Foro Romano: a little bit of history
The Roman Forum (Latin: Forum Romanum, Italian: Foro Romano) is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum.
It was for centuries the center of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions and elections; the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches; and the nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city’s great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history. Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archaeological excavations attracting 4.5 million sightseers yearly.
Many of the oldest and most important structures of the ancient city were located on or near the Forum. The Roman kingdom’s earliest shrines and temples were located on the southeastern edge. These included the ancient former royal residence, the Regia (8th century BC), and the Temple of Vesta (7th century BC), as well as the surrounding complex of the Vestal Virgins, all of which were rebuilt after the rise of imperial Rome.
Remains from several centuries are shown together, due to the Roman practice of building over earlier ruins. Today, archeological excavations continue along with constant restoration and preservation. Long a major tourist destination in the city, the Forum is open for foot traffic along the ancient Roman streets which are restored to the late Imperial level.
When to go
The best period of the day to come and walk around the forum is late afternoon, when the sun goes down and the entire street of Via dei Fori Imperiali becomes red and orange, with amazing views everywhere and a lovely and super romantic atmosphere.
Where to eat: the best restaurants near the Roman Forum
The best restaurant around this site is La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali (Via Della Madonna dei Monti, 9), if you want to taste some amazing Roman recipes, with home made desserts and cakes; another very good place, where you can enjoy an old style fancy atmosphere, is Angelino “Ai Fori” dal 1947 (Via dei Fori Imperiali 25), as you can imagine is opened since 1947. If you want to have the perfect aperitivo you have to go at Fafiuche (Via Della Madonna dei Monti 28), where you can enjoy a wonderful aperitivo with the amazing view of the forum.
How to reach it
This street is today a pedestrian area, so you have to come here by walking, but you can take a bus till Piazza Venezia or the subway (the blue line) till Colosseo.