The Roman Forum, the heart of Ancient Rome

Visiting Rome without going to the Roman Forum means that you’re going to miss the essence of your journey. The Roman Forum is one of the most beautiful and interesting places in the city. The Forum is, along with the Colosseum, the greatest heritage of Roman Empire splendour. Make sure to book a tour at the Roman Forum to better understand Ancient Rome mighty,

A bit of History

As you walk along Via Sacra, close your eyes and imagine that it’s like it was more than 20 centuries ago, when Julius Caesar walked there.
Nowadyas is an impressive spread of ruins. Yet, the Roman Forum was the religious and public life centre in ancient Rome. The Roman Forum is magnificient: columns, triumphal arches, battered walls, temples converted into churches, and crisscrossed by paved streets.  Interestingly, the place where the Forum was built was originally a marshy area. In the 6th century BC, though, the area was drained and grew over time. It become the social, political and commercial heart of the Roman Empire, bearing witness to 12 centuries of history.

After the reign of Julius Caesar

It became even more imposing, though. It was the most important Forum complex, among several serving the same functions. Basically, it was a small closed valley ringed by the Seven Hills. There were two meeting places, open square, the political Comitium and the social Forum, with shops on both sides. On the opposite side was the religious precinct, where lived priests and Vestals, the keepers of the sacred flame. In the middle were the temples of the gods.

The Vestal Virgins

Vestal Virgins were chosen as priestesses between the ages of six and ten, and sworn to celibacy for 30 years. It was their duty to keep the sacred fire in the Temple of Vesta burning. The fire was believed to be linked to the fortunes of ancient Rome. So punishment was severe if it ever went out. Vestals who missed their duty would be flogged. T

The end of Roman Forum

Fires, earthquakes, and barbaric invasions destroyed the ancient buildings. On their remains new churches and buildings were erected, and eventually the valley was covered with layers of debris, earth, and ashes.  Like many of ancient Rome’s great urban developments, the Forum went into disrepair after the fall of the Roman Empire, and eventually it was used as pasture land.
Even if the location of the ancient site was well known, excavation began only in the 20th century. Most of the debris has been dug, and now the Forum is at the same level that Julius Caesar knew.

Roman Forum, huge heritage from Ancient Rome

Via Sacra: The main street in ancient Rome which linked the Capitoline Hill to the Colosseum.
Basilica di Massenzio: the largest building on the forum, originally it measured approximately 100m by 65m, roughly three times of the current size.
Arch of Titus: a triumphal arch to commemorate Rome’s victory over Jerusalem. It was built after the death of the emperor Titus.
Arch of Septimius Severus
: The 23m-high arch is dedicated to the emperor and his two sons, Caracalla and Geta. It was built in 203 AD to commemorate Roman victory over the Parthians.
Temple of Antoninus and Faustina:  Built in the 2nd century, sets itself apart as the best preserved temple in the Roman Forum. It was transformed into a church in the 8th century, know as  Chiesa di San Lorenzo in Miranda.

The Curia: the original seat of Roman Senate. This barn-like construction was rebuilt different times before being converted into a church, during the Middle Ages. What you see today is a 1937 reconstruction of how it looked in the reign of Diocletian (284–305).
Temple of Julius Caesar: it was built by Augustus in 29 BC, the temple marks where Julius Caesar was cremated after his assassination in 44 BC.
Column of Phocas: Erected in 608 AD to honour the emperor of Byzantium, the column, which is over 13 meters high, is one of the few survived. It rises on what was once the Forum’s main square.