The valley between the Palatine and the Capitoline Hill was the center of the administrative activities of the city. Already in the VI century B.C., at the time of the kings, the swampy plains were drained through the construction of the "Maximum Cloaca". The oldest ruins are dated back to this century, especially the plaque under the "Lapis Niger". The plain is located outside the settlements on the surrounding hills, for this was called Forum, from the latin "Foras" which means in front.
At the side of Campidoglio the senate met in the curia, before it was the Comitium, a wide square for meetings popular, with the "Rostra", the tribune of speakers. At the edge of the Comitium there’re several temples grouped (of Saturn, of the Dioscuri, Vesta), the building of the administration and the Regia, which initially was the royal residence and later it became the seat of the "pontifex maximus" (Supreme Priest).
In the free spaces of the most important buildings, were the huts and market stalls food, money changers and traders. The best view you can enjoy is at the foot of the Campidoglio, behind the church of San Luca, beside the Arch of Septimius Severus, the parapet of a wall. The brick building on the left is the curia where the senators met; the present building dates back to 283 AD and became a church in the VII century.
In the course of excavation and restoration work under the current floor, it was found the original colored marble. In front of the staircase there is a black tiled floor zone in the Comitium, according to a legend under this there would be the tomb of Romolo. During the excavations was found a plaque with the more ancient Latin engraving of the world: is written from right to left and the meaning of the text is not clear; according to the prevalent opinion, however, says something about the ceremony of the foundation of the forum.
Augusto, Vespasiano, Nerva and finally Trajan improved the structure, larger and sumptuous, calling it Imperial Forum.
After several decades the political importance of the Roman Forum went to other places and the location became a sacred national place; the last memorial column was erected in honor of the Byzantine emperor Foca, in 608 A.D.
During the stay of Goethe in Italy, the place was a pasture, covered with soil up to the current level of the road.
Access to the Roman Forum is located on the right hand side of via dei Fori Imperiali, next to the church of the Saints Cosma and Damiano