Roman Forum: online tickets and visit

img Foro Romano

In the Eternal City, the remains of Roman civilization bear witness to an era of incredible grandeur, when the Italian capital was able to influence the balance and fate of the entire then known world. Therefore, a visit to Rome cannot ignore what was the beating heart of political, economic, religious and legal life: the Roman Forum, along with the Palatine and Imperial Fora, up to the majestic Colosseum, the backdrop of entertainment and games that could go on for up to a hundred days. There are various options to visit these places of interest and best appreciate these unique UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The history of the Roman Forum

Cesare Tallone, Foro Romano, 1883, olio su tela, 91,5×60,5 cm, Lovere, Accademia Tadini, cat. P 318

It can be said that the history of the Roman Forum begins with the Romans’ own civilization: what would become the nerve center of the city and the empire was a swampy and inhospitable area, used as a necropolis by the inhabitants of the settlements around it.

It was King Tarquinius Priscus, in 600 B.C., who drained the area and made it the marketplace, but also the square of political and judicial life. The last rally held here of which we have record dates back to 768: it was held in front of the church of St. Hadrian by what would become Pope Stephen III. Since then, neglect and abandonment meant that in the 16th century the Roman Forum ended up almost completely buried and used for planting and grazing.

With the rediscovery of classical antiquity by the librarian and art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann, the first excavations were carried out in 1788, bringing to light the remains of the Basilica Julia, while starting in 1801 the recovery work was entrusted to Carlo Fea, for thirty years Commissioner of Antiquities in Rome.

Today the Roman Forum is an archaeological area that is the result of the layering of buildings and monuments from different eras, but also of the reuse of building materials, which occurred especially at the hands of Pope Julius II (1503-1513). Although no real archaeological awareness had yet developed, even at the time Raphael and Michelangelo showed reservations about the depredation of this site.

Visit to the Roman Forum: tickets and directions

Online tickets to the Roman Forum entitle you to a pass to visit, in addition to the Roman Forum, the Palatine and Imperial Fora, the places of public life of the ancient Romans.

The visit to the Roman Forum is enhanced by an audio guide that you can download directly to your smartphone and that will reveal the history and interesting facts about the ruins of the Roman era. From the Palatine, the site of Rome’s legendary founding and home to the remains of the city’s oldest settlement, you will be able to admire the view of the city, the Roman Forum itself, the Imperial Forums and the Colosseum.

One can enter the three places only once, and several entrances can be used to enter the Roman Forum:

  • Arch of Titus
  • Vignola Varco on San Gregorio Street
  • Largo della Salara Vecchia
  • Mamertine Prison
  • Column of Trajan on Via dei Fori Imperiali

There are several options for exit as well:

  • Arch of Titus
  • Largo della Salara Vecchia
  • Vignola Varco on San Gregorio Street
  • Petroselli Street

It is possible to book a visit to the Roman Forum during opening hours (daily from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.), while the passage between the Colosseum Archaeological Park and the Imperial Forums is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Tickets for the Roman Forum, Palatine and Imperial Fora cannot be rescheduled, but in case of unforeseen circumstances they can be cancelled by 11:59 p.m. the day before the visit by remembering to select the appropriate option when checking out.

Online tickets for the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

By choosing to visit the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill you will have a chance to relive the glories of Ancient Rome and these places where daily life took place and crucial community decisions were made.

This particular tour to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum gives the opportunity for a three-hour guided tour (in English) that includes access to the Gladiator Arena and the subterranean vaults, usually not included in standard tickets .

The meeting point is at 24 Colosseum Street, where the activity provider is based, exactly on the second floor of the Colosseum subway station. It is recommended to arrive at least 30 minutes early, not to bring suitcases and duffel bags (there is no checkroom), and to wear comfortable shoes. The ticket offers a skip-the-line option, but you will still have to go through security: it is essential to bring ID and arrive on time if you don’t want to miss the start of the tour, which cannot be refunded.

Given the uneven surfaces throughout the archaeological area, the activity is not recommended for those with mobility difficulties and those in wheelchairs. Children may participate accompanied by an adult, but given the partly disconnected path, strollers are not recommended.

Other site access options include this guided tour that touches on the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and Colosseum, which lasts about three hours. The tour is available in Italian; you will be provided with headphones to listen to the explanations during the various movements and stops. The meeting point is at Largo Gaetana Agnesi and the guide is easily recognizable by the purple sign that says “Crown Tours.” You need to be here at least 30 minutes before the start of the tour and if you are late, participation is not guaranteed.

With this tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine, however, among the buildings and monuments the guide will dwell on are the Domus Augustana and Domus Flavia (on the Palatine), the Arch of Constantine, the interior and second floor areas of the Colosseum, and the Basilica of Maxentius on the Via Sacra. The tour is not recommended for those with mobility difficulties or in wheelchairs and lasts two and a half hours.

Remember to bring identification with you to show at security checkpoints. Here, despite the skip the line option, you might create a bit of a queue. To speed up the checks, you should avoid bringing sharp objects, alcohol, sprays or aerosols and glass objects, which would not pass them. It is also forbidden to bring animals, drones and, of course, weapons. The tour can be canceled with a refund within 24 hours of the visit and will also take place in the rain, which may, however, make access to some areas of the Roman Forum and Palatine impossible.


If you’re planning a visit to Rome and already know you don’t want to stop at just the Roman ruins, the card that combines the oldest past with papal Rome is ideal for a full immersion in the wonders of the city, whose historic center is entirely a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Roma tourist card includes admission to:

  • Colosseum (with skip-the-line ticket), Roman Forum and Palatine, with the option of adding a virtual reality experience or guided tour;
  • Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums, with priority access plus an optional guided tour or uncovered bus tour of the Vatican Gardens;
  • Peter’s Basilica with a guided tour and the possibility of adding an audiotour of the Basilica and Dome.

In addition, you will be able to download an audio guide to the city of Rome, which will take you to more than 130 places in the city, and you will be entitled to a 10 percent discount on any other tour, ticket and activity reservations.

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