Imperial Forum Rome Italy 

The Imperial Forums were an extension of the Roman Forum, built during Rome’s transition from a republic to an empire.

The Roman Forum needed more space to house the city’s growing population and political activity; this need for space led to the construction of the Imperial Forums.

Many prominent generals were involved in its construction; they’d later become emperors of Rome.

They built temples and additional public buildings to win over Rome’s people, setting their own forums.

The Imperial Forums served almost the same purposes as the ancient Roman Forum: people came here to worship the emperors and their gods, handle administrative matters, trade goods, and administer justice.

It includes Caesar’s, Augustus’s, Trajan’s, and Nerva’s Forums, each with its unique architectural marvels. 

Imperial Forum Rome History 

Imperial Forums are located next to the Roman Forum and were considered the hub of ancient political and public activities.

  • The Roman Empire, or Imperial Rome, lasted from 27 B.C.E. to C.E. 476. 
  • At its peak in C.E. 117, the empire controlled a vast territory extending from Western Europe to the Middle East.
  • Augustus Caesar founded the Roman Empire in 27 BC and came to power after the assassination of Julius Caesar. 
  • He helped restore the city and secure its frontiers. He also initiated large building projects and reformed laws within the imperial capital. 
  • After the death of Augustus, his successors continued expanding Rome’s frontier further.

However, temporary instability occurred, delaying the empire’s growth.

  • In 96 C.E., the Nervan-Antonin Dynasty resumed the empire’s development, including the emperors Nerva, Hadrian, Trajan, Marcus Aurelius, and Antoninus Pius.

Collectively, they are known as the Five Good Emperors for their expansion and control of the territory from Britain to parts of Mesopotamia. 

  • The empire’s vastness posed a significant challenge to governing Rome alone, so Diocletian split the empire into Eastern and Western halves.

This split, however, led to rivalry and civil war in the empire, which, as a result, led to its union under Constantine.

  • Constantine relocated the imperial capital from Rome to the ancient city of Byzantium, renaming it Constantinople.

The shift of the capital marked a turning point in Roman history. 

Pushing Rome into decline, marked by war infrastructure deterioration. The decline eventually led to the empire losing the western half of its territory. 

  • Eventually, the Roma Empire broke into two: the western half lasted until 476 CE, but the eastern half (the Byzantine Empire) survived till 1453 CE. 

Imperial Forum vs Roman Forum

The Roman Forum and Imperial Forum are significant historical sites in Rome, Italy. However, both had different histories and purposes.

While the Roman Forum was the hub of ancient Rome, with a complex of buildings and spaces, the Imperial Forums were a series of forums constructed by Roman emperors. 

Since they sound the same and are confusing, the differentiation below will help clarify them:

Roman Forum

tickets roman forum

Purpose: Center of public life

Location: Next to Palatine Hill

Construction Period: 7th century BC to 5th century AD

Size: Smaller

Building: Government buildings, Temples and Basilicas

Imperial Forum

Imperial Forum

Purpose: Additional space for public gatherings and government

Location: Next to the Roman Forum

Construction Period: 1st and 2nd centuries AD

Size: Larger

Building: Temples, government buildings, basilicas, and libraries

  • Roman Forum primarily reflects the architectural style of the Roman Republic, marked by classical columns and structures.

And the Imperial Forum features more ornate and splendid designs, displaying the Roman Empire’s luxury. 

  • While the Roman Forum was relatively packed, the Imperial Forums were significantly larger, reflecting the city’s growth from a republic to an empire. 

Individual Imperial Forums were built at the initiation of many emperors, including Julius Caesar, Augustus, Trajan, and Nerva, adding to Rome’s architectural variety. 

  • The Imperial Forum is next to the Roman Forum, set in line with the Forum of Trajan to the south and the Forum of Augustus to the north. 

The other two, Caesar and Nerva Forums, are between Augustus and Trajan’s Forums. 

In contrast, the Roman Forum is next to the Palatine and Capitoline hills.

The Roman Forum centers around public life in the Roman Republic and serves as a place of political gatherings, religious ceremonies, and commercial activities arranged in irregular layouts. 

Imperial Forum Rome Tickets

Imperial Forum Entry Ticket

Imperial Forum Entry Ticket

The Imperial Forum entry ticket is the most popular and cheapest among visitors. 

The ticket gives you fast-track access to the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and the Imperial Forum. 

You also get an audio guide providing detailed and insightful information along with the Imperial Forum entrance.

Ticket Prices 

Adult ticket (18 + years): €26

EU Citizen ticket (18 to 25 years): €12

Roman Forum with Imperial Forum tickets

Roman Forum with Imperial Forum tickets

For those seeking an intimate experience with close people, go with a Roman Forum semi-private tour.

Explore the historic center of the Ancient Roman Empire with an expert guide and learn about Rome’s gods, myths, and legends.

The tour includes Imperial Forums, Palatine Hill and Roman Fromun entrance tickets.

Ticket Prices 

Adult ticket (15 to 99 years): €55
Child ticket (3 to 14 years): €45

Infant ticket (Up to 2 years): Free Entry


What are the Imperial Forum Rome opening hours?

The Imperial Forum in Rome remains open throughout the year, typically from 9 am to 5:45 pm. 

It remains closed on Christmas (25 December) and New Year’s Day (1 January).

What is the Imperial Forum in Rome?

The Imperial Forum in Rome, an extension of the Roman Forum, arose during Rome’s transition to an empire. 

Prominent generals-turned-emperors constructed temples and public spaces to accommodate the growing population and political activities. 

These forums served diverse functions, much like the Roman Forum, and included architectural wonders in Caesar’s, Augustus’s, Trajan’s, and Nerva’s Forums.

What is the difference between the Roman Forum and the Imperial Forum?

The Imperial Forum and Roman Forum differ in historical context and purpose. 

The Roman Forum consisted of a smaller structure and was the center of public life during the Roman Republic. 

The Imperial Forum was an extension of the Roman Forum, with large opulent buildings showcasing the Roman Empire’s grandeur.

What are the five imperial foras in Rome?

The five Imperial Forums in Rome are Caesar’s Forum, Augustus’s Forum, Trajan’s Forum, Nerva’s Forum, and Vespasian’s Forum.

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