Visiting Palatine Hill, Rome: Top Attractions


By Meagan Drillinger

When it comes to exploring the ancient wonders of Rome, one cannot miss a visit to Palatine Hill. Located in the heart of the city, this historic site offers a glimpse into the grandeur and opulence of ancient Rome. As one of the seven hills of Rome, Palatine Hill is steeped in history and mythology, and is believed to be the birthplace of the city itself.

Stepping onto Palatine Hill is like stepping back in time. The ruins and remains of palaces, villas, and gardens can be seen throughout the site, with some dating back over 2,000 years. Among the top attractions on Palatine Hill are the Palace of Domitian, the House of Augustus, and the Farnese Gardens.

As you explore the ruins, you can’t help but be awed by the incredible views of the city. From Palatine Hill, you can see the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Circus Maximus. These panoramic views offer a unique perspective of Rome, allowing you to understand the layout and architecture of the city during ancient times.

Visiting Palatine Hill is not just about history and archaeology, it’s also a chance to connect with the myths and legends that surround the site. According to Roman mythology, Palatine Hill is where Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were found and raised by a she-wolf. The legend comes alive as you walk through the ruins, imagining what life must have been like in ancient Rome.

The Historical Importance of Palatine Hill

Palatine Hill, located in the ancient city of Rome, holds immense historical significance. It is believed to be one of the oldest parts of the city and is steeped in myth and legend. According to legend, it was on this hill that Romulus, the founder of Rome, established the city in 753 BC.

Throughout history, Palatine Hill has been the chosen location for the residences of Roman emperors, nobles, and wealthy citizens, earning it the reputation as the “Hill of the Emperors.” The hill is dotted with the ruins of these palaces and villas, offering a glimpse into the opulent lives lived by these elite individuals.

Several key emperors, such as Augustus and Tiberius, chose to build their palaces on Palatine Hill, solidifying its status as a symbol of power and prestige in ancient Rome. The hill also served as the administrative center of the Roman Empire, with important government buildings and institutions located within its confines.

Besides its association with Roman emperors and nobility, Palatine Hill is also significant for its archaeological discoveries. Excavations on the hill have unearthed ancient artifacts, mosaics, and frescoes that provide valuable insights into the daily lives and culture of ancient Romans.

Today, visitors to Palatine Hill can explore the ruins of these ancient palaces and villas, walking in the footsteps of the emperors and nobles who once called this hill their home. The hill offers panoramic views of the surrounding city, including the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts.

Roman Emperors’ Palaces

The Palatine Hill in Rome is home to several palaces that were once occupied by Roman emperors. These palaces were lavish and grand, symbolizing the power and opulence of the Roman Empire.

One of the most famous palaces on the Palatine Hill is the Palace of Augustus. This palace was the residence of Emperor Augustus, the first emperor of Rome. It is known for its beautiful gardens and luxurious rooms, which were adorned with mosaics and frescoes.

Another notable palace is the Palace of Tiberius, which was built by Emperor Tiberius. This palace featured stunning views of the city and had a grand entrance known as the “Lupercal,” which was used for important ceremonies and events.

The Palace of Domitian was another impressive palace on the Palatine Hill. It was built by Emperor Domitian and was renowned for its elaborate decorations and architectural features, such as its stunning marble floors and ornate columns.

Visitors to the Palatine Hill can explore the ruins of these magnificent palaces and imagine what life was like for the Roman emperors. The remains of these palaces provide insight into the grandeur and splendor of the Roman Empire and offer a glimpse into the lives of its rulers.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Roman Emperors’ palaces during your visit to Palatine Hill. It’s a chance to step back in time and explore the rich history of ancient Rome.

The House of Augustus

The House of Augustus is one of the main attractions on Palatine Hill in Rome. It was the residence of the first Roman Emperor, Augustus, and is known for its rich history and exquisite architecture.

The House of Augustus was built in the 1st century BC and served as Augustus’ private residence for most of his reign. The house is a true testament to the wealth and power of Augustus, with its grand rooms and luxurious decorations.

One of the most impressive features of the House of Augustus is the stunning frescoes that adorn its walls. These frescoes depict various scenes from Augustus’ life, including his military victories and his political achievements. The intricate details and vibrant colors of these frescoes make them truly remarkable.

