Private Guided Tour: Imperial Fora

Make the most of your visit of the Imperial Fora - guided by an expert in History or Art History, Archeology or Architecture.


  • Throughout the tour, you will be guided by an expert in History or Art history, Archeology or Architecture, who will help you to discover our Rome.
  • You can choose the language you prefer...we have 5 different languages available!
  • Tour departs from Via IV November cashier.
  • It is a 3 hours long tour with a private guide
  • Tour is available from Tuesday to Sunday from 09:00 to 17:00, each hour
  • Tour must be reserved with 2 weeks in advance

Imperial Fora

Dedicated by Augustus to Mars Ultor in 2 BC, the huge complex of the Imperial Fora commemorated Augustus's victory over his adoptive father Julius Caesar's murderers, Brutus and Cassius, at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC. The Temple of Mars Ultor (Mars the Avenger) was the seat of Senate reunions connected to wars and triumphs, reflecting the military character of the god of war.

The Forum of Trajan is the largest, newest, and most impressive of the Imperial Fora. Built between 107 and 113, the forum was a celebration of Trajan's campaigns in modern-day Romania. The complex included a colossal equestrian statue of Trajan and a triumphal arch. The Forum of Trajan has a more complicated foundation than the other Imperial Fora. The piazza is closed with the Basilica Ulpia, main center of administration of justice and commerce. Of the largest basilica ever built in Rome (17m x 60m, or 196' x 55'), today just two rows of truncated columns and fragments of the friezes remain.

The three-floor, semicircular complex of Trajan's Market, built during the early 2nd century BC, is perhaps the first example of a shopping mall. The market had space for 150 shops, selling everything from imported fabrics to Eastern spices.

Recent scholarship has confirmed that the longstanding Roman fascination with pubs began here, with taverns that lined the street outside the market. Part of the vast structure housed public administration offices and a stock exchange. The ground and first floor rooms of the markets are home to an impressive, if crumbling display of sculptures from the imperial forum, including two colossal torsos of Nerva and Agrippa and part of a frieze of a griffin.

Julius Caesar was the first Roman leader to expand the city center outside the Forum proper, constructing the Forum of Caesar in 46 BC. The Forum was used as a meeting place for public affairs. The Basilica Argentaria was probably used as a specialized market selling bronze and silverware. In later ages the structure was used as a school.

The Imperial Fora were significantly impacted by an intervention during the Fascist regime in the 1930s. Mussolini ordered the large Via dei Fori Imperiali to be built straight through the archaeological site, connecting Piazza Venezia with the Colosseum. During the construction, the historical sites suffered irreparable damage, while many new findings were brought to light. The pollution and vibrations connected to the avenue continue to impact the antique ruins negatively, but so far none of the plans for protective measures have been successful.

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