Palatine Hill

Rome, Italy

Palatine Hill is one of the most ancient areas of Rome. It is more central than the other six Roman hills. The Palatine Hill contains the ruins of ancient buildings and palaces of Rome and it stands 40 metres high above the Roman Forum with views of the Circus Maximus on one hand, and the views of the forum on the other hand.

The site is a large tourist attraction with an open air museum that is accessible to visitors throughout the day. The Palatine Hill is a very busy attraction during the day, so the best way to beat some crowd is to visit early enough.

It is believed that Rome originated from the Palatine Hill. Recent excavations on the hill proved that people lived on the hill as far back as 1000 years B.C. The Roman mythology claims that Romulus and Remus were found on the Palatine Hill and kept alive by a female wolf, after which Faustulus and his wife Acca Larentia found and raised the kids respectively. Subsequently, Romulus grew older and built the city of Rome on this site. With the continual development of the city, the Palatine Hill became a place to live with great views and lovely air flow. The hill was a place where every wealthy and powerful person in Rome chose to build a home and relax. At one point, the Palatine Hill became covered with imperial palaces. In fact, the word “palace” is believed to have originated from “palatine” of the Palatine Hill.

The entire Roman Empire began from the Palatine Hill. You can find many ruins of ancient structures on the hill; these include the ruins of the house of Livia, the Baths of Septimus Severus, the Domus Augustana and the Domus Flavia. The Farnese Gardens are at the top of the hill. The gardens were designed by architect Vignola and they contain different species and varieties of plants which include rose bushes, orange trees, boxwoods and oleanders. The gardens were one of the first botanical gardens in Europe. Since most part of the hill are excavation sites, the best experience and observation of what exactly the hill looked like, is the Palatine Antiquarium Museum. The museum is situated on the top of Domitian’s Palace. Found in the nine rooms of the museum are sculptures, ceramics, inscriptions, mosaics, frescoes and portrait heads that were found on the hills.

Palatine Hill has two entrances; one can be found on the Via San Gregorio, while the other one can be found on the Via Fori Imperiali. The old entrance that is not far from the Arch of Titus at the Roman Forum, is now an exit.

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