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Things to do in Palatine Hill

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Historic Site
“Amphitheatrum Flavium is the most famous and impressive monument of ancient Rome, as well as the largest amphitheater in the world. ”
  • 544 locals recommend
Plaza
“Campo de' Fiori The Campo dei Fiori in the Parione district is one of the jewels of Rome. In the morning it's a bustling marketplace, that transforms into a nightlife centre in the evening – all amid a beautiful setting steeped with history. It has always been the piazza for races, palios, and executions. It is located where the Temple of Venus Victrix stood in ancient Rome, attached to the Theatre of Pompey. The name of the piazza seems to have come from Flora, Pompey's beloved, for he had already built a theatre in the area. It could also have come from the fact that by 1400 the piazza was deserted and had become overgrown with wildflower meadows and vegetable gardens. In the mid-1400s, Pope Callistus III reorganized the whole district and paved the entire area. It was during this renovation work that many elegant palazzos were built: the Palazzo Orsini, for example, is located right on the Campo dei Fiori. It was the Orisinis who gave the little piazza alongside Campo dei Fiorithe name Piazza del Biscione (large snake), because their family crest included an eel. Once the piazza was restored, it became a mandatory place for prominent figures such as ambassadors and cardinals to socialize. All this helped the Campo dei Fiori area become the centre of a thriving horse market held every Monday and Saturday. As could be expected, hotels, inns, and artisan workshops sprung up in the area, making it one of the most vibrant parts of the city and a lively cultural and commercial centre. But Piazza Campo dei Fiori was infamous as well, being the place where executions were carried out. A statue in the centre of the piazza commemorates this fact to passers-by: Giordano Bruno – a philosopher and Dominican monk accused of heresy – was burned alive here on February 17, 1600. His bronze statue was created in 1888 and placed in the centre of the piazza at the exact location of his execution. Over the centuries, the piazza has remained a lively and tumultuous place. Since the second half of the 1800s, it has hosted a vibrant and picturesque daily street market, where you can still sense the soul of the Roman populace among the colourful cries of vendors and the throngs of buyers. Homage to this place was even paid by Italian cinema with a 1943 film, “Campo dei Fiori”. Another idiosyncrasy is that this place is perhaps one of the few “lay” corners of the capital: Campo dei Fiori is the only piazza in Rome without a single church. At sunset Campo dei Fiori transforms into a beloved nightlife haunt. It is packed with young people – Italians and foreigners alike – hanging out at the numerous clubs in the piazza and the neighbouring streets. It is often patrolled by police, who try, sometimes without much success, to prevent excessive partying and rowdiness.”
  • 248 locals recommend
Scenic Lookout
“Giardino degli Aranci (Parco Savello) The tranquil Garden of Oranges, also known as Parco Savello, affords fantastic views of the many monuments, roof tops and domes of Rome, encapsulating flavors of the modern and medieval on its shady walkways. The park itself fits neatly behind the ancient Basilica of Santa Sabina, and beside the Piazza Pietro d'Illiria, named after the founder of the church. Visitors to this secluded square are greeted by the scowling face of Giacomo Della Porta's fountain, perhaps made in reference to Oceanus, a River god. The mask had several previous locations, including the Forum and Lungotevere Gianicolense, before coming to rest on the peaceful Aventine Hill. To the side of the garden are the remains of a wall which once surrounded the Tenth Century Savelli Castle. Built by Alberico II, and inherited by Ottone IIIafter the first Millennium, it was later given to the Dominican Order, who transformed the castle into a monastery, and the small park into a vegetable garden. Legends surrounding Spanish Saint Dominic gave the garden its name, and its first orange tree: having transported the sapling from his homeland, he planted it close to the cloister where it flourished. Legend tells how Saint Catherine of Siena picked the oranges from this tree and made candied fruit, which she gave to Pope Urban VI. The tree remains to this day, visible through a "porthole" in the wall of the nave. Miraculously, a younger sapling grew on its remains, which continues to bear fruit. Years later, orange trees were added to the monastery garden, which became known as the Garden of Oranges. Though they produce bitter fruit, they give a pleasant shady air to the garden, affording a lovely retreat from the bustle and noise of urban life. The garden's present form is the result of the work of architect Raffaele de Vico, creator of many of Rome's "green spaces". Upon entering the Garden of Oranges, the ancient apse of the Basilica of Santa Sabina appears, while, on the opposite side, scanty remains of the old Savelli fortress, drawbridge and towers are visible. The garden was designed on a symmetrical plan, drawing visitors ever closer to the central walkway leading to the terrace. A couple of steps forward offers a fantastic panorama of the Tevere, the ancient temples of the Forum Boarium, Santa Maria in Cosmedin (where the Mouth of Truth is found) the Gianicolo, and the imposing dome of St. Peter's from afar. During the summer it is no surprise that the garden is the choice setting for theatrical productions, a favorite resting spot for visitors touring Rome and the haunt of lovers. Perhaps the inspiring view and romantic ambience offers the ideal prompt for falling at the feet of one's beloved!”
