The Roman and Imperial Forums
“The center of Roman life in the days of the Republic, the Roman Forum was a stone quarry and cow pasture before excavations began in the 19th century. You need a map and guide to put some meaning to the ruins, which include numerous temples, the Umbilicus Urbus, considered the center of Rome (and, be extension, of the empire); the Curia, the main seat of the Roman Senate; and the House of the Vestal Virgins, home of the young women who minded the Temple of Vesta's sacred fire. The Imperial Forum was begun by Julius Caesar to show the power of the emperors. You can see his forum, once the site of the Roman stock exchange; the Forum of Augustus, built to commemorate the defeat of Caesar's assassins; the famous Trajan's Column, with bas-reliefs depicting the emperor's campaign against the Dacians' the Forum of Trajan' and much more.
(1000 Places to See Before You Die)”