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At its height, the Roman Empire covered 2.5 million square miles (6.5 million square kilometers), but at the very center of the sprawling Empire was the Roman Forum, now a crumbling monument to the power once wielded by ancient emperors and their vast armies.
Though the Roman Forum site itself is reasonably small, it is easy to pass by a gem without realizing. The lack of information about the structures you’ll see is far from ideal, but you can pick up an audio guide for a small fee from a booth by the Arch of Titus, near to the Colosseum.
Points of interest around the forum include the front pillars of the Temple of Saturn (located at the northwest tip of the site), the oldest-surviving ruins in the complex, and the grand marble Arch of Septimius Severus, built in 203 to celebrate the emperor’s victories against the Parthians. Other popular highlights include the Arch of Titus (1st century), the Temple of Vesta and the Church of Santi Luca e Martina (both 7th century). However, with hundreds of monuments dotted around the site there are also lesser-known highlights to seek out, like the colored-marble mosaic floors inside the Curia Julia, the building in which the senate used to debate.
The best way to visit the forum is in conjunction with a visit to the Colosseum, as the ticket fee allows entrance to both attractions (as well as Palatine Hill). This ticket is valid for two days, so you can take your time to explore the site thoroughly. Bear in mind, however, the forum is only open until 6 p.m. most days during summer and until 1 p.m. on Sundays. There is little shade on the site, so sunscreen and water are essential.
Whenever you go, prepare to be amazed. It may be crumbling, but the moment you start to stroll the Via dei Fori Imperiali, you’ll see the Roman Forum remains as impressive as ever.
The main entrance is on the Via dei Fori Imperiali, but there’s another at Via San Gregorio 30.
The forum is in central Rome. Bus stops and the Metro train station Colosseo are all nearby.
Located in Navona, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Piazza Venezia, Via del Corso, and Roman Forum. National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II and Capitoline Museum are also within 5 minutes. Colosseo Station is 14 minutes by foot and Cavour Station is 15 minutes.
This family-friendly Rome hotel is located in the historical district, steps from Via del Tritone, Via Veneto, and Piazza Barberini. Piazza di Spagna and Trevi Fountain are also within 10 minutes. Barberini Station is only a 3-minute walk and Spagna Station is 7 minutes.
Located in Rome City Centre, this hotel is steps from Via del Tritone and Via del Corso. Trevi Fountain and Via Condotti are also within 5 minutes. Spagna Station is 9 minutes by foot and Barberini Station is 10 minutes.
Located in Rome City Centre, this romantic hotel is steps from Via del Tritone, Via Veneto, and Piazza Barberini. Spanish Steps and Piazza di Spagna are also within 10 minutes. Barberini Station is only a 2-minute walk and Spagna Station is 7 minutes.
Located in Monti, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Via Nazionale, and Teatro dell'Opera di Roma. Roman Forum and Colosseum are also within 15 minutes. Cavour Station is only a 4-minute walk and Vittorio Emanuele Station is 11 minutes.
Located in Rome City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. Via Nazionale and Piazza della Repubblica are also within 10 minutes. Repubblica - Opera House Station is 8 minutes by foot and Cavour Station is 10 minutes.
Located in Monti, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Via Nazionale, Via Veneto, and Quirinale Palace. Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and Piazza della Repubblica are also within 10 minutes. Repubblica - Opera House Station is 7 minutes by foot and Cavour Station is 9 minutes.
Located in Trastevere, this romantic hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Santa Maria in Trastevere, Campo de' Fiori, and Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. Piazza Navona and Pantheon are also within 1 mi (2 km). Rome Quattro Venti Station is 22 minutes by foot and Rome San Pietro Station is 23 minutes.