on July 5, 2012
The Roman Forum (Forum Romanum in Latin) is located just across from the Colosseum. Due to its location, this is a very easy place to get to in Rome and something that should definitely be seen if you are in the area. The Colosseo and Circus Massimo metro stops are very close to the Roman Forum which are both a 5 minute trip from Termini Station. The Roman Forum runs in a valley between Palatine Hill and Capitoline Hill which made it the center of public, religious and political life in ancient Rome. The Forum was once surrounded by home of the most important people in Rome and also some great government buildings. In later years, the Forum was used as a marble quarry. Marking each entrance to the Forum is an arch; the Arch of Titus marks the Colosseum entrance while the Arch of Septimus Severus marks the Capitoline Hill entrance, Before going to the Roman Forum, I had no real idea what to expect as I hadn’t really read much about it before. Stupidly, my boyfriend and I visited Palatine Hill, the Roman and Imperial Forums before going to the Colosseum. We didn’t know that our ticket into the Colosseum also gained us entry to these areas as well so really, we ended up paying twice. However, as we went just before our Colosseum tour, we didn’t see everything the first time around. Our tour guide was a much better person to go there with so I was actually glad that we got to go again. Tickets cost roughly €12. Upon entering the Roman Forum, it pretty much looks like a large site full of ruins. Some large buildings remain while parts of arches and statues remain in places. To someone who doesn’t know what everything is, the Roman Forum can be a very confusing place. There are barely any information signs around explaining what everything is so this is definitely a place to see with a guide or guidebook to hand. Luckily, our guide told us what everything was but without her, I wouldn’t have had a clue. What was very interesting to see was the levels of the buildings. Modern day Rome is clearly built above these ruins so it made me wonder just how low the ground was back then. Over time, the ground has been built up so getting to the old buildings during archaeological excavations proves difficult. Our guide explained that during the process of archaeological excavations many years ago, people thought that most of the statues etc. that can be seen now were lost forever due to now knowing how low the ground used to be. It would have been a real shame had these not been discovered. We were lucky enough to see an excavation in process during our visit. As you walk around the paths of the Forum, it really does feel like you are in a whole other world. As the ground here is so low, modern Rome is quite shut out apart from the sound. The area is very peaceful and quiet which makes it possible to really take in what you are looking at. The Roman Forum is home to buildings such as the House of the Vestal Virgins and the Basilica of Julius Caesar. The Roman Forum is home to so many different parts of history and I loved exploring here. There are a fair few temples to be seen here too such as the Temple of Castor and Pollux, the Temple of Romulus and the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina. As we visited Rome at the end of June, it was extremely hot and the Forum doesn’t offer much shade. However, there are toilets on site and a fountain to fill up on drinking water. I’ve always been told not to drink from places like this in foreign countries though so I would advise taking a good couple of bottles of water with you, which can be bought just outside of the Colosseo metro stop quite cheaply. I would also recommend spending a good few hours here. I don’t think we spent nearly enough time looking around the Forum but it was hot and we had just done a 3 hour tour of the Colosseum as well. There is so much to see here that is so interesting and I wish I would have had time to see more.
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