  • 168 locals recommend
Museum
“Piazza Venezia is located at the foot of the Capitol, where the most important streets of the capital intersect, as Via dei Fori Imperiali and Via del Corso. The Vittoriano stands out, a colossal monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, also called the Altar of the Fatherland. Many are the historical palaces in the square. It is possible to go up to the panoramic terrace of the Vittoriano.”
  • 122 locals recommend
Historic Site
“The Roman Forum was the pulsing heart of Rome, the city’s main piazza where citizens of every social level met to exchange opinions, do business, buy in the markets and renew their strength over a tasty dish and a cup of good wine. An enormous crowd gathered there every day. Walking through the Forum one might meet rich merchants in precious clothes and sandals; or barefoot serving girls carrying baskets full of produce; reclining Roman nobles on a litter carried by slaves or sellers yelling full voiced to attract the customers. There was an overwhelming mix of colors, smells and merchandise for sale, of thousands of different faces from all parts of the world as it was known then. Rome was a cosmopolitan city, filled with people from Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Along its streets one could go from one extreme to another; from the smiles of the Roman women to the prostitutes on the street corners, from the perfume of temple incense to the pungent smells of cooking food, from the gold of the monuments to the vagabonds lining the road. The Roman Forum is situated in the area between Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. Three thousand years ago, this valley between Campidoglio and the Quirinal, which was to become the future social and political centre of one of the greatest empires of ancient times, was submerged in marshland. By an incredible invention of engineering, which was commissioned by the last two Etruscan kings, the so-called Cloaca Maxima, a canal that is still in function to this very day, allowed for the drainage of the land. The area soon began to develop and already at the end of the 7th century BC, it was home to many markets and a hive of social activity. Foro was the name that the Romans gave to the central square of the urban settlement and we must try to imagine this busy, crowded place as the pulsing centre of a modern city. Here the masses would flock to see the meetings of the orators, attend criminal trials and discuss internal politics or the latest military campaigns, or quite simply to comment on the games or running races (an activity that the Romans particularly enjoyed). In the area around the Forum, the city was also home to markets, shops and taverns. You could also find the typical Termopolia, which were the ancient equivalent of today's fast food restaurants. In short, the Forum was the heart and soul of city life. It was in Caesar's time, when Rome has become the capital of a vast empire, that the Forum became a place for celebrations and in the Imperial era it was the symbol of the Empire. The most incredible panoramic view of the entire Forum complex can be seen from the magnificent terraces of Campidoglio. Here you can observe the imposing ruins of Basilica Emilia, the only remaining Republican basilica, or the Curia, which was once the seat of the Senate. Nearby you will also note three trees, a vine, fig and olive tree, cited by Pliny the Elder, which were replanted in recent times. Starting from the Arch of Septimius Severus, the pathway winds through the most unique place in the world and passes beside the imposing Basilica di Massenzio, one of the most magnificent buildings of Imperial Rome, and ends near the Arch of Titus, where you will get a glimpse of the unmistakable Colosseum. During the Middle Ages, the Forum fell into a state of ruin and was abandoned. Its monuments were often used to build medieval fortifications and at times were even completely dismantled and their materials used elsewhere. In those times, the area was used for cultivation and grazing and it took on the name of 'Campo Vaccino', or 'cattle field'. It was only in the eighteenth century that the Forum was rediscovered and finally the definitive process of the recovery of the ancient ruins began, bringing this long-forgotten and barbarically plundered historic patrimony back to life. ”
  • 108 locals recommend
Art Museum
“Located on Capitoline Hill, the Capitoline Museums are considered the oldest museum in the world. ”
  • 61 locals recommend
Church
“Una tra le più belle chiese di Roma. One of the most beautiful churches in Rome.”
  • 132 locals recommend
Plaza
“as soon as you put your head out of this metro stop you will find the Colosseum in front of his majesty.”
