The Palatine Hill Rome is the site that marks the beginning, or the nucleus of Rome.
There is a story that the city’s founder – Romulus – chose this hill to begin setting out the boundaries of the city of Rome. We don’t think its origins were as straightforward as that but nevertheless, it is one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites and it is definitely worth adding to your itinerary when you visit Rome on your Italian vacation.
The Palatine Hill in Rome
The Palatine Hill Rome is the centremost hill of the ‘seven hills of Rome’ and sits 40 metres above the Roman Forum.
Rome’s origins are on the Palatine Hill and it is here that Romulus is said to have founded the city in 753 BC. Although archaeological excavations cannot prove this, there is evidence of human habitation at the Palatine Hill at this time and even as far back as the 10th century BC.
Through time, it also became Rome’s most exclusive address. It housed senators and emperors and the entire hill became covered in Imperial palaces.
What you might find at the Palatine Hill Rome
The Palatine Hill Rome is full of ruins of ancient and imperial palaces and buildings that give a window into the story of Rome and those who resided within the city:
Hut of Romulus
The Hut of Romulus is where the city’s founder is said to have lived. And it is thought that this is on the Palatine Hill. We say ‘thought’ because historical records show that it was located on the Palatine Hill Rome, but there is no physical evidence – but archaeological work is still on going.
Baths of Septimius Severus
The remains of this bath complex are the most imposing ruins on the Palatine Hill. They are the large arches you can see on the hill and they would have been the place where residents and locals congregated daily.
Below the baths you will find the Circus Maximus – a huge structure that could hold around 250,000 spectators. It also became a focal point of the hill. In fact, many later houses and palaces were built so that guests could see the Circus Maximus, and the competitions it staged, from their terraces. Although it is a public park today, you can still see the shape of the track that the chariots would have raced on 2,000 years ago.
Casa di Augusto
Augustus – Rome’s first emperor and nephew of Julius Caesar - lived on the Palatine Hill. He is said to have lived in simple surroundings compared to others of a similar status. Although his house was simple, he did hire the best painters of the day to decorate the building with beautiful frescoes. You can visit the house today as it has been rebuilt and restored by experts.
How to make the most of your visit to the Palatine Hill Rome
As you would expect, in keeping with the authenticity of such a historic site, there aren’t any signs or maps displayed on the Palatine Hill. A guided tour of the Palatine Hill is a good option - like those run by us at Avventure Bellissime.
As always, we would be delighted to help you explore it. We are an Italian holiday and Italian tour specialist and we offer several tour options:
Please feel free to get in touch at tours-italy.com for more information and guidance.
And if you would like to see what our guests who experienced our Italian tours with us earlier this year had to say, then please feel free to take a look at our Facebook page and you can also find us on Trip Advisor too.
Also, if you are looking for some travel inspiration similar to this guide on why you should visit Rome or any other Italian cities and sights, please do check out our other blog posts. We have many useful guides on Italian holidays.