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At its height, the Roman Empire covered 2.5 million square miles (6.5 million square kilometers), but at the very center of the sprawling Empire was the Roman Forum, now a crumbling monument to the power once wielded by ancient emperors and their vast armies.
Though the Roman Forum site itself is reasonably small, it is easy to pass by a gem without realizing. The lack of information about the structures you’ll see is far from ideal, but you can pick up an audio guide for a small fee from a booth by the Arch of Titus, near to the Colosseum.
Points of interest around the forum include the front pillars of the Temple of Saturn (located at the northwest tip of the site), the oldest-surviving ruins in the complex, and the grand marble Arch of Septimius Severus, built in 203 to celebrate the emperor’s victories against the Parthians. Other popular highlights include the Arch of Titus (1st century), the Temple of Vesta and the Church of Santi Luca e Martina (both 7th century). However, with hundreds of monuments dotted around the site there are also lesser-known highlights to seek out, like the colored-marble mosaic floors inside the Curia Julia, the building in which the senate used to debate.
The best way to visit the forum is in conjunction with a visit to the Colosseum, as the ticket fee allows entrance to both attractions (as well as Palatine Hill). This ticket is valid for two days, so you can take your time to explore the site thoroughly. Bear in mind, however, the forum is only open until 6 p.m. most days during summer and until 1 p.m. on Sundays. There is little shade on the site, so sunscreen and water are essential.
Whenever you go, prepare to be amazed. It may be crumbling, but the moment you start to stroll the Via dei Fori Imperiali, you’ll see the Roman Forum remains as impressive as ever.
The main entrance is on the Via dei Fori Imperiali, but there’s another at Via San Gregorio 30.
The forum is in central Rome. Bus stops and the Metro train station Colosseo are all nearby.
It's not hard to spend a whole morning or afternoon at Roman Forum. The list below provides just some of the activities you can enjoy here:
For more things to do, have a look at our Rome things to do page.
Central Rome hotel housed in a late 19th-century building retaining much Imperial grandeur, 500 metres from Quirinale Palace and one kilometre from the Colosseum.
Centrally located in Rome, this hotel faces the Teatro dell'Opera and is within 2 blocks of the Repubblica metro station and Via Nazionale and within 1 km (0.5 mi) of Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.
Located in Repubblica, this romantic hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Trevi Fountain and Roman Forum. Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese are also within 1 mi (2 km). Repubblica - Opera House Station is only a 5-minute walk and Barberini Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Navona, this hotel is steps from Palazzo Montecitorio and Via del Corso. Pantheon and Trevi Fountain are also within 10 minutes. Barberini Station is 13 minutes by foot and Spagna Station is 13 minutes.
Prime location a few blocks from Rome's Termini train station, 100 meters from Piazza della Repubblica, 500 meters from Santa Maria Maggiore, and a 5-minute walk from the Opera House and Via Nazionale.
Located in Rome City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Baths of Diocletian, Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, and Palace of Expositions. Repubblica - Opera House Station is 6 minutes by foot and Cavour Station is 10 minutes.
Located in Rome City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Via Nazionale, and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. Via XX Settembre and Piazza della Repubblica are also within 10 minutes. Repubblica - Opera House Station is 6 minutes by foot and Cavour Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Monti, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Via del Boschetto and San Pietro in Vincoli. Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and Imperial Fora are also within 10 minutes. Cavour Station is only a 2-minute walk and Colosseo Station is 9 minutes.