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Roman Forum, Coliseum and Capitoline Hill

Explore the heart of ancient Rome: full of temples, arches, government buildings, and some of the best ruins in the city
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 1.4 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  This breathtaking walk starts with a visit to Capitoline Hill before continuing through to the Roman Forum, the teeming heart of... more »

Tips:  Start your visit by climbing to the roof of the Vittoriano, where you will have one of the best views in all of Rome.

During the... more »

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Points of Interest

This huge white monument is built of pure white marble from Botticino, Italy, and was erected in honor of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of unified Italy. It was inaugurated in 1911 and then completed in 1935. The construction was a bit controversial, as a large area of Capitoline Hill was destroyed along with some historic areas.

Buiried... More

Capitoline Hill is the smallest but highest of the Seven Hills of Rome. During ancient times, the hill was covered with temples facing toward the Roman Rorum. From 500 to 1540, the hill was in ruins and all that remained was a pasture for goats and other animals. In 1536, Pope Paul III decided to restore the entire city to receive the Emperor... More

3. Tarpeian Rock

From Tarpeian Rock you can see the whole Roman Forum in front of you. This giant area was once the center of the world for several hundred years. Traitors to the republic were pushed off this rock in the direction of the Roman Forum as punishment.

On your right you will see Palatine Hill, which is worth a visit of its own, and beyond the Roman... More

The Roman Forum is a top tourist destination and with good reason. It was the heart of ancient Rome. Here you will find the oldest buildings, including the former royal residency (regia) and the complex of the vestal virgins as well as the senate house, courthouses and various religious buildings.

The Forum was the city square where the Romans... More

5. Temple of Saturn

This temple, dedicated to the god Saturn, was built in the fourth century. One of the most popular Roman festivals started in this temple: the Saturnalia. This giant party was characterized by tomfoolery and reversal of social roles: slaves and masters switched places.

Saturnalia was introduced around 217 B.C. and was originally celebrated for a... More

6. Temple of Vespasian and Titus

These columns are all that remain of the Temple of Vespasian and his son, Titus. Construction began in A.D. 79 when Vespasian died and Titus gained control, but was not completed and dedicated until A.D. 87.

This white marble arch was dedicated in 203 to celebrate the Parthinia victories in 194 and 195 under Emperor Septimius Serverus.

Only three columns remain of the Temple of Castor and Pollux in the middle of the Forum, which was built in 500 B.C. to celebrate the Roman victory in the Battle of Lake Regillus in 495 B.C. According to legend, the twins Castor and Pollux, the offspring of Roman gods, helped the Roman army during the fight and subsequently brought news of the... More

Vestal virgins were in charge of the cultivation of the sacred fire that was not allowed to go out. The sacred fire was in the small round place between the three columns of Castor and Polux and the huge house of the vestals was located where some sculptures of the vestals are now exposed.

Built in the first century, this arch commemorates Titus' victory in the Sack of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. It also inspired the design of the Arc de Triomphe, one of the more famous landmarks in Paris.

The Constantine Arch was built in 315 to commemorate Constantine I's victory in the Battle of Milvian Bridge over Maxentius; it is the most recent of the triumphal arches that remain today.

The Coliseum was completed in A.D. 80 after about 100 years of construction; it was the largest amphitheater built by the Roman Empire.

The circus (circus means "circle" or "ring") was able to accommodate up to 50,000 spectators who crowded in to watch gladiators, sea battles (they were able to fill the center with water sail ... More

13. Via dei Fori Imperiali

The Via dei Fori Imperiali runs from Piazza Venezia to the Coliseum and passes the forum of Nerva, the forum of Augustus and the forum of Trajan. The road was originally named Via dell'Impero and was built between 46 B.C. and A.D. 113--over 150 years--which makes it 600 years younger than the Roman Forum.

Julius Caesar was the first to build his ... More