Colosseum and Imperial Fora

This rich archaeological zone, rudely intruded upon by Mussolini's Via dei Fori Imperiali, contain some of the most grandiose noteworthy of Rome's ancient remains. Domainating the area is the mighty shell of the Colosseum, constructed in AD 72-80 under the Flabian emperors and orginally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre. The quarter holds other imperial wonders, such as the Arch of Constantine, the gigantic fora of various emperors, most notably Trajan's and the 1st century AD folly of Nero's Golden House, now a subterranean revelation of Roman interior design. Plans are under way to turn the area into one great archeological park, and the broad thorougfare crossing the zone is more and more frequently closed to traffic, as those aims are gradually realized.

 Top 10 Features of Colosseum an Imperial Fora

Click on image to enlargeShould the oppurtunity arise, dont miss seeing the basilica's cavernous interior when all the lights are on - only then can you fully appreciate this giant jewel - box of colour.

Trajan's Markets
Click on image to enlargeLegend recounts that on this spot, where a magnificent oak grew, Nero died and was buried. The site was thought cursed, but in 1099, in a vision, the Virgin told Pope Paschal ll to fell the oak, dig up the evil emperor's bones and build a chapel.

Nero's Golden House (Domus Aurea)
Click on image to enlargeThis unpretentious yet compelling church provides a concise Roman history lession in one concentrade location

Trajan's Forum and Column
Click on image to enlargeTrajan's Forum was so splendid that it left all who beheld it awedby its nobility. Now cut off by modern streets, all that stands out is the magnificent column, commemorating in fine graphic detail the emperor's victories in what is now Romania. access to part of it is trough Trajan's Market.

Arch of Constantine
Click on image to enlargeThis arch marks the victory of the first Christian emperor over his rival emperor Maxentius. Yet it is mostly a pastiche of pagan elements taken from several earlier monuments - the beatiful hunt -scene roundels come from a temple dedicated to Emperor Hadrian's male lover, Antinous.

Mamertine prison
Click on image to enlargeLegend holds that St Peter was imprisoned here. Prisoners were orginally dropped down trough a hole in the floor and only wxit was death.

House of the knights of Rhodes
Click on image to enlargeThis 12th-centurypriory was owned by the crusading order of the Knights of Rhodes. Inside are the orginal portico, three shopes and the Chapel of St John.

Forum of Nerva
Click on image to enlargeIf Pope Paul V hadn't stripped it to buid the Acqua Paola Fountain in the 7th century, the main attraction here would have been the Temple of Minerva. Two Corinthian columns remain, and a frieze above, depicting the myth of Arachne.

Forum of Julius Ceasar
Click on image to enlargeThe first of Rome's Imperial Forums. Ceasar's line, the Juliuns, traced their ancestry back to Venus herself, so he erected the Temple of Venus Genetrix ( 46BC ) and placed there statues of himself and Cleopatra, his great love.

Forum of Augustus
Click on image to enlargeJulius Caesar's successor made the focus of his forum the Temple of Mars the Avenger, identified by the broad staircase and four Corinthian columns.

* More information of Colosseum and Imperial Fora:

0639967700 (reservation for all archaeological sites)

Colosseum: Piazza del Colosseo.
Open 9am-1 hr before sunset daily, Adm €8.00 (includes the Palatine)

Trajan's Markets: Via lV Novembre,
Open 9am-1 hr before sunset Tue-Sun, Adm €6.00

Nero's Golden House: Viale della Domus Aurea,
Open 9am-7:45 Wed-Mon, Adm €6.00

Mamertina Prison: Clivo Argentario 1,
Open 9am-12:30pm 2-5pm daily, Donation