The Trajan’s Market and the Imperial Forums form one of the largest archeological sites of Rome. This priceless nucleus of ancient vestiges is located at the opposite end of the street which covers the distance between the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia, namely, Via dei Fori Imperiali. The vestiges lie on both sides of the road. The road gave rise to plenty of debates during its construction under Mussolini, mostly due to the fact that, while it did occasion the excavation of numerous ruins, it also damaged and led to the irrecoverable loss of plenty other ancient relics.

The site is divided, so to speak, in 6 sections, succeeding, east to west, as follows: the Peace Forum (Foro della Pace), also called the Temple of Peace (Tempio della Pace), the Nerva Forum (Foro di Nerva), the Augustus Forum (Foro di Augusto), the Caesar Forum (Foro di Cesare), the Trajan’s Forum (Foro di Traiano) and, finally, the Trajan’s Market (Mercati di Traiano).

The Caesar Forum is the oldest of all. It was built in 46 BC, and restored under Trajan. The Augustus Forum was constructed in the year 2 BC, followed by the Temple of Peace (in 75 AD), by the Nerva Forum (98 AD) and eventually by the Trajan’s Market (between 100 and 110 AD) and by the Trajan Forum (between 112 and 113). The history of the latter two sections is the most documented. They were built by Apollodorus of Damascus, the faithful architect of Trajan. As far as the forum is concerned, it was built following Trajan’s victory over Dacia. The monument dedicated precisely to this event is the imposing Trajan’s Column (erected in 113 AD highly likely under the supervision of the same Apollodorus of Damascus). The column is located in the Trajan’s Forum, overlooking the entire complex from its 30-meter height.

The whole site is worth searching out, since it provides a close image of the ancient Roman concepts of urban planning and of the architectural implications of their urban undertakings. Holders of a Roma Pass can definitely enjoy the visit with considerable discounts.

Trajan’s Market and the Museum of the Imperial Forums (Mercati di Traiano / Museo dei Fori Imperiali)
94, Via IV Novembre, 00187, Rome, Italy
0039 06 0608
[email protected]
Opening hours:
Tuesday to Sunday: 9am to 7pm