The Palatino (“Palatine Hill”) is one of the famous seven hills of Rome. It was the first one that was inhabited. According to legend Romulus founded Rome on its slopes, in the year 753 BC. Some years ago the Lupercale, the cave where Remus and Romulus are thought to have been fed by the she-wolf, was discovered.
Palatine Hill Rome
Covid update: At the moment (April 2021) the area is closed..
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Via di San Gregorio, 30 – Rome. The ticket is a three-in-one together with the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. Detailed opening hours, admission and other practical information Palatino.
It is very likely that there were already people living on the Palatine Hill before the year 753 BC. It was a good spot for a settlement. The hill looked out over the Tiber Island, which was the easiest place to cross the river.
In the heyday of the Roman Empire, Emperors chose their dwellings on the hill. It was also here that the earliest temples were built. When other rich Romans started building here, commerce and bureaucracy moved to the Roman Forum.
It was the Emperor Augustus who had upped the prestige of the Palatine Hill, by settling there and by building a.o. the Temple of Apollo. His successors Tiberius and Caligula constructed ever bigger dwellings.
The biggest palace of all was built by Domitianus, however. The ruins of this building still dominate the skyline of the hill.
Subsequent emperors continued the building spree. Trajan had spectator seats constructed in order to better be able to follow the games in the adjacent Circus Maximus, while Septimius Severus commissioned the construction of a huge bathhouse.
After the 9th century AD the Palatine Hill lost its importance and gradually became more and more dilapidated. Its palaces and other buildings were dismantled and plundered and the stone and marble were used for new constructions. Several Roman churches and convents have been built using material taken from the Palatine Hill.
The Palatino comprises around 2 square km and takes up the area between the Circus Maximus and the Roman Forum. In the old days it was reached via the Clivus Palatinus, a steep road that started at the Forum Romanum.
Of the time of the kings and of the Roman Republic, when the Palatine Hill was populated by the wealthier citizens of Rome, there are but few traces left.
Palatine Hill Highlights
House of Romulus
The House of Romulus (Casa Romuli) is located on the western slope of the Palatine Hill. It is one of a number of huts that were discovered here in 1946. Holes along its circumference indicate where the walls and the doors were.