Vast archaeological zone encompassing ancient sites like the Colosseum, Circus Maximus & Forum. Parco Archeologico del Colosseo includes the extraordinary ancient complexes forming part of the central archaeological area, namely Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine.
The Anfiteatro Flavio is the most famous, large and important amphitheatre in the world, better known as the Colosseum, because of a colossal statue that stood nearby. It was built in the first century AD at the behest of the emperors of the Flavian dynasty and hosted, until the end of the ancient age, shows of great popular appeal, such as hunts and gladiator games. The spectators were offered surprising scenographies using ingenious machines, as well as various services.
The Roman Forum, once a marshy area, only from the end of the 7th century BC, with the reclamation of the valley, began to take its present form to become the centre of public life for over a millennium. Over the centuries the various monuments were built: first, the buildings for political, religious and commercial activities, then, during the second century BC, the civil basilicas where the judicial activities took place. By the end of the Republican age, the ancient Roman Forum had become insufficient to carry out the function of administrative centre, and it started to become a monumental place of representation of the city. During the Imperial Age, the halls and temples were rebuilt and only a few others were added: the Temple of Vespasian and Titus and that of Antoninus Pius and Faustina dedicated to the memory of the deified emperors, and the monumental Arch of Septimius Severus, built at the western end of the square in 203 AD to celebrate the victories of the emperor over the Parthians. The last great intervention was carried out by the Emperor Maxentius in the first years of the 4th century AD when the Temple dedicated to the memory of his son Romulus and the imposing Basilica on the Velia were erected. The last monument built in the Forum was the Column erected in 608 AD in honour of the Byzantine Emperor Foca.
The city of Rome was founded on the Palatine Hill, where archaeological discoveries revealed the remains of Iron Age settlements. The hill was the site of important cults linked to the tradition of the origins, including that of Lupercus, celebrated in a cave on the slopes of the hill, where the she-wolf allegedly nursed the divine twins Romulus and Remus, and the cults of Victory and the Magna Mater (Cybele). Until the end of the Republican age the hill was mainly the residential quarter of the Roman ruling class and, during the Imperial Age, it became the aristocratic quarter of the city with elegant residences characterized by exceptional pictorial and floor decorations, such as those preserved in the House of the Griffins. Cicero, Marcus Anthony and Augustus, among others, lived there, who chose the hill to reconnect with the memories of the founder. The choice of the first emperor, in fact, was followed by his successors and with the construction of several palaces, including the House of Livia, the Domus Tiberiana, the Domus Transitoria, the Domus Aurea and finally the Domus Flavia, divided into a public and a private sector, known as Domus Augustana, the Palatine was transformed into a grand complex that was the ‘palace’ of the emperors. The name of the Palatinum hill became, in fact, synonymous with the palace.