Roman Forum

The Roman Forum, nestled in the shadow of the Colosseum, stands as a mesmerizing archaeological wonder that offers a fascinating glimpse into the heart of ancient Rome’s political, religious, and cultural life. 

As the epicenter of the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire, the Forum served as the bustling hub of daily life and the site of significant historical events for over a millennium.

Originally a marshy valley, the Roman Forum was gradually transformed into a majestic complex of temples, basilicas, and public spaces, bustling with activity.

It became a bustling marketplace, a center for public speeches, and a venue for various ceremonies and rituals. 

The Forum’s importance extended beyond politics and trade; it was a sacred site, housing temples dedicated to the Roman gods. 

It attracted pilgrims and worshippers from all corners of the empire.

Over the centuries, the Forum underwent numerous expansions, renovations, and reconstructions, each leaving behind a layer of history that archaeologists and historians have pieced together to understand the city’s past. 

Today, wandering through the ruins of the Roman Forum, visitors can marvel at the remnants of once-imposing structures, such as the Temple of Saturn, the Arch of Septimius Severus, and the iconic Rostra – the speaker’s platform where famous orators addressed the Roman populace.

Its significance in shaping Western civilization cannot be overstated, as it served as a blueprint for subsequent urban planning and architectural design. 

Stepping into this evocative site is akin to taking a journey back in time, where the echoes of ancient Roman life still resonate, leaving a profound and indelible impression on all who visit.

The tickets take you through the government and religious structures of the Roman Republic.

Note: Do you need tickets to the Roman Forum? Here are some of our highly recommended tickets:

Roman Forum ticketsAdult ticket (18+ years) price
Colosseum and Roman Forum entry ticket€35
Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill sightseeing tour€36
Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum guided tour€64
Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum VIP tour€65 to €85
Priority Access Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill tour€79 to €95

The Forum became an important venue for numerous events during the Roman Empire.

It lies close to the Colosseum and requires a separate entrance to its grounds for the tours.

Two entrances lead to the Roman Forum:

Pick either entrance depending on where your walking tour begins.

Once you are in Rome, check the map to reach there.

Different Sections of the Roman Forum

You can access the many areas of the heart of the Roman Republic with tickets to the Roman Forum.

Arches of Triumph

Arches of Triumph
Image: Jramosmi from Getty Images (Canva)

The Forum features three triumphal arches. These arches served as a symbol of the emperors’ conquests.

They included:

Arch of Augustus – built by Augustus in 29 BC, of which only the ruins remain.

Arch of Titus – built by Emperor Domitian in 81 AD commemorating his brother Titus and the victory in the Jewish War.

Arch of Settimio Severo – built by Emperor Septimius Severus in 203 AD commemorating the victory over the Parthians.

Via Sacra

Via Sacra
Photo by Korng Sok on Unsplash

Following their victory, all the emperors headed east of the Forum along the Via Sacra (Sacred Way).

Using the Roman Forum tickets, you can travel this sacred path that ultimately ends at Capitol Hill.

When they killed 5000 or more enemies, a triumphant procession took place.

The Comitium or Committee

The Senate met here in the Curia, which took shape to serve as the hub of all political action throughout the Roman Republic.

Minimal remains in the area that once stood between the Curia Julia and the Arch of Septimius Severus.

Most Committee monuments disappeared in the late first century BC when Julius Caesar and Augustus reorganized the region.

Curia Julia

Curia Julia
Image: Petr Polak (Canva)

Find the Curia Julia by walking the Via Sacra toward the Capitol. Here, the Roman Imperial Senate assembled to discuss numerous vital state matters.

Two hundred senators could fit in this building. The Curia suffered extensive damage by fire four times, after which the restoration work started.

The Curia survived the destruction since it became a Church in the seventh century. 

Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill
Image: Crisfotolux from Getty Images (Canva)

Rome’s Capitol Hill became a strategic location for exercising political and religious authority.

The Etruscan dynasty governed the city until 509 BC and constructed the temple of Jupiter.

The Emperors headed to Capitol Hill to complete their victory and address the nation.

Speakers addressed the gathering present in the Comitium from the Rostra’s stands. 

On Capitol Hill, you’ll find the Town Hall and the Tabularium.

The Tabularium served as the government’s repository for all official records, including letters, laws, decrees, and peace treaties, among other things.

Note: Book a Colosseum and Roman Forum walking tour so you don’t miss out on any aspect of the attraction!

Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine

Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine
Image: Scaliger from Getty Images (Canva)

After being defeated by Constantine in 312 AD, its construction began under the Pagan Emperor Maxentius in 308 AD.

The Basilica served as a tribunal and political hub where people received verdicts and discussed politics.

The Senators went through trial in this building, which served as a Sacrarium.  

Senate proceedings required privacy; thus, they occurred in a space away from the Forum’s central Square.

When taking a tour of this area, you can see how Constantine destroyed Maxentius’ statue to construct his own.

Temple of Caesar

After being brutally assassinated, Julius Caesar’s cremation occurred at the Forum. 

The visible altar consists of his bodily remains.

Temple of Romulus

Temple of Romulus
Image: Petr Polak (Canva)

Built near his Basilica, Emperor Maxentius dedicated this to his son, who passed away at a young age in 307 AD.

Due to its association with the Church of St. Cosmas and St. Damian, the structure remains unaltered.

Temple of Venus

Temple of Venus
Image: Bwzenith from Getty Images (Canva)

Visit the most prominent religious building in ancient Rome with tickets for the Colosseum. 

