also of the Roman Forum finally begins. The leading artists and humanists of the time, fascinated by the vestiges of the past, seek to study and reproduce ancient works of art. The Forum began to be used as a gathering place for walks and festivals, but also as a source of inspiration.
The numerous restoration and enhancement works on the Forum also began, allowing us to admire it in all its grandeur.
Today, the Roman Forum is one of the city's main tourist attractions and one of the most visited archaeological sites in the world.
What to visit inside the Roman Forum
Walking through the ruins of the Roman Forum leaves one breathless. Each step you take is one more step toward an awareness of the magnificence of this place in its golden age.
There are many monuments inside the Forum along the Via Sacra: among well-preserved ruins and buildings, let us discover the most outstanding ones.
• The Arch of Titus: this is one of the first monuments one encounters when leaving the Colosseum behind and entering the Forum area. The monument is imposing and celebrates the emperor's victory in Jerusalem.
• The Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine: perhaps this was the largest monument in the Roman Forum. Its grandeur probably inspired Bramante to build another of the world's largest basilicas. That of St. Peter's.
• The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina: This is one of the best-preserved buildings. It was in fact converted into a place of Christian worship a few centuries after its construction.
• The temple of Vesta, with its typical circular shape, and the House of the Vestals, the priestesses in charge of keeping the sacred fire burning.
Numerous other temples are encountered along the way, until one reaches the area of the Comitium, where the ancient Romans gathered for assemblies. A short distance away is also the Curia Senatus.
The Arch of Septimius Severus, dedicated to the emperor for his victory over the Parthians, then stands out for its grandeur and beauty.
At the end of our walk is the beautiful Temple of Saturn, one of the city's oldest sacred sites.
Numerous other attractions are encountered during one's visit to the Roman Forum: columns, monuments, statues, temples.
The most genuine awe can only accompany each step inside this symbolic place of the ancient city.
Where the Roman Forum is located
The Roman Forum is located in the heart of the capital city.
There are 3 entrances:
• along the gateway at Largo della Salara Vecchia 5/6;
• along the gateway of Via del Tulliano;
• the most famous of all, along the Via Sacra (accessed from Colosseum Square).
How to get there by public transports
Being in the heart of the city, it is rather easy to reach the Roman Forum by public transportation. More difficult, as we will see shortly, is to get there using a car.
Let's see how to get to the Roman Forum by metro, bus, streetcar and, indeed, by car.
How to get to the Roman Forum by metro
The Via dei Fori Imperiali runs along the Roman Forum and undoubtedly the metro (subway) is the most convenient way to get there.
The reference stop is "Colosseum" and is located a few dozen meters from the entrance to the Via Sacra.
It is reached by the Metro line B with its three terminuses: Rebibbia, Laurentina and Jonio. Normally, the first departure is in the morning at 5:30 a.m. and the last ride at 11:30 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, the last departure from the terminus is at 1.30 am.
How to go to the Roman Forum by tramway
The nearest tramway (streetcar) stop is right in front of the Altare della Patria and bears the name of the square in which it is located: Venezia. From here, the nearest entrance is the one located at Largo della Salara Vecchia (about 450 meters / 1500 ft).
The streetcar line is 8, and it connects the Gianicolense district with Piazza Venezia, passing through Trastevere. The first departures are around 5:30 AM, while the last ones are around midnight. On Saturdays and Sundays, the line runs until 3 AM.
There is currently work underway to renovate the line, so the streetcar is replaced by buses with the same departure times.
How to get there by bus
Many buses connect the Roman Forum with the main landmarks of the city.
There are line 51 (Largo San Giovanni) and lines 75 and 85 (Independenza and Arco di Travertino, respectively, which also run to Roma Termini station). There is also bus 81 (Malatesta) and lines 87 and 118 (Lepanto and Appia, respectively, which stop at Piazza Venezia).
The bus often takes much longer than the streetcar and metro, which are usually the most popular means of getting around Rome.
How to reach the Roman Forum from Roma Termini train station
The first way to get here from Roma Termini is to arrive by metro B (direction Laurentina), which reaches the Colosseo stop in just 3 minutes.
Secondly, it is possible to take the bus. The reference lines are the 75 (which takes about 20 minutes) and the 85 (about a 30-minute ride).
Is it possible to reach the Roman Forum by car? Info and tips
If you are in Rome with your own car, we still suggest that you reach the Colosseum Archaeological Park area by public transportation. In fact, Via dei Fori Imperiali is not accessible to private vehicles. In fact, cars are diverted to nearby areas where there are several parking lots and private garages.
For more information about the limited areas, it is suggested to consult Roma Mobilità's official website.
Visiting the Forum: opening hours and visit duration
The Roman Forum is part of the Colosseum Archaeological Park.
It is open year-round except on special holidays, such as Christmas and New Year's Day.
It normally opens at 9 AM and follows two different closing times. In winter it closes at 5:30 PM, while in summer it closes at 7:15 PM (the last entries, however, are at 4:30 PM and 6:15 PM, respectively).
It takes at least an hour to visit the Roman Forum area. Also, considering that the ticket for access to the Forum also allows entry to the Colosseum and Palatine, we suggest at least 3 hours to get the most out of the experience.
However, let's get down to business: how to book tickets to the Roman Forum.
Roman Forum tickets: how much are they and how to book them
As we anticipated, the Roman Forum is part of a much larger archaeological area. It also includes entrance to the famous Flavian Amphitheater and the Palatine Hill. The Roman Forum entrance fee, therefore, includes entrance to the entire archaeological area.
How much does it cost to enter? The standard ticket costs from 18 euros (plus booking fees) and is valid for 24 hours. It allows one entry to the Colosseum (not the foundations) and one entry to the Roman Forum, Palatine, Imperial Fora, including current exhibitions.
In case you want are interested, the park provides the Full Experience ticket, which includes access to several other attractions and is valid for as many as 48 hours. The ticket costs from 22 euros (plus reservation fees).
How to purchase tickets? Tickets for the Roman Forum can only be purchased online or by phone. On our website you can find tickets to enjoy your Roman Forum experience, even last minute.Find out more here!❯
Tips for visiting the Roman Forum at its best
Visiting the Roman Forum is one of the best experiences you can have in our country.
Booking your tickets in advance is certainly the first step in making the most of the experience. Indeed, there are thousands of visitors who come here every year, attracted by the very symbol of our country's grandiose past. If you can't find last-minute ticket availability, check here!
Also, as with all ancient sites, we recommend coming equipped with comfortable clothing, as the ground can be uneven in places. Those who come in the summer or on particularly hot days should bring what they need to protect themselves from the sun.
Finally, if you want to enrich your visiting experience even more, we suggest a guided tour. What better way to discover the enchantment of these places?
Explore the Roman Forum with a guided tour!❯