Palatine Hill or Italian Monte Palatino, located over the Roman Forum and the Circus Maximus. The city of Rome was founded here and your visit to the Eternal City can’t be completed without an exploration of its impressive history. Moreover, it was the center of the most important legend of Romulus and Remus. The Palatine is a green area with wild flowers among the ruins and beauties of the Farnese Gardens. Also, there you will find many panoramic views of Rome.
The significance of Palatine Hills is that the Roman Empire was founded there under the direction of Romulus. It is the site of the Lupercal Cave, where according to the legend, Romulus and Remus were found by the she-wolf Lupa who raised them. Now it is a symbol of Rome.
Consequently, the hill served as a residential district and there was a belief that since the air is cleaner on the top of the hill, there is the less chance for the nobility to catch diseases of the working class.
Moreover, Augustus, Marcus Antonius, and Cicero had homes on the Palatine
The Palatine consisted of three summits: the Germalus, the Veila, and the Palatium. Here, the Palatium was the most important for the summits and later gave the name to the entire hill.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the architecture of the hill also fell. It was restored in the middle ages into a stronghold, but abandoned over years. During that period of time, almost the entire hill was owned by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, who created a botanical garden on the top of it.
What to See
The hill covers a large area, where all the main excavations are up of it.
Domus Flavia was built in 81 BC by the Emperor Domitian as an official residence. Nowadays you can find many extensive ruins of it.
House of Augustus
The House of Augustus was his private residence. Nowadays there are original colorful frescoes that went through time.
House of Livia
House of Livia was built in the 1st-century BC. Nowadays you can still find the original mosaics and frescoes on the walls and ceilings.
Built in 1550, Alessandro Farnese created his botanical gardens on the top of the ruins of the Palace of Tuberius (Palace of Caligula), built in the 1st-century A.D. Moreover, it was one of the first botanical gardens built in the whole Europe with many rare plants.
Palatine Museum contains Roman sculptures, excavations, statues, frescoes, and mosaics from ancient Roman elite.
The Palatine Hills has many ruins from ancient palaces. For instance, near the Circus Maximus you will find remains of the Palace of Septimius Severus and the ruins of his Baths, who was the Roman emperor between 193 and 211 A.D.
On the north from the Palace of Septimius Severus is the stadium, which was built together with the Palace of Domitian. Over three centuries, the Palace, built in 81 A.D., was considered as the Rome’s largest palace. There were two wings: a private one (the Domus Augustana) and a public one (the Domus Flavia). Today, you can find remains of both of them on the Palatine Hill.
Archaeologists discovered remains of an early settlement that date back to the times of the first king of Rome, Romulus. The site is known as the Hut of Romulus
How to Get
The Palatine located near the Colosseum and Roman Forum, in the historic center of the Eternal City. Moreover, there is a short walking distance from Piazza Venezia and Circus Maximus.
- The closest metro station is on Line B – Colosseo
- There are lots of buses that go to this area, such as 75 and 87
The price of tickets for the hills is 12 euro, which include an admission to the Colosseum and Roman Forum.
- You can book online on official website www.coopculture.it. This is the best way to avoid queues at the ticket desk. Don’t forget to print your tickets
- You can buy tickets in the ticket office. You shouldn’ better buy it at the ticket desk at the Colosseum. Instead, you should better go to the ticket desk at the Palatine, on Via di San Gregorio or another one, near the Roman Forum, in Largo Salaria Vecchia. The queues are shorter
- Book a tour. If you choose this option, you won’t have to worry about tickets or queues. There are both shared and private tours of the hill, including the Colosseum and Roman Forum
The Palatine Hills is one of the most important sites of the Eternal City. Undoubtedly, you should discover it during you visit to Rome.