Inside the house, visitors can also see the beautiful gardens and courtyards that were once enjoyed by Augustus and his family. These gardens were meticulously designed and maintained, and they offer a peaceful retreat from the bustling city below.

Another highlight of the House of Augustus is the impressive collection of statues and artworks that are on display. These pieces of art reflect the wealth and taste of Augustus, and they provide a glimpse into the artistic culture of ancient Rome.

Visiting the House of Augustus is a fascinating journey through the life and legacy of one of Rome’s most influential figures. It offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience the opulence and grandeur of ancient Rome firsthand.

Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply curious about ancient Rome, a visit to the House of Augustus is a must-see attraction on Palatine Hill.

The House of Livia

The House of Livia is one of the most well-preserved ruins on Palatine Hill in Rome. This ancient Roman house, believed to have been the residence of Livia Drusilla, the wife of Emperor Augustus, offers a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of the Roman elite.

The house features beautiful frescoes, intricate mosaics, and impressive architectural details. Visitors can explore the various rooms, including the Atrium, the Andron (a room for entertaining guests), the Tablinum (the master’s office and reception area), and the garden. The walls of the house are adorned with stunning frescoes depicting scenes from everyday life, nature, and mythology.

One of the highlights of the House of Livia is the beautiful Garden Room. This small and intimate space is decorated with delicate frescoes of plants and birds, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere. It is believed that this room may have been Livia’s private sanctuary, where she could relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Another notable feature of the house is the Peristyle, an open courtyard surrounded by columns. This area offers a beautiful view of the surrounding landscape, including the Circus Maximus and the Roman Forum.

Visiting the House of Livia provides a unique opportunity to step back in time and immerse oneself in the luxurious lifestyle of ancient Rome’s elite. The well-preserved ruins and beautiful artwork offer insights into the daily life, taste, and aesthetic preferences of Livia and her contemporaries.

The Stadium of Domitian

The Stadium of Domitian, also known as the Circus Agonalis, is an ancient Roman stadium located on Palatine Hill in Rome. It was built in the 1st century AD by Emperor Domitian as a venue for various athletic events and competitions.

The stadium was primarily used for foot races and could accommodate up to 20,000 spectators. It was one of the largest structures of its kind in ancient Rome. The shape of the stadium was elongated and curved, resembling a horseshoe.

Today, visitors can still see the remains of the stadium, including the central track and parts of the stands. The track is made of marble and measures around 180 meters in length. The stands were originally made of wood but were later replaced with stone.

Fun fact: The Stadium of Domitian is often overshadowed by the nearby Colosseum, but it played an important role in ancient Roman society. It was a place where the citizens could gather and watch sporting events, reinforcing social cohesion.

Visiting the Stadium of Domitian provides a unique opportunity to step back in time and imagine what life was like in ancient Rome. It is a must-see attraction for history enthusiasts and those interested in ancient sports.

The Farnese Gardens

The Farnese Gardens, also known as the Orti Farnesiani, are a beautiful and historic attraction located on Palatine Hill in Rome. These gardens were originally created in the late 16th century and were part of the Farnese family’s palace complex.

The gardens offer visitors a tranquil escape from the bustling city streets of Rome. They are filled with lush greenery, colorful flowers, and various statues and fountains. The layout of the gardens is designed in the Italian Renaissance style, with symmetrical geometric patterns and pathways.

One of the highlights of the Farnese Gardens is the magnificent view they offer over the Roman Forum and the rest of the city. From certain vantage points, visitors can see iconic landmarks such as the Colosseum and the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument.

In addition to the stunning views and beautiful landscaping, the Farnese Gardens also feature an ancient Roman nymphaeum, which is a decorative fountain structure. This nymphaeum is adorned with intricate carvings and is a fascinating example of Roman architecture and engineering.

Visitors can explore the Farnese Gardens at their own pace, taking in the sights and sounds of this historic oasis. The gardens are a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, offering a peaceful and picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll or a relaxing picnic.

Whether you are a history buff, a nature lover, or simply looking for a serene escape in the heart of Rome, the Farnese Gardens are a must-visit attraction. So, be sure to add them to your itinerary when exploring Palatine Hill!

