Results 11-20of 29 Reviews
April 26, 2005
Here, you'll find temples dedicated to the major gods of the Roman pantheon, meeting halls where political and financial leaders of the day met and discussed policy and the news of the day, as well as the spot where Julius Caesar was cremated by order of his successors Mark Antony and Augustus and numerous monuments were dedicated to the military glory of the emperor's Titus and Septimius Severus.
You'll also find crowds of other tourists here, as well as roving bands of pickpockets, so be wary, and plan to see the area early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Bring plenty of film, and I would recommend getting a guided tour through your travel agent or the concierge of your hotel, because the guidebooks simply don't tell you enough to make you appreciate what you're looking at.
From journal Italian Holiday - Rome
March 14, 2005
From journal Viva Roma! Summer 2004
October 30, 2004
Onto the Basilica of Constantine and Maxientius, which had been the largest building in the Forum and is still an impressive building to this day. It was used as a business centre for the administration of local justice, and its dimensions were 330 x 215 feet, and over 120 feet high. Apparently, the original gilded tiles of this building were used to cover the roof of the old St Peter’s. Standing at the foot of the remaining arches, you can feel what an impressive building this would have been.
A short walk away, and we are standing at the Arch of Titus. The structure still shows good evidence of the fine engraving, depicting the expulsion of the Jews from Jerusalem and the triumphant Titus. There’s a delicate chain stretched across the entrance, and I was very tempted to step over it to get a better photograph from the inside. I’m pleased that I didn’t, as we were later told that the last person to strut through this archway was Hitler. As a mark of respect to Jews worldwide, it has been decreed by the Italian authorities that nobody will ever again pass through the arch.
Whilst studying the Arch, we were offered a free guide to the Forum. I would highly recommend this to you – there’s no catch, and the guides are all very knowledgeable. You will see the Temple of the Vestal Virgins, The Temple of Romulus, Emperor Hadrian’s Temple of Venus and the mighty Temple of Antonius and Faustina (built in 141 AD to celebrate the life of Emperor Pius and his wife). The ruins of the platform, used for the public oratories, will be pointed out to you and, with due reverence, you’ll be able to visit the temple of Julius Caesar, built on the very spot where the body of this mighty emperor was cremated.
Marvel at the magnificent Arch of Septimus Severus, and contemplate what this site was like before it was fully excavated (the road was just below the top of the central arch and, in the Middle Ages, a barber had set up shop in this "shelter").
Ruins can be confusing, but with a good guide, they will come alive again for you.
From journal Roaming in Rome
October 5, 2004
The story is that Romulus and Remus were abandoned by their mother, a nymph and raised by a shepherd and a she-wolf. They founded Rome in 753 BC on the Palatine Hill. Romulus drew a circle and said that within that circle there was civilization. Remus went outside the circle and Romulus killed him. Our guide told us that archaeologists had indeed found a circle/city border that dated to the right time period, about 730 BC.
We started at the Capitoline Hill end, and passed the temple of Saturn, the open part of the Forum. We saw Julius' Caesar’s tomb, which we had missed before, and which people still leave flowers on, and saw the bronze doors of the temple of Romulus (not the same one as the one who had founded Rome.). These are the oldest bronze doors in situ in the world. We continued on past the Vestal Virgins, to the arch of Constantine and the Coliseum.
I found the Vestal Virgin's home, the Basilica, and the arches to be the most interesting, especially the arch with the story on it about the sack of Jerusalem.
From journal Roman Pilgrimage
Cary, North Carolina
July 1, 2004
From journal We Who Love Rome Salute You!
June 17, 2004
If you go behind the building, you will have a complete view of the Forum and further away, the Coliseum. And it is huge. I guess that everybody looking at it is imagining how it must have looked like at the time of Rome’s splendor. It was the center of Roman life, a place of trade, discussion and worship.
The first thing you notice is the Temple of Saturn, whom according to the myth, after being banished by his son Jupiter, found a haven in the area, and offering its help to the king, made the city so rich that period was to be called the Golden Age and was remembered during the Saturnals, a wild holiday time for Romans.
You can also see the Basilica Julia (dedicated to Emperor’s August’s daughter), the arch of Septimus Severus. The remains of the temple of Vesta (easily recognized by its round shape) where the flame of the city was kept alive by a cast of virgin priestress, the arch of Titus where his campaign against the Jews and the sack of Jerusalem is recorded in stone. The list just goes on and on. …
If you want to visit the ground, go down the hill and the entrance is on Via dei Fori Imperiali. The entrance is 3.50 Euros and for that price you get a guided tour.
From journal La dolce vita a Roma.
June 5, 2004
From journal Easter Week in Rome
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
October 30, 2003
The Roman Forum largely fills the space between the Colosseum and the enormous, starkly white marble bulk of the Vittorio Emanuele II monument. Covering five acres, it is what’s left of the very heart of Ancient Rome and its vast empire. Generations of inhabitants have picked off the nicer pieces of stone and marble for building projects elsewhere (it would be fascinating to track all the pieces down) leaving properly ruined ruins.
We shunned the opportunity to take a guided tour (having just got married, I need something else to be commitment-phobic about) in favour of self-navigation. The Forum does not favour you in this respect as few signs or plaques can be found. Most good guidebooks, however, have maps and excellent descriptions of the Forum and you should be able to orientate yourself.
Amongst the low, crumbling walls and stumps of once-proud columns there are some stunning highlights which give you a flavour of the priorities of Ancient Rome and seemed to have formed a template for most civilisations since. Two triumphal arches stand at either end of the Via Sacra; the Arch of Titus forms a magnificent entry point from the direction of the Colosseum while the Arch of Septimus Severus, with its boastful friezes celebrating military power and domination, stands tall at the northern end.
The remains that had the greatest visual impact though, were the isolated rows of Corinthian columns. They manage to appear both fragile and indestructible at the same time - all that’s left of once-grand temples. They make an arresting sight against the blue sky.
The Forum has returned to being a place of bustle and human traffic. Once the centre for trading, worship, politics, public gathering and speaking, it is now packed to the gills with tourists. And rightly so – it is one of the few historic sites of this magnitude that are free to enjoy 9a few euros for a tour). There are some pleasant spots to sit and contemplate – I recommend under the trees facing the Temple of Romulus. If you listen closely you may even hear Caesar’s last cry rising into the still air – or that may be one of the tour guides getting a little over-theatrial in the temple to Julius Caesar.
I shall return and savour this place again.
From journal Rome - I am eternally yours
St. Louis, Missouri
August 1, 2003
Even before Caesar's time, the forum was continuously being built. But by the end of the 5th century AD, several attacks on Rome finally caused the end of the Roman empire. The temples, basilicas, and other monuments in the Forum were abandoned and looted. For hundreds of years, this continued until the site became known as Campo Vaccino (the Cow Field). In the 19th century, it became known as the Roman Forum again.
Today, the best preserved monuments are the two triumphal arches. The rest of the ruins are mostly temples or basilicas. What a fabulous place it must have been. What an eerie feeling walking around a place where people had spent so much time thousands of years ago!
We accidentally came upon the forum from Capitoline Hill, where we got a great overview of the forum. The other entrance is across from the Colosseum. It is free and there are drinking fountains throughout the area. We went to see it lit up at night, but it is closed off then. You might be able to see it by night from Capitoline Hill, but we were by the Coloseum and to tired to make the rather long walk.
From journal Rome, "The Eternal City"
Merritt Island, Florida
May 19, 2003
From journal European Whirlwind