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Directly adjacent to the Roman Forum is its lesser-visited sibling, Palatine Hill. Rome’s emperor’s built many of their residences on this hill and its name gave us the modern word “palace” but unfortunately there’s not much left for our eyes to see today. Like the Forum below it, you’ll need a lot of imagination to mentally reconstruct Palatine Hill. Some areas are easier than others to imagine, such as the racetrack in today’s photo. This used to be the emperor’s private stadium and you can almost see the horses and athletes moving around in it. Had the structures of Palatine Hill managed to stay intact to this day they’d be a truly impressive sight to behold.

It seems like a majority people who visit the Forum skip over Palatine Hill but I’d encourage anyone who visits the Forum to at least take fifteen or so minutes and give it a look. Your ticket to the Forum includes entry to Palatine Hill (and the Colosseum) anyways, so you might as well get your money’s worth. Going up on Palatine Hill also has the nice bonus of giving you a view down on the grassy Circus Maximus, which used to be a chariot racecourse but today is just an empty field. It’s not worth it to visit the Circus Maximus unless you have absolutely nothing else to do, so looking down on it from Palatine Hill allows you to easily check it off your sightseeing list without wasting any time there.

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