Mirabilia Urbis: Rome Walking Tours

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Forum Romanum: Ancient Rome's Downtown

Ancient Romans used the space that they dubbed "the Roman Forum" for over 1000 years.  Given that the U.S. declaration of Independence is barely 240 years old and a modern document, many of us have a difficult time imagining that length of time so many centuries ago.  Therefore, the challenge during this visit is to see and experience a greater scale of time and all the changes that it implies!   

The Roman Forum appeals to everyone differently.  History buffs will get goose bumps as we sit in the shadow of the Treasury that Caesar looted to finance his civil war against his ex-colleague Pompey.  Language enthusiasts will laugh as they discover that "Forum" in Latin literally meant "farmers market" despite the word's connotations with government and oratory today...  Those with a passion for archeology will be amazed that the Forum, after the fall of the Roman Empire, stewed under 40 feet of debris.  Kids (and adult kids!) will giggle as we stop to play tropas, an ancient Roman version of pitching pennies, at a board scratched into the stairs of the Courthouse, which is almost 2000 years old!


Entrance fees: the ticket for the Roman Forum is Euro 12.  It includes, however, access to the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. Children access the site free of charge.

Note: Many visitors consider the Forum and Colosseum a perfect half-day (about four hours).  Others enjoy a "full immersion" and opt for a short full-day (6 or 7 hours) in order to visit the Forum, Colosseum, and Palatine.  Of course, the Forum can also be paired up with Rome's Underground attractions or other sights in town.