Visiting the Roman Forum in Rome
Let’s visit the Roman Forum, one of the main tourist attractions in Rome. The region that is right next to Venice Square, after the Victorian monument, is home to one of the most important archaeological sites in the world: the Roman Forum. Let’s go to our post of the day: Visiting the Roman Forum in Rome. Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams !!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
The Roman Forum is a real dive in Caesar’s Rome, both for the visible archaeological interest of the imposing ruins and for the testimony of the power of Rome and the greatness of its Empire . Among them are the Capitol and the Quirinal Palace, an area demined through the drainage process and also with the construction of a channel that goes directly to the Tiber River (known as “Cloaca Maxima” (Greatest Sewer)) by Tarquin, the Proud, responsible for political, religious and commercial center of the city of Rome. Also read: What are the main tourist monuments in Rome?
1) Visiting the Roman Forum in Rome: ITS STORY
“Forum” was the term that the Romans called, in fact, the central square of an urban settlement, where administrative, legal, commercial and religious functions were concentrated. In the beginning, the Roman Forum was the heart of ancient Rome, a space where various activities in the city took place. Also read: What to visit near Rome? and The best roundtrips from Rome.
The forum was the meeting point for citizens from all over the territory of the Republic and the Empire, who met to participate or attend the political, administrative and economic affairs related to the community of which they were a part. The most grand and important was, of course, that of Rome, which constituted the center of the world until then known. In more than a thousand years of interrupted exercise, the Roman Forum has witnessed important historical events and decorated with monuments of exceptional beauty, which we can still admire today. The area referring to the Forum ran from the Capitol to the Quirinal Palace.
Changes and the Decline of the Roman Empire
The region changed its configuration in 200 BC, with the construction of buildings for public administration and the palace of justice. Emperors Caesar and Augustus gave the final form to the Roman Forum. The “fall” of the forum was accompanied by the decline of the Roman Empire from the 4th century. The temples and the various monuments and buildings built by the emperors and senators fell into disrepair and the grass took over, turning into pasture.
During the Medieval period, the Roman Forum had the same fate as the Colosseum: neglect. However, this state of neglect contributed to the preservation of a large part of the monuments, buried under a dense layer of land. After the so-called “Avignon Papacy”, with the return of the papal headquarters to Rome, the Roman Forum again shared the same path as the Colosseum, becoming a large hole for the free extraction of marbles and precious stones for the villages and palaces of the Roman Curia.
All of this determined the complete destruction of the countless ancient monuments, of which only the illustrations of the designers of the Renaissance era remained. Thus, the Forum, which is the largest monument complex in ancient Rome, remained covered for centuries under a dense layer of land, much of it used as pasture, known as “Cattle Field”. Of the ancient grandeur, only a few monuments remain, such as the Arch of Septimus Severus and the Column of Phocas, which have already left the land in a degraded state.
In the early 19th century, the winds changed; the first excavation work was started, since then they have not stopped excavating. To this day, when it seems that we have discovered all that remains of the Roman Forum, archeologists continue to investigate the terrain meticulously, always reestablishing a more precise position of what was once the heart of ancient Rome.
There are many monuments that we can observe in the Roman Forum, among them are: the Curia, the Basilica Emilia, the Temple of Saturn, the Temple of Vesta, the Temple of Caesar and the Houses of the Vestal Virgins, from the period before Christ. The Arch of Titus, the Basilica of Constantine and the Column of Phocas are from the period after Christ.
Located in the valley between Palatine Hill and the Capitol, two steps from Piazza Venezia (Venice Square) and the Victorian Monument, the Forum is an unmissable attraction for all tourists passing through the capital. The entrance is through Largo Romolo and Remo, which is on the side of the street of Foros Imperiais, coming from the Coliseum.
When entering the Forum, we suddenly have the feeling of going back to the past. The ancient columns that appear in the grassy hills and the pediments brought back to their original position help in our work of imagination. Among the things that cannot be missed are the Arch of Septimus Severus, the Temple of Saturn, the Houses of the Vestal Virgins, the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina and the Arch of Titus.
2) Visiting the Roman Forum in Rome: THE ATTRACTIONS
Visiting the Roman Forum is a phenomenal experience !! Few places in the world referring to antiquity are located like this, in the middle of the modern city, with ancient stones that still today fulfill their function of sustaining architecture and testify to the greatness of the empire, very close to the modern buildings and the back and forth of the buses and automobiles.
Wonderful View of the Forum
The Roman designers had a great sense of proportion and harmony, they knew how to create a grand, scenic and spectacular space, worthy of triumphal parades and collective ceremonies. Even today we feel small and insignificant in the face of such greatness. From the Capitol terrace there is a wonderful view of the Forum. It is possible to see the Basilica Emilia, the former seat of the Senate, the old and intact Lapis Niger (Black Stone) Sanctuary (dedicated to Romulus), the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, the Arch of Septimus Severus, among others.
Via Sacra (“Sacred Street)
The oldest and most important route in the Forum is the so-called “Via Sacra”, where Romulus signed the peace treaty with the Sabines after the war unleashed by the infamous Rapture of the Sabines . Today, the site is part of a unique itinerary among the epic testimonies of the past, so close physically and so far by the date they were built.
Arch of Titus
If you start the tour of the Roman Forum in front of the Colosseum, the first monument you see is the Arch of Titus . The Senate of Rome decided to dedicate the monument to the emperor after the conquest of Jerusalem in the year 71 AD Later on we face the huge Basilica of Constantine (also known as “Basilica of Maxentiuns”), with colossal dimensions. This is what inspired Bramante when he built St. Peter’s Basilica.
Map of the attractions in Roman Forum
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Visiting the Roman Forum in Rome? No matter how much we study history, we cannot experience the emotion of meeting our ancestors and their daily lives. You have to breathe the air of centuries ago, work with them and listen to their conversation, at least once. It is like a great journey of the human soul through time.
That is why Rome was renamed the “Eternal City”. Not for nothing, but wanting to step back here is almost impossible. Not only because it is an open air museum, nor because it is a region full of monuments separated from real life; but because it is the scenario where the destiny of the people intertwined, political issues and also the simple habits of each day. Even today, if we look closely at those ruins, we have the illusion of seeing them reviving and we feel that we are part of an empire that made history.
The history of the Roman Forum, as you realized, is very important, enjoy your stay in Rome and get to know the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Imperial Forums with a guide in English, she will know how to enchant you and render this unique and memorable tour.
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