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How busy is Roman Forum / Palatine on free days

1) I just purchased tickets to the Forum / Palatine - they are "open tickets" we could use Sunday May 3 or Monday May 4.

2) I had seen that there was no "free admission day" for the Colosseum around that time. But when I clicked for the "house of Agustus", "house of Livia", think of May 3, I found that they weren't available - I assume its a free day and the SUPER sites are closed on free days.

3) FINE - we'll go on Monday (while two friends will be in the Colosseum and then they'll join us)
The Domus Transitoria was available (open) for Monday, so I reserved 4 spots for Monday (us and the friends).

Our AirBnb is very nearby.

I'm wondering if any of you have been to a free day at the Forum / Palatine (during almost-busy-season) and have a feel for how fast it gets crowded?

We could easily see some of it on the free day (Sunday super early?) and then come back, using our tickets another day. Or should we just plan to go elsewhere on the free day?

P.S. we have a Vatican Tour scheduled for Tuesday AM, so that day's big activity is allotted.

Posted by
11486 posts

Evan, I can't find anything (in English, anyway) that explains why reservations for SUPER sites aren't available on May 3rd. According to the Beniculturali website, the Colosseum Archeological Park (which includes the Palatine and Forum) is free on May 9th and not May 3rd in 2020.

Posted by
364 posts

That top link must be where I had gotten my info.
I remember reading that.
We 4 had thought we'd see the Forum + SUPER sites on Sunday together and the other couple would do the Colosseum the next day at their assigned entry time.

There are lots of places (streets) we want to go and walk - so there's always stuff to do.
But I want to spend more time than our friends at the Circus Maximus side of the Palatine hill. I've been 'there' twice and have never been down that side of the hill - I've missed a lot.

SO, if I can get in easily (early - if the lines aren't bad), I'd just walk for an hour or two.
I've heard / read that you have to go through a ticket line (even though they're free. I don'k know if the Forum/Palatine area has security (another line to slow me down).

Posted by
69 posts

To piggy back on this, what are some places that are free on Sundays that won’t be crowded, despite free admission?

Posted by
11486 posts

Daniel, I doubt you'll be working around free Sundays as the Italian Powers That Be did away with those a year or so ago at the State museums during the summer months; free only from Oct. - March. The museums were given 6-8 additional days to assign at their discretion + there was an entire free "Culture Week" in March.

Last I read anywhere, they were still mulling over how to handle 2020 free days but I may have missed something. This from back in 2018 when they nixed regular spring/summer free Sundays:

LOL, they announced Culture Week so late in the game last year that it threw quite the wrench at people who'd pre-purchased museum tours (which were cancelled and payments refunded.)