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Tourguide to Ancient Rome

So, what places of importance to ancient Roman history are there to visit for any visitors to Rome ?
Rome is truly a city of fantastic sites and a treasure trove for anyone interested in ancient Roman history.

Below are listed not all sites of interest, but the absolute 'must-sees' for anyone interest in Rome's ancient past.

A tip: If you're interested in taking photos, make sure to carry a photo camera, on which you can manually turn the flash off. Several museums will allow photography, but only without flash !


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The Colosseum
Metro Stop: 'Colosseo'
Naturally unmissable, the unmistakable symbol of Rome. The massive structure will take your breath away. But go early, or else you'll be standing in line for some time. Just outside it you also have standing the impressive Arch of Constantine. Across the main road (away from the Forum) you will also find the ruins of the Ludus Magnus - the gladiator school, and the Parco Oppio with the remains of the Baths of Trajan.
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The Forum
Metro Stop: 'Colosseo'
at the Arch of Constantine head down the 'Via Sacra' towards the Arch of Titus

Forum Website

No visit to Rome would ever be complete wihtout a visit to the Forum. Although at times some areas are cordonned off to allow for archaeological work, you can quite literally walk among the ruins of the ancient town center of Rome.
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Vatican Museums
Metro Stop: 'Ottaviano'
follow Viale Gulio Cesare away from the Tiber, turn left into Via Leone IV, then right into Viale Vaticano

Vatican Museums Website

Apart from being one of the finest art collections in the world, including access to the world famous Sistine Chapel of Michelangelo, the Vatican Museums have an extensive collection of ancient Roman sculpture, including many portraits of emperors and other leading figures. Go early or over lunch time to avoid masses of tourists. Also give yourself plenty of time. The Museum is fantastic and you will stay there for many hours longer than intended.

Photography is permitted without flash (except for the Sistine Chapel - no photos there).

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Museo della Civilita
Metro Stop: 'EUR Fermi'
On EUR stations big city maps are to be found, look for Piazza G.Agnelli

Museo della Civilta Website

Due to its location in the suburbs of Rome, this museum is not on every tourist's immediate list of sights and is hence less well visited. The exhibits are a collection of models which held bring to life many of the buildings and monuments fallen into disrepair. Also there is an impressive collection of sculptural plaster casts, including casts of sections of Trajan's Column. But most of all the breathtaking model of the city of Rome in the days of Constantine the Great make the visit of any person interested in ancient Roman history well worthwhile.

Photography permitted.

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Capitoline Museums
Metro Stop: 'Colosseo'
Piazza del Campidoglio, atop the steep hill between the Forum and the Victor Emanuel Monument

Capitoline Museums Website

Housed in palacial surroundings, the Capitoline museums house terrific art collections. Ancient Roman art plays a prominent part, including many busts of emperors and other important Romans, as well as the world famous bronze satue of the She-Wolf suckling Romulus and Remus.

Photography is permitted without flash.

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The Palatine
Metro Stop: 'Colosseo'
Entrance: at the Arch of Titus at the Forum
At the Arch of Titus a path leads up the hill to the ruins of the imperial palace on the Palatine Hill. Unlike the Forum an entry fee is charged. A visit is well worthwhile as it helps you get an idea of the scale of the sheer splendour in which Roman emperors lived. Also it commands splendid views of the city and of the Circus Maximus immediately in front of it.
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Baths of Caracalla
Metro Stop: 'Circo Massimo'
Via d.Terme di Carcalla, on the main road from the Circus Maxmius away from the Tiber
Set in a delightful park, the remaining structures impressive, but can only really be seen from quite a distance. An entry fee is charged into the park.
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Trajan's Market
Metro Stop: 'Colosseo'
follow the Via dei Fori Imperiali and turn right into the Via IV Novembre
Trajan's Market is actually a part of the Roman Fora, but it is, together with other parts, separated off the Forum by a main road (Via dei Fori Imperiali). This separation means that it is by far less well visited by tourists than the busy Forum. Although as such it is perhaps much more impressive as the markets remain as a substantial building with a hall, a first floor, corridors and many individual store rooms that once functioned as shops.
In easy distance to the Market are also Trajan's Column and the Fora of Augustus and Nerva.

Photography is permitted.