Discover the birthplace of Rome itself on Palatine Hill.
Climb to the top of the most central – and famous – of Rome’s seven hills, and explore the first settlement of the city in Palatine Hill.
- Step on to the site of the founding of Rome, which, according to Roman mythology, is home to Lupercal Cave, where Romulus and Remus were raised by the she-wolf Luna.
- Wander through the ruins of ancient palaces; Palatine Hill was once the most exclusive neighborhood in Ancient Rome.
- Enjoy spectacular panoramas over the city from an unmissable vantage point. The Colosseum and Roman Forum are on one side, the Circus Maximus on the other.
Tickets & Prices
Discover which Palatine Hill ticket is best suited to you.
Tickets for Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
Avoid the ticket queues for Palatine Hill with this pre-purchased alternative. Buying your ticket online will save you precious time, and allows you to skip the extra stress of waiting in line.
The Colosseum and the Roman Forum are in the same archaeological area as Palatine Hill; this ticket gives you access to all three, with two days to explore once activated. A downloadable digital guide is also included, giving you the opportunity to learn more about the history of your surroundings.
Important Ticket Information:
- The tickets are valid for two days (including the day of activation).
- Re-entry is not possible once you leave the site.
- Palatine Hill is open 10:00 – 19:15. Both the Colosseum and the Roman Forum are open 09:00 – 16:30. Last admission is an hour before closing.
- You should head to the Via di San Gregorio entrance to reach Palatine Hill, as it is usually quieter.
- Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum are connected; you can walk freely between the two, though they have different entrances.
Rome Tourist Card
The Rome Tourist Card is the ultimate pass for new visitors to Rome. It grants you access to the city’s most iconic sights, from the Roman Forum and the Colosseum to the Sistine Chapel.
It’s perfect for people hoping to tick off all the main tourist spots during their visit.
Important Ticket Information:
- Includes skip-the-line access.
- The Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican, and Sistine Chapel are the attractions included.
- It is a digital pass.
- There isn’t a time limit on the Rome Tourist Card – it can be used and remain valid throughout your stay.
- You can book time slots online.
What to see and do
To give you an insight into what to expect on your trip up to Palatine Hill, we will lead you through its most famous sights.
Palatine Hill was once the home of kings and emperors: in Ancient Rome, there was no neighborhood more prestigious. Its legendary history and sweeping views over the city proved to be highly desirable, and many palaces were built on the site.
Today, they are little more than ruins. But walking among these crumbling walls and stripped back foundations, we can imagine the opulence of their heyday. There were dozens of palatial buildings built on Palatine Hill: the House of Livia is the best preserved, while the Flavian Palace is the largest.
Houses of Augustus and Livia
The houses of this powerful married couple are some of the best-preserved ruins in Rome.
Augustus was the first emperor in Rome, and the longest-serving, from 27 BC to AD 14. His house is surprisingly modest, especially when considering Augustus’ influence over Rome’s more decadent architecture. The simple rooms and incredible frescoes on the walls offer insight into the life of the first Roman emperor.
Next door is the house of Emperor Augustus’ influential wife Livia. It is somewhat tenuously linked to her through a 19th-century discovery of an inscription on a lead pipe. Like in the house of her husband, Livia’s house is filled with beautiful frescoes – though these are even more detailed and impressive than those found in the House of Augustus.
The largest palace on Palatine Hill was constructed by an emperor with a reputation as a megalomaniac. Emperor Titus Flavius Domitianus, or Domitian, wanted an exceptionally extravagant home to be built to reaffirm his power as emperor.
After the unpopular emperor’s death, the Flavian Palace would continue to be the home of subsequent emperors. It was split into three areas; the Domus Flavia for affairs of state, the Domus Augustana as private living quarters, and the Stadium of Domitian, which was used for private sporting events. Very little of the original palace has survived into the 21st century, but these three distinct sections can still be seen.
The Farnese Gardens are practically modern when compared to the rest of Palatine Hill: they were created in 1550.
The Farnese family was incredibly influential at this time in Rome’s history. They acquired the northern piece of land on Palatine Hill, where the ruins of the Palace of Tiberius lay. They chose to use the land to build the first private botanical gardens in Europe. This was during the height of the Renaissance – they had many of history’s greatest minds to choose from, and built the gardens in a Classical style. Much of the garden was destroyed; what remains overlooks the Roman Forum.
The Palatine Museum
This small museum houses many of the discoveries found on Palatine Hill.
You will find sculptures, frescoes, and other artifacts inside the museum. Some parts of the collection date back to the founding of Rome.
You will find Palatine Hill next to the Roman Forum, near the Colosseum and the bohemian Monti district.
You can reach Palatine Hill through the Roman Forum, but the official – and quietest – entrance is on Via di San Gregorio.
If using public transport, take the Linea B (blue) metro line, and get off at the ‘Colosseo’ station.
Did you know that: (4 Interesting Facts!)
- A cave was found near the ruins of Augustus’ palace in 2007. Though there is some debate, it is believed to be the Lupercal Cave of Romulus and Remus.
- The Farnese Gardens were the first botanical gardens in Europe. They were created by the influential Farnese family in 1550.
- A Roman myth that precedes even Romulus in its supposed age is the legend of Hercules and Cacus. Caucus was a half-human monster defeated by Hercules on Palatine Hill. Legend has it that Hercules’ strike was so fierce that it shattered the hillside, where Cacus’ stairs were later built.
- The infamous mad emperor Caligula was killed on Palatine Hill in AD 41 by his own praetorian guards, as he was walking through the cryptoporticus during the Palatine Games.
The long history of Palatine Hill, from the first days of Ancient Rome onwards:
- 771 BC. Legendary twin brothers Romulus and Remus are born. According to Roman mythology, Palatine Hill is the location of the Lupercal Cave, where the twins were raised by the she-wolf Luna.
- 753 BC. Romulus founds the city of Rome on Palatine Hill. He kills his brother, Remus, who had argued that the city should be built on Aventine Hill. Romulus is the first King of Rome.
- 36 BC. The House of Augustus is built.
- AD 41. Caligula is killed by his own guards in the cryptoporticus at the Palatine Games.
- AD 92. The vast Flavian Palace is completed by the disliked Emperor Domitian.
- AD 410. Fall of the Roman Empire. The Western Roman Empire falls, and Palatine Hill is abandoned.
- Middle Ages. The palaces and opulent buildings are looted and largely destroyed.
- AD 1550. The powerful Farnese family commission the first private botanical garden in Europe; The Farnese Gardens.
- 18th century. Excavation work begins on Palatine Hill. Archaeologists comb the area for ancient artifacts and building foundations. New discoveries continue to be made centuries after.
Address: Palatine Hill, , 00186 Rome, Italy · view larger map