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Italy: Forum Romanum

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Forum Romanum | Italy | Europe

[Visited: January 2006 and several times before]

Right in the middle of modern Rome lie the remains of the centre of the ancient city, the capital of the Roman Empire. Extending from just behind Piazza Venezia and continuing right through the Colosseum, the Forum Romanum or Roman Forum is an enormous collection of ruins. You can plunge into this history-filled area from the Via dei Fori Imperiali, or from various other entrances. From modernity, you step into the ruins of what was once the most powerful city of the world. Even though the city was attacked, invaded, and sacked many times, leaving it in ruins, a visit to the Forum is compulsory for anyone visiting Rome.

Picture of Forum Romanum (Italy): Temple of Saturn on the Forum Romanum: columns still proudly standing

I entered the Forum Romanum from the Capitolium, which offers a good view on the Forum from above. Below, you can see arches, columns, remains of temples, basilicas, churches, streets, and much more. Many emperors left their marks in one way or another on the Forum. At this side of the Forum, you cannot miss the Arch of Septimus Severus, there is a temple of Vespasian and Titus, an arch of Augustus, a temple of Caesar, an arch of Titus, and more reminders of famous Roman leaders. After soaking in the view, I walked through the Arch of Septimus Severus and started discovering the Forum Romanum.

Picture of Forum Romanum (Italy): Arch of Septimus Severus and lantern on Forum Romanum

On this early morning of a wintery day, it was still almost empty when I entered the Forum, and the light on the remains of the Forum Romanum was beautiful. Following the Via Sacra, I tried hard to imagine how the Forum would have looked more than 2000 years ago, but it was not easy. There is such an abundance of remainders of ruins, there are so many monuments and monumental buildings, it is an overkill of history assaulting you from all sides. I ended up spending several hours walking slowly, stopping at many points, walking all the way up to the Arch of Titus, and back over the entire Forum Romanum. The sun had disappeared behind clouds, and waves of tourists were coming in on the ruins of the Eternal City.

Picture of Forum Romanum (Italy): Forum Romanum: an overview from the Capitolium
Picture of Forum Romanum (Italy): Forum Romanum: view towards the Capitolium
Picture of Forum Romanum (Italy): Temple of Saturn, Arch of Septimus Severus and many more sights of the Forum Romanum
Picture of Forum Romanum (Italy): Majestic Arch of Septimus Severus, looking towards the East
Picture of Forum Romanum (Italy): Detail of Arch of Septimus Severus on the Forum Romanum
Picture of Forum Romanum (Italy): Temple of Saturn, Basilica Julia and much more of the Forum Romanum
Picture of Forum Romanum (Italy): Temple of Antoninus and Faustina: church behind columns
Picture of Forum Romanum (Italy): Basilica Maxentius: some of the enormous arches
Picture of Forum Romanum (Italy): Arch of Titus under a cloudy sky
Picture of Forum Romanum (Italy): Forum Romanum seen from the house of the Vestal Virgins
Picture of Forum Romanum (Italy): Via Sacra with Arch of Septimus and more of the Forum Romanum
Picture of Forum Romanum (Italy): Arch of Titus: pigeon on a sculpture
Picture of Forum Romanum (Italy): Church seen through the columns of the Temple of Saturn

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