The Palatine Museum

The Palatine Museum is a must-visit attraction for history enthusiasts and art lovers alike. Located on Palatine Hill in Rome, this museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the ancient Romans.

The museum showcases a wide range of artifacts and artworks excavated from the Palatine Hill and surrounding areas. It houses an impressive collection of statues, frescoes, mosaics, and everyday objects that provide valuable insights into the daily lives, beliefs, and cultural practices of the ancient inhabitants of Rome.

One of the highlights of the museum is the Farnese Hercules, a colossal marble statue depicting the mythical hero Hercules. This masterpiece is renowned for its exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Another notable exhibit is the Romolo and Remo sculpture, which depicts the legendary founders of Rome being suckled by a she-wolf. This iconic artwork is a symbol of the city’s origins and is steeped in mythological significance.

In addition to the ancient artifacts, the Palatine Museum also houses a collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings. These artworks illustrate the enduring influence of ancient Roman culture on later artistic movements.

Visitors can explore the museum at their own pace, taking in the rich history and artistry on display. The well-curated exhibits and informative signage make it easy to understand and appreciate the significance of each artifact.

Whether you are a history buff or simply curious about the ancient world, a visit to the Palatine Museum is an enriching experience that will transport you back in time. Don’t miss the opportunity to delve into the fascinating history and culture of ancient Rome.

The Hut of Romulus

The Hut of Romulus is one of the most important archaeological sites on Palatine Hill in Rome. According to legend, it is the birthplace of the city’s founder and first king, Romulus. The hut is believed to be the humble dwelling where Romulus and his twin brother Remus were raised by the she-wolf.

The Hut of Romulus is a small rectangular structure with a thatched roof. It is made of mud bricks and was originally built in the 9th century BC. The hut has been rebuilt and renovated over the centuries, but it still retains its ancient charm and significance.

Visitors can see the remains of the hut, including its foundations and walls. It is a fascinating glimpse into the early history of Rome and provides insight into the humble origins of the city. The hut is surrounded by beautiful gardens and offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere for visitors to enjoy.

While the legend of Romulus and Remus may be mythical, the Hut of Romulus is a tangible reminder of Rome’s ancient past. It is a must-visit attraction for history enthusiasts and anyone interested in the rich history of Rome.

The Temple of Cybele

The Temple of Cybele, also known as the Temple of Magna Mater, is one of the ancient Roman temples located on Palatine Hill. It is dedicated to Cybele, the ancient Phrygian goddess of fertility, earth, and nature.

The temple was built during the Imperial period, specifically in the 1st century AD, and it is considered one of the largest and most impressive temples on Palatine Hill. The temple was constructed using marble and featured a large podium with a flight of stairs leading up to the entrance.

The interior of the temple was adorned with beautiful statues and intricate architectural details. The centerpiece of the temple was a statue of Cybele, which was considered a symbol of her divine presence.

Visitors to the Temple of Cybele can still see the remains of the temple, including the podium and the stairs. Although much of the temple has been destroyed over time, the remnants provide a glimpse into the grandeur of the ancient structure.

Exploring the Temple of Cybele allows visitors to learn about the ancient Roman culture and their worship of different deities. It is a fascinating historical site that offers a unique experience for those interested in archaeology and ancient history.

When visiting Palatine Hill, make sure to include the Temple of Cybele on your itinerary. It is a must-see attraction that provides a glimpse into the religious practices of ancient Rome and the importance of the goddess Cybele in their society.

The Temple of Jupiter Stator

The Temple of Jupiter Stator is one of the most important and famous attractions on Palatine Hill in Rome. It is an ancient Roman temple dedicated to the god Jupiter Stator, and it is believed to have been built in the 4th century BC.

The temple is located at the south-eastern corner of the hill, and it is surrounded by other significant ruins and structures, including the House of Augustus and the Domus Augustana. The temple is easily recognizable by its massive Corinthian columns and its well-preserved pediment.

Inside the temple, visitors can see the remains of the original altar and the foundations of the main building. There are also several statues and artifacts on display that were found during archaeological excavations.

According to Roman mythology, the Temple of Jupiter Stator was built to commemorate the god Jupiter’s intervention in a battle between the Romans and the Sabines. It is said that Jupiter appeared to the Roman general Romulus and told him to build a temple on the spot where he had seen an eagle perch on a rock during the battle.

