Journey into the heart of Ancient Rome at the Roman Forum.
Discover the center of Roman society at the Forum, where laws were decreed, politics discussed, and goods bartered.
This is the beating heart of Ancient Rome: an unmatched social, economic, religious, and political powerhouse.
- Wander down the Via Sacra, the Main Street of Ancient Rome.
- Visit the temple and home of the Vestal Virgins – and discover where they would tend to the sacred eternal flame of Rome.
- Weave between the ruins of temples, meeting halls, and monuments in the Forum, and see the gravesite of the infamous Julius Caesar.
Tickets & Prices
Explore the Roman Forum with ease by purchasing a ticket beforehand. You won’t have to waste extra time in the purchasing queues and can breeze through into the ancient site.
Find out which of these Roman Forum tickets is best suited to you.
- Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill (Priority Entrance) – Skip-the-line with this priority entrance ticket.
- Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill (Last Minute Priority Entrance) – Last minute ticket for Colosseum entry.
- Rome Tourist Card (Bestseller) – See the best of Rome with this popular combi-ticket. Includes access to The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica (official guided tour), and more…
- Rome Super Pass with Public Transport – Skip-the-line entrance to some of Rome’s best attractions with this combi-ticket. Includes unlimited public transport PASS (metro, bus, tram).
Tickets for Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
Entrance to the neighboring ancient sites of the Colosseum and Palatine Hill is also included with these tickets. You get to skip the queues and also download a digital guide to teach you 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. While both the Colosseum and the Roman Forum are open 09:00 – 16:30. The last admission is an hour before closing.
- You should head to the Via dei Fori Imperiali entrance to enter the Roman Forum.
- You can choose between 5 visit routes, which vary from 30 minutes to 2.5 hours.
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 Palatine Hill 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 and 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 at the Forum, we will take you through a handful of its most famous sights.
Rome’s Imperial Senate would convene at the Curia Julia to discuss matters of state. Many of the most important events and discussions of the Roman Empire would have taken place here.
Julius Caesar ordered the construction of the Curia in 44BC; the work was halted by his assassination, but later completed by his successor. A fire damaged the structure heavily in AD 283; the current building is a result of the ensuing restoration work.
As you wander around the Forum, you will notice a simplistic building that is practically untouched – this is the Curia. It was spared the fate of many other ancient buildings due to its conversion to a church in AD 630.
Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine
Explore one of the more imposing structures of the Roman Forum. The Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine was a later addition to the area – it wasn’t completed until AD 312.
Initially used as a meeting hall and public building for various purposes – including criminal trials and council meetings – the basilica was eventually used by the Catholic church after Rome’s fall.
Temple of Vesta & Atrium Vestae
It was said that as long as the hearth flame burned, Rome would flourish. The sacred fire of Vesta represented an eternal Rome – it was tended to by the priestesses of the Temple of Vesta, the Vestal Virgins.
The Vestal Virgins were selected at a young age and made to swear a sacred vow of celibacy; they were the only female figures in religious roles at the time. People continue to be fascinated by their mysterious position in Roman society; you can see the ruins of where they lived and worshipped within the Forum.
Temple of Saturn
The Temple of Saturn is one of the oldest surviving structures in the Roman Forum. It was first constructed around 497 BC, though the columns we see today are from another incarnation built in 42 BC – the previous temple was destroyed in a fire.
As you walk past the ruin, you can imagine the temple in its heyday. This was once one of the most important sacred spaces in Rome and was used to house the state treasury. It was also the center of the annual Saturnalia festivities; a celebration of the god Saturn in December, where families would feast and exchange gifts – an early precursor to Christmas.
Though there is little to see but the groundworks of a crumbling ruin today, this was once the home of Roman kings.
Regia loosely translates to royal residence in Latin: this was where the first kings of Ancient Rome would live. It was later repurposed as the residence of the Pontifex Maximus; the highest-ranking priest in Rome. Legendary commander and dictator, Julius Caesar, would have been based here during his time in the role.
The ruins can be hard to spot; they’re located next to the more visible ruins of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina.
Arch of Titus
This triumphal arch was built by Emperor Domitian to commemorate the military victories of his elder brother, Emperor Titus.
You will notice intricate carvings decorating the arch – the Arch of Titus is particularly noteworthy for these. They depict the military victories of Titus, including detailed artwork of the sack of Jerusalem, which shows Roman soldiers carrying away a Menorah. Many architects have been inspired by the Arch of Titus; most notably for the Arc de Triomphe.
Did you know that: (5 Interesting Facts!)
- At its lowest point, the Forum was used as a pasture for cattle. It was known as the ‘Cow Field’ during the Middle Ages.
- Much of the Forum was in good condition until the 16th century, though parts had been damaged by earthquakes and neglect. Pope Paul III ordered the plunder and repurposing of the Forum’s materials to build St. Peter’s Basilica, causing untold damage.
- The Arc de Triomphe in Paris was modeled on the Arch of Titus.
- After the brutal assassination of Julius Caesar, his body was cremated within the Roman Forum. Following his death, the legendary general and statesman was deified, and the Temple of Caesar was constructed on the site of his cremation. Much of the temple has been destroyed, but you can still see the remains of the altar today, which would have been treated as Caesar’s grave.
- As well as being a space for social gatherings, politics, and religious ceremonies, the Roman Forum was used as a place to conduct criminal trials. The heads of enemies were often displayed in the Empire’s twilight years.
A timeline of the Roman Forum’s place in Ancient Rome:
- 753 BC. Rome is founded by twin brothers, Romulus and Remus. Buildings soon spring up to form the Forum; a communal area that Romans will use as a marketplace, religious center, and political stomping ground.
- 497 BC. The original Temple of Saturn is built. It will prove to be the first of many iterations.
- 44 BC. Julius Caesar is assassinated. His body is cremated in the Forum.
- AD 203. The Arch of Septimius Severus is built to commemorate the Emperor’s military victories against the Parthians.
- AD 394. Non-Christian worship is banned. The Roman Forum slowly falls into disuse.
- AD 410. Fall of the Roman Empire. The Western Roman Empire falls, and the Forum suffers heavy damage in the process.
- AD 608. The Column of Phocas is erected. It is considered to be the final ancient monument built in the Forum.
- AD 847. A huge earthquake damages many of the buildings in the Roman Forum.
- AD 1539. Further damage is caused on the orders of Pope Paul III. Materials from the Forum are used to construct other sites, including St. Peter’s Basilica.
- AD 1803. Archaeologist Carlo Fea began excavation work at the Roman Forum. The full extent of the project would take over 100 years.
The Roman Forum was used as the center of Roman society. People met here publicly to discuss politics, pass laws, sell goods, and hold religious ceremonies.
The Roman Forum has suffered damage over the years through natural occurrences such as earthquakes, pollution, and weathering. Many of the stones and columns have also been stolen by thieves.
Map & Directions (Location)
You will find the Roman Forum between Piazza del Campidoglio and the Colosseum, near the trendy Monti district.
It has three entrances: one on Via dei Fori Imperiali, one on Via della Salara Vecchia, and the other on Via di San Gregorio.
If using public transport, take the Linea B (blue) metro line, and get off at the ‘Colosseo’ station.
Address: Roman Forum, Via della Salara Vecchia 5/6, 00186 Roma, Italy · view larger map