The Palatine Hill is situated between the Colosseum, Circus Maximus, and the Roman Forum. It is considered the birthplace of Rome. One of Rome’s seven hills, the Palatine Hill is linked with the city’s history and where many important figures lived.
According to legend the Palatine hill was the location of a cave where two infants Remus and Romulus were brought in by a she-wolf. She kept them alive until a shepherd named Faustulus found them and he and his wife brought them up and raised them. When the two brothers were older they fought over the right to be the leader of the new settlement. Romulus eventually killed his brother at the Palatine Hill. Romulus picked this hill as an ideal place to build a new city and this became the namesake of Rome.
Over time Palatine Hill became one of the most affluent areas in Ancient Rome and was a desirable place to live by the first century BC during the Republic. During the Roman Empire the Palatine Hill was home to Rome’s most prominent figures, Cicero, Mark Anthony, Nero and Domitian. Also the first Emperor of the Roman Empire, Augustus was born here in 63 BC.
Domus Flavia and Domus Augustana are among the best-preserved ruins on Palatine Hill. Domitian’s palace was built in AD 81. The Domus Flavia was the wing used for state functions and the Domus Augustana; a huge and lavish palace was his private residence. The Palace of Septimius Severus was an extension of the Domus Augustana and was built during the reign of the Roman Emperor Lucius Septimius Severus.
The Stadium of Domitian was built by Domitian, the Roman Emperor from 51-96 AD. He had a huge passion for sports so he had it built for athletic contests. It was also used for gladiatorial combats after a fire destroyed the Coliseum.
The House of Livia dates from the 1st century BC, it is where Emperor Augustus and his wife Livia lived.
House of Augustus will be the first major site you see upon entering the Palatine Hill. This was the modest home of Ancient Rome’s first emperor, Augustus. Visiting the house will give you first-hand experience of walking through an ancient Roman house.
House of Tiberius was the first of the imperial palaces to be built on the Palatine Hill. It is located behind the Temple of Magna Mater and overlooks the Roman Forum.
The Temple of Cybele was Rome's first and most important temple to the Magna Mater, known to the Greeks as Cybele. The temple was sited on the high slope of the hill, overlooking the valley of the Circus Maximus and facing the temple of Ceres on the slopes of the Aventine.
The Farnese Gardenn, one of the first botanical gardens in Europe was created by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese in the mid 16th century. It overlooks the Forum and the Arch of Titus.
Temple of Victory was built by general Lucius Postumius Megellus. It was used to house Cybele's sacred stone between 204 BC and 191 BC.
Temple of Apollo was located next to Augustus' house. Erected by Augustus and dedicated to his patron god Apollo. In 28 BC this temple was completed on the very same ground which was struck by lightning right after Augustus held his campaign against Sextus Pompeius. Augustus immediately saw a sign of the Gods and began constructing one of the most outstanding complexes in all of Rome. There are some remains of the structure left and surviving works of art can be seen in the nearby Palatine Museum.