The centre of life in Ancient Rome was in the Roman Forum, the most important of all the fori imperiali of Ancient Rome. It was a sort of of a central plaza where all the activity of the city was developed: commerce, business, justice and religion, elections, processions, debates and trials, as well as the other social aspects of the city. The Roman Forum was and is the testimonial place of the life in the Roman Empire: Nowadays, you will be able to enjoy the breath-taking beauty of the ruins of the civilisation that created the basis for the Western world. Located in between the Capitoline and the Palatine Hill, it will be a mecca for those who love history, and it will wake a need to learn about it for those who still don’t.
The Roman Forum is in the historic centre of the capital of Italy, in the Rione I of Rome, Monti (the rione are the districts or neighbourhoods of Rome). It was a very densely populated area during the times of the Roman Empire – of course, it was right next where the life and the centre of Rome was!
Nowadays, it is still a very densely populated area… But by tourists this time! However, Monti is also one of the most populated neighbourhoods of Rome, despite the high prices of the residences in the area. However, next to the apartments near the Roman Forum you will mostly find tourists like yourself. That bit is too crowded and chaotic for the locals!
The Roman Forum is a big place, but still, it is not located in one of the best areas for shopping. However, both around the Colosseum and the Roman Forum you will find several options to buy souvenirs for your loved ones, including the typical ones and some themed ones, like helmets or costumes for children. Maybe, you can buy your son or daughter a gladiator costume before visiting the Roman Forum so he or she feels like as fierce as a gladiator! In these shops, you will also find books and DVDs that explain the history of Rome and the Roman Empire, as well as that of landmarks as important as the Colosseum or the Roman Forum.
If after resting in the apartments near the Roman Forum you are in the mood to do some regular shopping, you can go to Via del Corso, one of the main shopping streets in the centre of Rome. There you will find brands like Mango or Nike, a Disney Store and the Galleria Alberto Sordi, a beautiful shopping arcade. You will find the beginning of Via del Corso in Piazza Venezia.
Are you dependant on the underground system? Well, that might have worked in other European capitals, but it won’t work as well in Rome. Rome was called the cradle of civilisation, and there are many proofs of that in the city. They tried to build an extensive underground system, but they kept finding new undiscovered remains while digging the tunnels. That, together with bureaucratic problems, caused for the metro of Rome to end up being quite limited. However, next to the Roman Forum you will find the metro stop Colosseo, which will take you to other places further away in the city.
There are many buses in the city, but walking may just be the best option. The Roman Forum is right in the historic centre of the city; and you are very close to other landmarks such as Piazza Venezia or the Trevi Fountain. If you’re not keen on any, there is another perfect options for couples: renting a Vespa and feeling like you’re in a film!
Visiting the Roman Forum, the cradle of Western civilisation, is a must for anybody who visits Rome. It opens from early in the morning until an hour before sunset, and it is less crowded than the Colosseum. For a very reasonable fee, you will be able to visit the remains of key monuments of Roman Times, such as the Temple of Venus and Roma, of Caesar and Romulus; the Arch of Titus and the one of Septimius Severus; the Basilica Aemilia and many more.
Of course, the Colosseum will also be very high in your list, and it will indeed be an impressive visit. We recommend that you book your ticket online in advance, since, in order to preserve the monument, they only let 3.000 people in at the same time. This means the queues can be quite long! Finally, you can visit the Circus Maximus, and start walking towards the rest of the historic centre, which starts in Piazza Venezia. There’s a lot to see!
Visiting the Roman Forum will leave you hungry: you will need to climb the Palatine Hill under the sun, and once you’ve satisfied your thirst, your stomach will make you feel its presence. Fortunately, there are so many great restaurants around so you can enjoy real Italian and Roman cuisine. The apartments near the Roman Forum are in a tourist area, and we all know that this may mean that the food around can be overpriced. Fortunately, Italian cuisine is so yummy that it will be hard for you to have a bad meal in Rome.
Anyway, we have some recommendations around the Roman Forum that will make the delights of the most demanding foodie, such as La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali, the restaurant La Nuova Piazzeta or wine bar Cavour 313. If you’re travelling with children and need something faster and cheaper, there is also a 100 Montaditos in the area, a Spanish fast food chain restaurant that offers many different kinds of mini-sandwiches. Finally, near the Roman Forum there is also an option suitable for vegetarians, which isn’t always that easy to find in Rome: The Osteria Maracuja.
There are many pubs and bars around the Roman Forum, so you can go back to your modern times after visiting Ancient Rome. There are a couple of great Irish Pubs where you can enjoy a fresh beer (you may need one after climbing the Palatine Hill!): The Shamrock Irish Pub and the Finnegan Irish Pub. If you also want to have dinner, you can try The Nag’s Head, a Scottish pub with affordable pub food.
We don’t know if you will be in the mood for dancing after visiting the Roman Forum, but if you still have some energy, you can go to the club Angelo Mai, a very unique club where music and art convey. From cinema, to exhibits and plays, and of course, night parties and DJs, Angelo Mai is a great place to have some fun. Check the agenda before going to see what’s on.