Today, the Temple of Jupiter Stator is a popular tourist attraction and is included in most guided tours of Palatine Hill. Visitors can explore the ruins and learn about the ancient Roman religion and mythology that the temple represents.

Overall, the Temple of Jupiter Stator is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Palatine Hill in Rome. Its historical and cultural significance, combined with its impressive architecture, make it a fascinating destination for travelers interested in ancient Roman history.

The Domus Flavia

The Domus Flavia is one of the most impressive attractions at Palatine Hill in Rome. It was the luxurious residence of the emperors in ancient times.

This grand palace complex is a testament to the opulence and grandeur of the Roman Empire. It consists of several interconnected courtyards, gardens, and rooms that were used for various purposes.

One of the main highlights of the Domus Flavia is the Large Coenatio, also known as the Banquet Hall. This massive room was used for hosting extravagant feasts and important ceremonies. It features beautiful frescoes and marble decoration, showcasing the wealth and taste of the ancient Romans.

Another notable feature is the Stadium, a large oval-shaped courtyard that was used for sporting events and entertainment. It was surrounded by porticoes and provided a stunning view of the surrounding landscape.

Inside the Domus Flavia, you can also find the Octagonal Room, which is believed to have been a private audience chamber for the emperors. This octagonal-shaped room is adorned with intricate marble carvings and colorful mosaics.

Exploring the Domus Flavia offers a glimpse into the extravagant lifestyle of the Roman emperors. Walking through its grand halls and imagining the lavish celebrations that took place here is truly awe-inspiring.

Visiting the Domus Flavia is a must for history enthusiasts and anyone interested in experiencing the grandeur of ancient Rome. Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the fascinating world of the emperors and be transported back in time to the height of Roman civilization.

The Hippodrome of Domitian

The Hippodrome of Domitian is one of the most fascinating sites to visit when exploring Palatine Hill in Rome. This ancient stadium was built by Emperor Domitian in the 1st century AD and was used for chariot races and other public events.

The hippodrome is located near the top of Palatine Hill and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. It is an impressive structure with a long and narrow rectangular shape. The track was lined with rows of seating for spectators, and there were also several large statues and obelisks placed around the perimeter.

One of the most remarkable features of the hippodrome is the underground complex. Beneath the track, there are a series of tunnels and chambers that were used for various purposes. Some of these chambers housed the animals that were used in the races, while others were used for storage or as living quarters for the workers.

Today, visitors can walk along the track and explore the underground chambers. The site also offers informative displays and exhibits that provide insight into the history and significance of the hippodrome.

Visiting the Hippodrome of Domitian is a unique opportunity to experience a piece of ancient Roman history. Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply interested in exploring Rome’s past, this site is not to be missed.

Location: Palatine Hill, Rome, Italy
Opening hours: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Admission: Included in the ticket for Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum


What are the top attractions on Palatine Hill in Rome?

The top attractions on Palatine Hill in Rome include the Palatine Museum, the House of Augustus, the House of Livia, and the Farnese Gardens.

How much does it cost to visit Palatine Hill?

The cost to visit Palatine Hill is €12 for adults, €7.50 for European Union citizens between 18 and 24 years old, and free for EU citizens under 18 years old.

What is the best time of day to visit Palatine Hill?

The best time of day to visit Palatine Hill is early in the morning or late in the afternoon when it is less crowded. This will allow you to enjoy the attractions and the view without too many people around.

How long does it take to explore Palatine Hill?

The time it takes to explore Palatine Hill can vary depending on your interests, but on average, it takes about 1 to 2 hours to see the main attractions and take in the beautiful views of Rome.


Exploring Ancient Rome: Colosseum, Palatine Hill, & Roman Forum | ITALY

Photo of author

Meagan Drillinger

Meagan Drillinger, an avid travel writer with a passion ignited in 2009. Having explored over 30 countries, Mexico holds a special place in her heart due to its captivating cultural tapestry, delectable cuisine, diverse landscapes, and warm-hearted people. A proud alumnus of New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, when she isn’t uncovering the wonders of New York City, Meagan is eagerly planning her next exhilarating escapade.

Leave a Comment