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.
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.
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.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Forum Romanum (). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Forum Romanum.
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