Ancient Rome

An elaborate podium overlooking what was the main square on the Roman Forum, this is where Shakespeare had Mark Antony make his famous 'Friends, Romans, countrymen…' speech, and where politicians would stand to pontificate to the crowds below.

Its name is a reference to the bronze beaks (rostri, or rostra in Latin) taken from ships captured at the battle of Antium in 338 BC and used to decorate the giant platform.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ancient Rome attractions

1. Colonna di Foca

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The Colonna di Foca marks the centre of Piazza del Foro, the Roman Forum's principal square. The last monument erected on the forum, it was built in…

2. Miliarium Aureum

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A few marble remnants are all that survive of the Miliarium Aureum, a bronze-clad column erected by Augustus in 20 BC that served as the symbolic starting…

3. Arco di Settimio Severo

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Dedicated to the eponymous emperor and his two sons, Caracalla and Geta, the 23m-high Arco di Settimio Severo was built in the Roman Forum in AD 203 to…

4. Tempio di Saturno

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Eight granite columns are all that remain of the Tempio di Saturno, one of the Roman Forum's landmark sights. Inaugurated in 497 BC and subsequently…

5. Piazza del Foro

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This was originally the main square and meeting place on the Roman Forum. Its main feature is the free-standing Colonna di Foca.

6. Lapis Niger

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Hidden by scaffolding on the Roman Forum, the Lapis Niger ('Black Stone' in Latin) is a large slab of black marble that covered an underground area said…

7. Tempio della Concordia

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Overshadowed by the Campidoglio hill, this Roman Forum temple is a 1st-century reconstruction of an earlier 4th-century BC sanctuary.

8. Tempio di Vespasiano

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Three Corinthian columns are all that's left of this 1st-century AD temple, built on the Roman Forum by Domitian in honour of his brother Titus, and…