The Roman Forum is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum. It was for centuries the center of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions and elections, venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches, and nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city's great men.
The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history. Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archeological excavations attracting numerous sightseers.
The Site Today :
Today, archeological excavations continue along with constant restoration and preservation. Long a major tourist destination in the city, the Forum is open for foot traffic along the ancient Roman streets which are restored to the late Imperial level. The Forum Museum (Antiquarium Forense) is found at the Colosseum end of a modern road, the Via dei Fori Imperiali.
This small museum has a significant collection of sculpture and architectural fragments. There are also reconstructions of the Forum and the nearby Imperial Fora as well as a short video in several languages. It is entered from the Forum by the side of Santa Francesca Romana (No. 53 Piazza S. Maria Nova) and is open from 08:30 to one hour before sunset. Admission is 12 Euros.