As an added bonus, our Colosseum skip-the-line entry ticket, also gained us entry to the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum just a few minutes walk away. The Palatine Hill is probably the most famous of the Seven Hills of Rome. It is the site of the ancient city of Rome, the place where twin brothers Romulus and Remus were supposed to have been raised by a she-wolf. Romulus murdered his brother and became the first ruler of Rome, and the city took its name from his. Romulus built his city upon this hill and the Roman Empire was born.
This is the place where the great Roman Emperors lived, and also some of the city’s most important and influential families, like the Frangipane family. They built massive structures here, many parts of which are still standing today, looking remarkably solid and durable. An aqueduct brought water in from a distant source.
Adjacent to the hill was the Circus Maximus, Rome’s first stadium, used for chariot racing and other forms of entertainment. It still exists today as cleared land with a busy road running alongside of it. On the opposite side of the Palatine Hill is the Roman Forum, once a busy market place and public meeting area for the citizens of ancient Rome. Although much of it lies in ruins today, some columns, buildings, places of worship and an arch still remain in relatively good shape. Collectively, they help you to imagine what the area might have looked like in Roman times, when these mighty structures would have dominated this public space.
Marg and I took our time walking around the perimeter of the Palatine Hill site and strolling through the Roman Forum along the bumpy cobbled road. It was a hot day in Rome today, 29 degrees, so we stopped often for water and sought out shade when we could find it. By 3.15pm we’d been walking for a long time and still hadn’t eaten any lunch. There may have been one or two more things worth seeing, but we were tired and hungry and hot, and agreed that it was time to leave and find something to eat. By the time we found a place close to our apartment and sat down to lunch, it was just a little before 4pm. We decided to call it a day as far as our explorations of Rome were concerned and walked back to our accommodation in need of a good rest and a cold drink of water.