  • 73 locals recommend
Entertainment
“Piazza Venezia The current look of Piazza Venezia is the result of demolition and reconstruction works begun at the end of the 1800s and ending in the early 1900s. Standing out more than anything else is the Vittoriano, mammoth and controversial monument to Victor Emmanuel II. Here we find the Altar to the Fatherland that holds the remains of the Unknown Soldier, in memory of all the fallen soldiers that never received a proper burial. An ancient quarter filled with Renaissance and medieval buildings was demolished to make way for it and the Palazzetto Venezia, that originally closed the piazza, was dismantled and reassembled next to Palazzo Venezia, where it can be found today. At the center of the Vittoriano rises the bronze monument of the king seated astride a horse: it is so huge that, when the works were completed, a banquet was held inside the horses stomach! The Vittoriano is 81 meters high and the chariots at its summit are visible from most of Rome. The construction of the edifice caused much controversy among art critics, so much so that writers and journalists gave it names like “the wedding cake” or “the typewriter”. On the long side of the piazza, Palazzo Venezia, with its imposing facade, was initially the headquarters for popes but during the fascist era, Mussolini used it as the regime's main palace, with its balcony, sadly famous for being the place from which war was announced”
  • 82 locals recommend
Bakery
$$$
“The most known Roman bakery! Always crowded as it is very famous for it's fresh italian "dolce" (sweet bakery) and "pane" (bread) ! ”
  • 132 locals recommend
Neighborhood
“Tiny streets with beautiful historic buildings 10 min by feet from Termini Central station. Very vibrant in the evenings! Bars are full of italian young people, loud music till late night... It's Italian ''Boheme'' area! A lot of artists' shops, small Italian Design Atelier, Vintage jewelry and shops!”
  • 137 locals recommend
Plaza
“In this market you can find the best vegetables and fruit. It is also very picturesque. It is open from 8.00am until 4.30pm ”
  • 112 locals recommend
Park
“Maybe the most fantastic view on Coliseum can be seen from this park! It nice for jogging in the morning! And perfect for enjoying the view of Coliseum - the masterpiece of ancient architecture! Not very famous among tourists, that's why not so crowded. ”
  • 74 locals recommend
Historic Site
“Circus Maximus What visitors see today is a large oblong field that modern-day Romans go for walks in. But Circus Maximus today is not so very different to what the ancient Romans saw when they first started to use this small valley between two of Rome’s hills, the Palatine and the Aventine, for sports. People sat on the ground on the slopes to watch sporting events. The shape and structure of the Circus Maximus changed as fast as Rome grew and with the importance of chariot racing, one of the great Roman passions. But what was Circus Maximus like then? Well, actually we don’t know. The first building, built in the VII century B.C. by Tarquinius Priscus was made of wood, but in its moment of splendour, Circus Maximus would have completely been covered in marble and travertine stone; in the centre of the track were two large Egyptian obelisks, one of which, from the time of Ramses II, can now be found in Piazza del Popolo, the other from the reign of Thutmosis III from Thebes, in Piazza S. Giovanni in Laterano. Circus Maximus is the biggest sports stadium ever built. Just think it could hold almost three hundred and eighty thousand visitors with free access to races. Almost four times bigger than the biggest stadium today, an incredible number. Its structures couldn’t have been much different from our horse racing tracks. Imagine watching a chariot race surrounded by the cheering and clapping of thousands of people, betting huge fortunes on the races, eating, arguing and cheering their champions on just like modern fans. Excitement, risk and tension were vital ingredients of the race. Four teams (the factions) took part in each race, each with an identifying colour; they were so popular and important that they ended up becoming actual political parties. Classical races were those with the drivers, called “charioteers”, were hired and sold to other teams for sums much like those spent today to buy sports champions. Prizes were magnificent. Diocles, the greatest Roman charioteer, stopped racing when his riches amounted to the equivalent of 7 million euros today. The most important races took place during the Roman Games, from 4 to 18 September. The excited crowd was stimulated by organizers using different tactics, of which the most original was small parcels full of sweets, money or presents showered down on the crowd. The historian Suetonius even mentions presents like: houses, farms, ships, not so different to what we see in so many of our television programmes today. Races went from morning till night, up to a hundred a day. Each lasted seven laps indicated by a mechanical counter placed in the centre of the track which, as each chariot drove by, raised large wooden eggs or bronze dolphins (a symbol of the horse protecting Gods). But Circus Maximus was not just for races: Caesar simulated a battle with about one thousand foot-soldiers, six hundred cavalry and forty elephants. To add variety to events, during the intervals between races they put on acrobatics or fights between exotic animals. The races were really dangerous, often bloody, anything was allowed. Crashes between chariots were normal. Chronicles of the day tell of violent, often fatal crashes, and give the names of the young charioteers who died in the ruins of their chariots. But it was not just the race that was dangerous. Over-excited Emperors like Vitellius or Caracalla could have a team killed just because it threatened the victory of their favourites or because it had disappointed them. Watching a race at Circus Maximus was not just dangerous for athletes, but for spectators too. Lots of stories tell of fatal accidents involving the audience. During one race a herd of elephants knocked down an iron fence and injured many people. It was a regular occurrence for a chariot to lose control and crash into the public, with dramatic results. Going to the circus was also an important social event. The poet Ovid in his famous manual on the art of love said that the circus was the best place for lovers to meet. He said that race fever combined with the elegant flirtatiousness of women’s clothing helped erotic meetings. And as often happened next to arenas and stadiums, Circus Maximus had its fair share of places where the Romans enjoyed pleasures of varying kinds, such as taverns or brothels. Over the centuries, Circus Maximus was damaged by fire several times. It is well known that the famous fire of Rome (the one that legend says was started by Nero) began on one of the short sides of the Circus (the one where we can now still see the brick remains), but after each fire Circus Maximus was repaired, rebuilt and even enlarged straight away. The last games were organised around 549 A.D. In the Middle Ages it became a fortified area as the small Frangipane tower shows. Then, due to the urban decentralization suffered by the area, Circus Maximus fell into disuse and slowly began to fall apart due to the stealing of marble and stone and the progressive sinking into the ground that still covers a large part of the building today. Circus Maximus has again become popular with young people, thanks to events such as concerts and shows, sometimes with internationally famous artists. So, two thousand seven hundred years later, tradition lives on.”
