While the Colosseum is spectacular and certainly well worth a visit, it is far from the only impressive Roman Empire ruins to be seen in Rome. It is common for the most impressive attraction to crowd out the many many other attractions (like how Machu Picchu crowds out the many other impressive Inca attractions).

The full list of Roman ruins in Rome is beyond this article but here are some of the most impressive ones. Rome is a remarkable city that takes a long time to see and explore. A weekend is never enough in the eternal city, but if one only has a short time, make this your essential Roman weekend itinerary.


Roman Triumphal Arches

There are scores of Roman Triumphal Arches in Rome and across the former empire. All of the surviving Roman arches date from the Imperial period (from the 1st century BC and onwards). None of the old arches of the Roman Republic survive but many of the Imperial ones that do are truly impressive.

In Rome, there are around 7 arches (or ruins of arches remaining). These are:

  • Arch of Titus: Built 82 AD

The Arch of Titus was constructed around 81 AD by Emperor Domitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus. It commemorates the victory of Titus and Vespasian over the Jewish rebellion in Judaea in AD 70.

This was the war that led to the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple built by Herod the Great. It has become a symbol of the Jewish diaspora. It depicted the Roman plunder of the Temple including the menorah that is the emblem of Israel today.

It has inspired many other triumphal arches since the 16th century including famously the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

  • Arch of Constantine: Built 312 to 315 AD
  • Arch of Septimius Severus: 203 AD
  • Others: Arch of Drusus, Arch of Gallienus, Arch of Janus, and the Arch of Augustus
  • Colosseum: The Colosseum Was Financed Partly With The Plunder of Judea In AD 70 And Built With Thousands Of Jewish Slaves

Related: 20 Stunning Roman Ruins Every Visitor To Europe Should See

Roman Aqueducts

The Romans were justifiably famous for their aqueducts. They are to be found all through their empire and some are still standing proudly today. The aqueducts (including remains of them) in and around Rome are the Aqua Marcia, Aqua Tepula, Aqua Alexandrina, Aqua Alsietina, Aqua Appia, Aqua Claudia, and Aqua Virgo.

  • Pont du Gard: Most Famous And Beautifully Reserved Aquaduct In France

The most famous Roman aqueduct is in the south of France called Pont du Gard and once carried the water of 50 kilometers or 31 miles. It is one of the best-preserved of all the Roman aqueduct bridges and has been UNESCO listed since 1985. Unfortunately, one won't find an aqueduct this impressive in Rome.

Palatine Hill

The Palatine Hill is the most central of the seven hills of Rome and is one of the oldest parts of the city. It has been called the first nucleus of the Roman Empire and is now mainly a large open-air museum while the Palatine Museum houses many of the finds from excavations.

Imperial palaces were built here (the first being Emperor Augustus) and before that, it had long been the district of the rich. Today the site is dominated by the Palace of Domitian, later emperors like those of the Severan Dynasty made significant additions to the buildings. Some of the main attractions here are:

  • The Palace of Domitian
  • Houses of Livia and Augustus
  • House of Tiberius
  • Domus Severiana
  • Temple of Cybele
  • Temple of Apolo Palatinus
  • Septizodium
  • Domus Transitoria

One can book a guided tour of this important nerve center of the once-mighty empire.

  • Cost: Adults: 45 Euros ($52) | Children: 27 Euros (Aged 6-12) ($31) | Kids: Free (Under 6)
  • Duration: 3 Hours
  • Language: English

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Related: Tourists Who Visit The Vatican Won't See These 12 Hidden Rooms

Roman Forum

The Roman Forum is a rectangular forum or plaza surrounded by the ruins of some of the important ancient Roman government buildings in the center of Rome. This was the site of day-to-day life in Roman and the site of triumphal processions and even elections. It was the venue for criminal trials, gladiatorial matches, public speeches of the empire. It was the political nerve center and heart of the empire.

The Roman Forum contains many of the oldest and most important structures of the eternal city. Here one can walk in the footsteps of famous figures from Roman history like Julius Caesar.

Some of the main attractions here include the Arch of Titus, the Temple of Saturn, the Arch of Septimius Severus, and the Basilica of Maxentius.

Temple of Saturn: Dedicated To The Roman God Saturn (Originally It Was Meant to be Dedicated to Jupiter)

  • Built: Traditionally Dated To 497 BC

Next: This Is The Most Scenic Neighborhood In Rome (And What To While Visiting)