This visit will allow you to admire the remarkable stratification of historical and artistic memories reflecting the life and development of ancient Rome.
The Mamertine, the maximum security prison where the enemies of Rome were incarcerated.
The Colosseum, the site of the ferocious games of Imperial Rome.
The Roman Forum, the crux of social, economic and religious life in Ancient Rome since the earliest centuries of its history.
The Palatine, the site where the city was born around the mid-8th century BC and then the location of the palaces that housed the great emperors of Rome
Guided tour option
The guided tour includes an official guide who will take you on tours of the Carcer Tullianum and the Roman Forum in the language of your choice and accompany you along the full tour of the archaeological area of the Roman Forum up to the entrance to the Colosseum, which you will be able to visit independently.
For the Colosseum visit it is necessary to go to the Colosseum ticket offices 30 minutes before the booking time.
Place of exchange and issue of tickets
Supplement for guided tours of the Carcer Tullianum and of the Roman Forum with entrance only to the Colosseum and Palatine
ORP Offices, via dei Cestari, n° 21
For further facilitations:
phone +39 06 69896379
The Colosseum is perhaps the most recognised monument in the world, the symbol of Rome through the ages. It was built in just 8 years, between 72 and 80 AD, by the Flavian emperors, first Vespasian and then his sons Titus and Domitian with a rapidity that bears witness to the high levels of Roman engineering. 100 days of games and feasting were organised for its opening during which over 5000 wild animals were slaughtered. In ancient times it must have been absolutely stunning, bright white, because covered in travertine, a local white marble, and statues. The Colosseum was open with free entrance for its 70,000 spectators. The lower ring, the closest to the arena, was reserved for the most important spectators: the senators, the magistrates, the priests and the vestals. Further up sat the members of the various equestrian orders, then the merchants and public guests. Further up still the common people, while women were in the furthest sector.
There were essentially two types of shows: fights between gladiators and hunts with wild animals.
Everything took place on the arena, a huge wooden stage covered in sand 75 metres in length and 44 in width. Beneath the arena there were two underground levels with rooms, corridors, cages and special hoist platforms that quickly brought animals and gladiators to the arena, creating moments of unique suspense.
The Colosseum was also the stage for death sentences carried out by wild animals, which turned this site into the symbol of the martyrdom of so many Christians during the persecutions of the two subsequent centuries.hide
For many centuries, from its birth to its downfall, the heart of Rome had been the Forum.
Developed at the feet of the Capitoline Hill, it had originally been an unhealthy marshy area. In the 6th century BC the valley was redeveloped with the construction of the Cloaca Maxima, the first sewage system in history. The area soon became the social, political and religious centre of Rome between the period of the kings and throughout the Republic and the Empire.
Palaces of power such as the Senate were built there, as well as Basilicas, meeting places, market places, courts, several temples dedicated to the gods of Rome and monumental arches in remembrance of the feats of great Emperors like Titus and Septimius Severus. The final tract of the Sacred Road that led the triumphant generals to the temple Jove on the Capitoline Hill ran through the Forum.
After the collapse of the Empire and the barbarian invasions, Rome underwent a slow but relentless process of decay. The Forum was abandoned and stripped of most of its marbles, the overflowing river contributed to the slow covering of the area raising the level of the valley. From the early 17th century some of the temples were turned into churches, which contributed to their preservation, houses were built and the extensive free areas were turned into cattle markets, so that even today some Romans call this area “Campo Vaccino”, cow milk fields.hide
The Palatine is the best-known of the seven hills surrounding the valley of the Roman Forum. This is where, according to tradition, Romulus founded Rome in 754 BC. Ancient shepherds’ huts found in a corner of the hill bear witness to the reality of this early Rome.
The Palatine has always been a privileged site for its particular position and proximity to the Forum. During the Republic eminent figures such as Cicero and the Triumvir Mark Antony lived there.
But it was with the first Emperor Octavius Augustus that the hill became the Imperial seat. And his successors, Tiberius, Caligula and Nero continued in his footsteps. After the fire of 64 AD, a good part of the Palatine, along with the area of the surrounding hills, was occupied by Nero’s sumptuous palace, the Domus Aurea.
But it was after the death of Nero, with the third emperor of the Flavian dynasty Domitian, that the Palatine underwent an authentic urban transformation. Domitian built the elegantly grandiose palace known as the Domus Augustana, which still today represents an important part of the hill. To it he added a hippodrome and the thermal baths, which were further expanded by Septimius Severus, who also enriched the palace towards the area of the Circus Maximus.
The Palatine was inhabited throughout the Imperial period and after the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, as the earliest barbarian kings made it their home. During the Middle Ages a part of the hill was occupied by monasteries and by several aristocratic Roman families. During the Renaissance Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, nephew of Pope Paul III, transformed the Palatine into a vast park for walks and meditation. Such a great number of trees and plants were grown there that the hill became the first botanical gardens of Renaissance Rome. Still today the Palatine is one of the greatest archaeological excavation sites in Italy and continuously yields materials that help us reconstruct more and more effectively the details of life in Republican and Imperial Rome.hide
Visit with priority entrance and multilingual audioguide App
Priority entrance into one of the world’s greatest museums