Palatine Hill - History and Facts | History Hit

Palatine Hill

Rome, Lazio, Italy

The Palatine Hill is known as the birthplace of Rome, and houses some of the city’s most impressive ancient sites.

Lily Johnson

23 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Palatine Hill

The Palatine Hill or Palatino is considered as the birthplace of Rome. One of Rome’s 7 hills, the Palatine Hill is closely linked with the city’s history and today houses some of its most ancient and important sites.

Palatine Hill history

Legend has it that the twins Romulus and Remus were taken to Palatine Hill by the she-wolf who raised them, and here they founded a village which would become Rome.

In a dispute over who was the rightful leader of the new settlement, Romulus eventually killed his brother at the Palatine Hill, thus becoming the namesake of Rome. Indeed, the Palatine Hill is where the earliest huts of Rome were found, supposedly built under the remit of Romulus himself.

As it developed, the Palatine Hill became one of the most affluent areas in Ancient Rome and was already a coveted address by the 1st century BC during the Republic. This continued under the Roman Empire, when the Palatine Hill was home to Rome’s most prominent figures. It was also where the first Emperor of the Roman Empire, Augustus, was born in 63 BC.

Palatine Hill today

Today, the Palatine Hill offers some of Rome’s best ancient sites and is a must-see, especially for history enthusiasts.

Amongst the buildings excavated at the Palatine Hill are the House of Augustus, the House of Livia (Augustus’s wife), the home of several of Rome’s emperors – the Domus Augustana – and the Palace of Septimius Severus.

The Palatine Museum may also be found there, which holds a host of fascinating finds from the golden age of the Palatine Hill, while the Hippodrome of Domitan may also be found – experts aren’t sure whether it was actually used for racing or just as an extravagant garden!

Getting to Palatine Hill

Palatine Hill is located in the centre of Rome and is easily accessible by foot. The Colosseo tram and bus stop is a 10-minute walk away, while the nearest Metro station is Circo Massimo, a 12-minute walk away.

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