If you visit the Colosseum, you have to see the Forum – it’s literally right across the street.
The forum known as the Forum Romanum looks like a disorderly collection of ruins and rock that can make the imagination run wild. Just look around and try to imagine what it looked like all those years ago. Remains of many buildings from different periods are visible. The forum used to house temples, basilicas and arches. The area is massive and is a must see site if you ever get a chance to visit Rome.
The forum is “one of the most important archaeological sites in the world." Three thousand years ago, this valley, which was to become the future social and political center of one of the greatest empires of ancient times, was submerged in marshland. By an incredible invention of engineering, a canal that is still in function to this very day, allowed for the drainage of the land. The area soon began to develop and by the end of the 7th century BC, it was home to many markets and buzzing with social activity. Source
The forum was the heartbeat of a modern city. “Here the masses would flock to see the meetings of the orators, attend criminal trials and discuss internal politics or the latest military campaigns, or quite simply to comment on the games or running races (an activity that the Romans particularly enjoyed). In the area around the Forum, the city was also home to markets, shops and taverns.” Source
I suggest going with a tour guide who can point out what many of the buildings used to be. Also, they will be able to take you to areas at the Forum where you can get amazing views of the Colosseum.
If you enjoyed this story, you might want to check out some of my other Rome Adventures:
The Piazza Navona