  • 97 locals recommend
Church
“The church of San Pietro in Vincoli (St. Peter in Chains) is named for the chains that held St. Peter when he was imprisoned in Rome and in Jerusalem. Best known for the statue of Michelangelo's Mosé”
  • 107 locals recommend
Landmark
$$$
“Assolutamente una visita da non perdere, possibilità anche di visite notturne. A soli 15 min a piedi. Absolutely a visit not to be missed, possibility also of night visits. Only 15 minutes on foot.”
  • 93 locals recommend

Top restaurants

Italian Restaurant
“A popular and very busy restaurant, reservations is recommended. Excellent food. ”
  • 80 locals recommend
Pizza Place
“open till late at night , ideal for big group of persons. It is where local people are going to eat a super good pizza .”
  • 95 locals recommend
Gourmet Shop
“The Roscioli selections Roscioli is a name encompassing many culinary facets, in one operation. The Ristorante, the Salumeria, the Antico Forno, the Caffè Pasticceria, the Rimessa, and the Wine Club. All places of taste, skillfully managed and coordinated, where you can find the best of Roman, Italian, and international production, selected with great skill and passion over the years. The Roscioli family Roscioli is a family that, for four generations, has worked in the world of hospitality, food, and wine. It all started with the bakery on Via dei Chiavari. Then our set-up developed with the grocer on Via Giubbonari, which we now know as Ristorante Salumeria Roscioli. Antico Forno Roscioli is one of the historic brands of Rome; certificates have been recovered that attest to its presence in the Regola district since the first half of the 1800s. A papal edict arranged for the establishment of a bakery that would sell bread at affordable prices to people with limited financial ability right on Via dei Chiavari, and the Vatican census dated August 17th, 1824 confirms it all. Roscioli today Roscioli today is still a family: Alessandro and Pierluigi, two brothers who carry on the tradition, not allowing it to disappear as a custom of the past, but keeping it with the times, anticipating today’s food and wine needs, and focusing, with great passion, on the high quality of their selections.”
  • 81 locals recommend
Roman Restaurant
“Fabulous restaurant because the quality and taste are great. There is a long line before it opened and a long line after. Be patient!”
  • 65 locals recommend
Wine Bar
“Historic wine bar, great place for nibbles and wine. If you can't a table , just hang out outside.”
  • 58 locals recommend
Nightclub
“International nightclub with 3 different rooms: hip hop, Electronic, and top 40. Something for everyone!”
  • 21 locals recommend
Italian Restaurant
“Traditional value-for-money Trattoria. Excellent handmade pasta, meat and fish. 35/40 Euros for a full menu (two courses, drink and dessert) Prices: 25,00/50,00€ ”
  • 64 locals recommend
Beer Bar
“Open Baladin Roma serves over 100 bottled beers from the best Italian brewers, but that's not all! 40… yes, FORTY draft Italian beers representing, in just one place, the best that Italian craft brewers have to offer. Plus a selection of international beers. The Open Baladin in Rome has a more ambitious menu, with delicious daily specials as well as tantalizing snacks, such as the legendary fatate - freshly made potato chips flavored with unique aromas, from licorice to garlic, pecorino cheese or sweet paprika - our scrocchette, flavorsome sandwiches created by Gabriele Bonci, or the luxurious desserts that will seduce anyone with a bit of a sweet tooth. The magic atmosphere of Open Baladin, combined with the magic of Rome, is just too charming to miss. ”
  • 52 locals recommend

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