Exploring the Ancient Roman Forum
One of the most-visited sites in Rome, the Roman Forum is an architectural marvel. Wondering which bits you won't want to miss? Check out these easy tips and learn a bit about the history before you visit!
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Thinking about visiting The Roman Forum?
I have certainly been on an ancient Rome kick these last few weeks! Ostia Antica, the Baths of Diocletian, and now the Roman Forum! Once I got started exploring all that we had seen during this trip, I just couldn't stop to add more variety to my posts!
My advice both for a visit to the Roman Forum, and for this post, is to spend your time with what interests you most - and don't feel the need to see everything. Take in the feel of the place, in addition to checking specific sites off your list.
Try to imagine the buildings full and coated in marble - and the statues with their heads. Think of the streets filled with toga-clad ancient Romans, discoursing on the progress of the Punic Wars, or going full fan-girl over Virgil. Don't forget to pack those water bottles!
Is the Roman Forum crowded?
And, as far as tourist sights go, take my advice - to survive a trip to Italy, and Rome in particular, be sure to make your trip a good blend of crowded and non-crowded sites. For example, maybe the day after your visit to the Forum, if you love ancient history, would be a great time to take a relaxing trek out to Ostia Antica and see similar artifacts in a much different setting - just you, three other guests, and a few enthusiastic, older, Roman gentlemen and lady volunteers in togas.
All a long way of saying: yes, the Forum is a bit crowded, even in low season. But, the Forum is also HUGE, so people are quite spread out.
Surviving a visit to The Roman Forum
Most importantly, even though The Roman Forum is crowded, it's 100% worth navigating a few crowds in order to explore it.
Roman Forum Visiting Tips:
Wear the right shoes
A few practical reminders before you visit the Roman Forum! WEAR STURDY SHOES. I would strongly suggest not wearing flip flops. Strongly. You will be walking A TON and the ground is often dirty or uneven, ancient bumpy cobble stones (or both). For more on what to wear in Italy, check out the full post!
Bring a water bottle
Also, there's not a huge amount of shade in the Forum. Most of the buildings are half-crumbled - it's not the buildings' fault. They're from a different millennium! That Italian sun can get hot, hot, hot. Bring a water bottle (or a few) with you and a hat if you're sensitive to sun. And maybe don't plan to hit a 5-star restaurant for dinner immediately afterward- though, in fairness, Italians eat so late that you should have more than enough time to get back to your hotel to freshen-up before dinner.
Figure out what you want to see in advance
Bring a map
Be sure to have a good map handy to help you identify buildings whose use isn't immediately apparent. Of course, I generally haul around my entire Rick Steves book, which I have never regretted, and he also offers pocket versions, if you're looking for just the essentials!
How to get into the Roman Forum:
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