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A bit confused, re: colosseum/forum/palatine

rocky mtns
Level Contributor
169 posts
1 review
5 helpful votes
A bit confused, re: colosseum/forum/palatine

Hello everyone,

I've been wondering about visiting the colosseum, forum and palatine hill the same day.

Initially, I was concerned about getting to all 3 in one day, as I'd read that you can't re-enter the sites if you leave, based on the tickets I'd seen. Reading some other posts (which I haven't relocated all of) left me a little less clear about the whole matter. My understanding now is that the three sites are not connected, so you need to leave in any case. But, apparently you can enter the various sites individually with the single ticket, except that you need to go to the colosseum first for the tickets to be validated even though we might purchase them at a different location.

So, if I've got it right, we could go to the Palatine Hill entrance and buy 2 tickets there (to avoid crowds at the colosseum), then we can go over to the colosseum, tour it then come out and go to the Palatine then the Forum all on the same tickets. A stop for lunch somewhere would also be included.

Is this correct? (If you can decipher what I wrote, that is, I know trying to put in writing didn't clear up a lot for me.)

Is this reasonable to do in one day? One of the other posts I read mentioned that the tickets were good for a 2-day period. We'd prefer to go the same day as the three sites are in the same locality, but would want to have enough time to not be too rushed. Otherwise, I guess we'd want to look at combining the visit with another site (Campidoglio maybe?) on a second day.

We'd be walking from our hotel, incidentally, which looks to be about a mile away (as the crow flies), sort of between the Termini and Trevi Fountain.

Thank you in advance for your replies.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
166 posts
11 reviews
17 helpful votes
1. Re: A bit confused, re: colosseum/forum/palatine

This is a great question as I am trying to plan this as well and wondering how much time to allot for all 3 sites. It is somewhat confusing on the websites.

I hadn't heard about having to visit the Colosseum in order to validate the ticket so perhaps someone could confirm this?


Level Contributor
17,790 posts
2. Re: A bit confused, re: colosseum/forum/palatine

There is no particular order in which to do the three sites and no obligation to visit the Colosseum first. The Colosseum is physically separate from the Forum and the Palatine, but the Forrum and the Palatine are interconnected, so you could buy the ticket at the Palatine, visit the Palatine and the Forum (or vice-versa), have lunch (avoid the places right around the Colosseum), then visit the Colosseum.

Level Contributor
290 posts
68 reviews
14 helpful votes
3. Re: A bit confused, re: colosseum/forum/palatine

Any recommendations for places to grab a quick bite in that area? I'm not sure what order I will visit the 3 sites but I plan to leave a full day for it starting around 10am. I know by 2 pm, I will want to have something light to eat, not a full meal, yet I also don't want to wander very far away. Thanks.

Taylorsville, Utah
Level Contributor
1,290 posts
4 reviews
1 helpful vote
4. Re: A bit confused, re: colosseum/forum/palatine

I can't think of any by name, but things will be a lot more expensive if the place is next to the sites. Walking a block or two will save you money. If all you want is a snack, there are carts with food, but the ones right by the place will charge a fortune.

Charleston, South...
Level Contributor
91 posts
8 reviews
67 helpful votes
5. Re: A bit confused, re: colosseum/forum/palatine

I was just reading the ticket website last night and I recall it said the tickets are valid, once used for the first time, for 48 hours, so it sounds like you could certainly leave and come back. And from what others have said on this forum (in other posts), it also sounds like you can go to Palatine Hill first if you want. This is all just hearsay, though, but I think you should be okay...

As for doing all three in one day, I would think certainly, but I'm definitely not a tour person and I get bored somewhat easily. I think that two days for this seems a bit much, but that's just strictly my opinion.

rocky mtns
Level Contributor
169 posts
1 review
5 helpful votes
6. Re: A bit confused, re: colosseum/forum/palatine

Thank you everyone for your replies. That was quick.

It sounds like seeing the three in one day shouldn't be a problem, which is what we were hoping to do.

I didn't really care whether we visit the Colosseum first or not, but did what to know if we did in fact have to go there first so we didn't waste time. It would seem logical to go on to Palatine hill if that's where we bought the tickets, but they look close together so I'm guessing it wouldn't be a problem to go either way.

Thank you for the tips about lunch also. That's good to know. I was wondering what we'd do for lunch if we couldn't leave the sites and then come back.

Does anyone know of a good guide/plat/description of the roman forum, incidentally? I also recall reading that it's much better to have a guide of some sort so we know what we're looking at.

Thank you again.

Destination Expert
for Rome
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42,268 posts
18 reviews
120 helpful votes
7. Re: A bit confused, re: colosseum/forum/palatine

I like the audio guides by pocketvox. It allows you to go at your own pace and start and stop when you wish.

As for lunch, I would suggest going a few blocks away to find something or you'll pay a higher price for so-so food.

You can visit all three sites on the same day but the ticket is good for two consecutive days. You are only allowed one entry to each site but it can be split up between two days. The colosseum is just across the street from the forum and palatine hill.


Tucson, AZ
Level Contributor
3 posts
34 reviews
6 helpful votes
8. Re: A bit confused, re: colosseum/forum/palatine

Not lots of eating choices - but, here is my suggestion. Across from the colosseum a row of building fronts with a few cafes and along the left side there are many as you walk along. HOWEVER, as you can imagine they are very touristie.... continue walking about 3-4 blocks and you are now in a wonderful Itialian neighborhood - most any corner has cafe or so on it... I know because in October 2010 I rented an apartment in that neighborhood.

Have a great trip and if I can help you I will.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
26,113 posts
61 reviews
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9. Re: A bit confused, re: colosseum/forum/palatine

To follow things historically you are probably best to start in the Forum and work up to the Palatine but it is a matter of choice. The advantage of entering either in Via dei Fori Imperali or on the Palatine is that there are rarely long lines to buy tickets. Technically you could purchase the ticket on the Via, walk a block down the road and enter at the colosseum first if you prefer.

While the tickets are good for two days, you can enter each site only once. Of course, since the Forum and Palatine are contiguous, you could go back to them again if you enter by a different gate.

rocky mtns
Level Contributor
169 posts
1 review
5 helpful votes
10. Re: A bit confused, re: colosseum/forum/palatine


Thank you for your replies. It's very helpful.

I can't see any reason why we shouldn't try to visit them all the same day. And start at the forum and Palatine.

Thanks also for the eating tips. We'll wander off a few blocks as suggested.

I'll look into the pocketvox guides. Are they available as MP3's do you know?

Thank you again for all the help.