The Palatine Hill is the most historical of all the seven hills of Rome. It is also the most centrally located (being surrounded by the Aventine Hill – to the northwest – by the Aventine Hill – to the southwest – by the Caelian Hill – to the east – and by the Esquiline Hill – to the northeast), and the wealthiest in terms of historical and archeological sites. The hill is said to have been the first inhabited, even before the foundation of Rome proper. Thus, the archeological excavations carried out in time have brought to light traces of human dwellings which date back to the 10th century BC.

On top of its historical background, the Palatine Hill is also the set to which the most fundamental legends of Rome have been assigned: this is where the mythical she wolf found the twins Romulus and Remus (in the controversial Lupercal), and this is where Hercules is said to have defeated the monstrous Cacus who, as the legend goes, used to ravage the local’s livestock. The Palatine is, is briefly put, the place where the historical, political and cultural trajectory of Rome began. Thus, it’s no wonder to see here a wealth of vestiges which, without overstating, turn the Palatine Hill and its immediate surroundings into an open air archeological museum.

At present, the ongoing archeological excavations are highly likely to bring to light new evidences of how the hill used to be so important in ancient Rome. The new expected findings, together with the ones already dug out, prove that in ancient time the kings and then the emperors of Rome used to have their residences built on the Palatine. A handful of temples, as well as sundry other architectural structures (circuses, hippodromes), either still extant or surviving as vestiges, are also part of the Palatine Hill’s historical patrimony.

Historical sites on the Palatine Hill: the Lupercal, House of Livia, Temple of Apollo, Palace of Augustus, Palace of Tiberius, Palace of Domitian, Temple of Cybele, Flavian Palace

Gardens on the Palatine Hill: Farnese Gardens

Historical sites and monuments nearby the Palatine Hill: Arch of Constantine, Roman Forum, Coliseum, Circus Maximus

Palatine Hill (Collis Palatium / Mons Palatinus)
Rome, Italy