Overview: This breathtaking walk starts with a visit to Capitoline Hill before continuing through to the Roman Forum, the teeming heart of... more »
This breathtaking walk starts with a visit to Capitoline Hill before continuing through to the Roman Forum, the teeming heart of... more » ancient Rome, to reach the Colosseo (the Coliseum), one of the most famous Roman wonders. It ends a visit of the impressive Fori Imperiali (Imperial Forum).
Capitoline Hill is the smallest but highest of the Seven Hills of Rome and was a natural fortress, allowing Rome to control the nearby land as well as the river.
The Roman Forum was the place of triumphal processions, key elections, criminal trials, gladiator matches, prostitution and the center of commercial business--an ancient Wall Street with a Rome Stock Exchange.
The Coliseum was constructed from A.D. 72-80 and is the largest amphitheater ever built in the Roman Empire; it is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture.
The Imperial Forum is a group of monumental public squares, constructed over 150 years from 46 B.C. to 113 A.D. less «
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 » summer, temperatures higher than 104 degrees are common, so make sure to bring water and dress lightly. less «
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 beneath the Vittoriano is the "Milite Ignoto," ("Unknown Soldier") from World War I.
If you wish, you can take an elevator to the roof where you will be treated to a wonderful view of the Roman Forum and Coliseum. The visit to the roof lasts about 90 minutes and costs 7 euros.Less
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 Charles Quint, whose army devastated Rome in 1527.
In 1540, Michelagelo created the Piazza del Campidoglio and the surrounding buildings, with perfect symmetry; they faced the Basilica di San Pietro.
Legend claims that Rome was founded on Capitoline Hill by Romulus in 753 B.C. Romulus and his brother, Remus, were children of the god Mars and Silvia, the princess of Alba Longa who had been forced to be a vestal (young virgin girls who were guardians of the Vesta's temple). The king of Alba Longa, uncle of Romulus and Remus, attempted to kill them, but Silvia left them to fend for themselves, in the hopes that they would survive. According to the legend, they were "adopted" by a she-wolf, who nurtured them. Years later, Romulus brought together outlaws to attack the Sabine and kidnap their women and by doing so founded Rome.
The Capitoline Museum is the world's oldest museum and was founded in 1471 by Pope Sixtus IV. One of the main reasons for the museum was to hold the bronze statues of the famous Capitoline she-wolf.Less
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 Forum you can see the majestic outline of the Coliseum in the distance.Less
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 could gather for political, judicial and religious rituals. During the republic (509 B.C. to 27 B.C.), plebeians (poor people) and patricians (nobility) shared control of the city. As the army's power increased during during Roman conquests, Roman marshals were able to take power from the senate to form dictatorships.
A brief history:
In 750 B.C. only villages occupied by farmers were located on the Roman hills. In the tiny valley in the middle of the hills, a marsh was used as a graveyard and meeting point by the inhabitants of the villages. This marsh was the site of what would become one of the greatest forums of all time.
In 616 B.C. the Etruscans tried to drain the stagnating waters from the valley into the Tiber River and built the Cloaca Maxima, the first Roman sewer.
In 184 B.C. the satiric author Plaute described the Forum as a giant commercial quarter with prostitutes, traders and counterfeiters, with both rich and poor men.
Victories in foreign wars brought back many riches to the Roman Empire; with this wealth the Forum was transformed into the world's richest place, a sort of ancient Wall Street.
In 27 B.C. the senate elected Octavius as the Emperor Augustus with full power and he transformed the Forum using white marble.Less
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 day, on Dec. 17. It later grew until it became a weeklong party, ending on the Dec. 23. The ruins of the temple are easy to identify: eight columns near Capitoline Hill.Less
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.
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 victory back to Rome to the exact place where the temple was erected.Less
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 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 ... Moreships in there), animal hunts (elephants, tigers, lions) and executions. Some 5,000 animals were killed for the inauguration alone.
By 404, gladiator fights were forbidden in the Coliseum and in the sixth century animal fights were stopped as well. Many of the stones of the coliseum were used to build San Pietro's Basilica.
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 ... Moresquare in 46 B.C. He financed the construction with his own private possessions.
Augustus constructed one in 2 B.C. and paid for the construction with plunder from the battle of Filippi against Caesar's murderers.
They were followed by Vespasian (in 75) to commemorate the conquest of Jerusalem, Nerva (in 98) and Trajan (in 113) to commemorate the conquest of the Dacie (a region located near the Black Sea, around present-day Romania).
This tour includes most of the highlights of the ancient eternal city but there are many more exceptional wonders and sights to enjoy throughout Rome. It is impossible to see them all, but fun to try.Less