The temple dedicated to Venus, the mother of Aeneas, is Romulus and Remus’ father.

Temple of Emperor Antoninus and Faustina

Temple of Emperor Antoninus and Faustina
Image: Zz1969 from Getty Images (Canva)

Emperor Antoninus Pius erected it in 141 AD and dedicated it to his late wife, Faustina.

Later, their son named it after Antoninus and Faustina following his father’s death. 

It later transformed into Miranda’s San Lorenzo church in the seventh century.

Basilica Emilia

Built in 179 BC, it functioned as an enclosure to hold celebrations and events in case of severe weather.

It contained numerous stores as well as public banks and money exchanges.

In the present day, while you take a self-guided tour, you can only find a few remains there.

Temple of Vestal Virgins

The Vestal Virgins, who dedicated themselves to the patroness of family and State, protected the eternal sacred flame.

This sacred flame symbolized Rome’s immortal life.

The State’s highest religious authority selected these Virgins, who all came from aristocratic families. 

They held honorable positions, and their service lasted thirty years long.

The State buried them alive if any instances of love, infidelity, or defamation of virgins occurred.

Next to the temple stood the House of the Vestals, which included numerous levels, rooms, gardens, and courtyards. 

Temple of Saturn

The Temple of Saturn, constructed during the reign of the Etruscan empire, served as the Aerarium, or state treasury, for the Roman emperors. 

Additionally, it stored senatorial orders as well as the banners of the legions. 

Pastures and Porticos

You can explore the gardens, porches, and pastures as part of the Roman Forum walking tour.

According to history, locals brought their cattle to graze on these green land areas. 

Roman Forum tickets 

Use the same Colosseum tickets to enter Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

Explore these three magnificent structures with the group tickets.

The basic Rome Forum tickets do not allow access to the Arena floor or Colosseum’s Underground, or you cannot visit the attraction after dark. 

With a few tickets for the Arena floor, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, you can have a guided tour of the major parts of the Colosseum.

You can stroll around at your speed by taking the self guided tour.

Take advantage of the night tour to see the latest illumination installations in the area.

Observe the historical narrative and musical light projections surrounding the Forum of Caesar and the Forum of Augustus.

Cancellation Terms

You’ll get a free cancellation if you cancel more than 24 hours before the time listed on your ticket.

Some visitors purchase tickets for the VIP Night Tour + Underground Arena Access to view the Colosseum at night. 

Roman Forum opening hours

Like the Colosseum, the Roman Forum remains open from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm or 7.15 pm, depending on the season.

It remains closed on 25 December and 1 January yearly.

Free Entrance 

On the first Sunday of every month, visitors can enter the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill for free.

You can’t book these free tickets in advance. 

You can collect the tickets directly from the office on the month’s first Sunday.

The governing law allows the following individuals free admission to these monuments throughout the week.

  • Citizens below the age of 18
  • European Union tourist guides and interpreters conducting their professional services
  • Lecturers of the History of Art High Schools
  • Members of ICOM (International Council of Museum)
  • Employees of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities
  • ICCROM (International Organisation for Conservation of Cultural Heritage)
  • Disabled individuals, including one family member or caregiver from social and health assistance service

Tips to Visit: The Roman Forum tour tickets include access to Palatine Hill and the Colosseum, valid for two days. Buy now!

Roman Forum FAQs

Are the Roman Forum tour tickets expensive?

The cost of visiting the Roman Forum depends on the type of tickets you buy.

The Colosseum and Roman Forum tickets mostly come together and this self-guided tour costs less as it excludes guide charges.

You also get various guided tours that cost more than the standard entry tickets.

What is the duration of the Roman Forum tour?

If you take a Roman Forum guided tour, the tour lasts for about 2.5 hours.

You get to skip the long lines and go straight to the tour!

The guide takes you around the major points, explaining each attraction’s splendid story.

Can I visit the Roman Forum at night?

Yes, you can visit the Roman Forum at night.

The authorities organize an interactive night light show here.

This multimedia evening show starts after sunset and tells the stories of Rome.

Learn about the history of ancient Rome and Augustus in an engaging way. You can also explore the area at your own pace.

What was the Roman Forum used for?

Used as a place for major public gatherings, you can go through the administrative and sacred buildings of the Roman Republic.

As the political, religious, legal, and economic center of ancient Rome, the citizens gathered here for different events.

It remained crowded with people to discuss politics, pass laws, sell goods, or worship Gods in the middle of Rome.

What happened to the Roman Forum that resulted in massive ruins?

The Roman Forum has suffered damage over the years.

Natural occurrences like fire, earthquakes, pollution, and weathering resulted in its deterioration.

It saw different rulers come and go, demolishing and reconstructing sections.

The State took many stones and columns from the Roman Forum buildings to construct other buildings in Rome.

How do I reach the Roman Forum?

You can reach it near the Colosseum through public and private transportation.
Take the metro Line B and get to the ‘Colosseo’ station. Many bus routes drop you off at the city center.

The Piazza del Colosseo tram stop connects you to the Forum location.
You can also reach there by walking, biking, taking a taxi, or driving..

From where can I enter the Roman Forum?

The Roman Forum has two entrances. You can choose any one of them to access this monument.
– Via di San Gregorio from the East Get Directions 
– Via della Salara Vecchia ⅚ from the North-west Get directions

Featured Image: Nicola Forenza/Getty Images Pro

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