The Palatine Hill, site of the most ancient settlement of Rome, is part of the archeological park that includes the Roman Forum.  Most visitors to the shady garden on the top of hill probably arrive hot and tired after queuing at the main entrance then touring the vast number of ancient buildings and ruins around the Forum before climbing the steep hillside. On an April Monday there was no queue at all at the back gate on Via di San Gregorio.  From there an old stone road winds uphill through a quiet park of pine and olive trees, mown grass and ancient walls.


Layers of history from the house of Emperor Augustus (63 BC to 15AD) to the elegant aviaries of a Renaissance villa could provide hours of interest with a knowledgeable guide but the view down to the Forum quickly puts these buildings in context.

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Take your bearings from the top of the hill, then make your way down to join the crowds below.