A huge rectangle flanked by limestone columns, the foro was ancient Pompeii's main piazza, as well as the site of gladiatorial games before the Anfiteatro was constructed. The buildings surrounding the forum are testament to its role as the city's hub of civic, commercial, political and religious activity. At its northern end are the remains of the Tempio di Giove (Capitolium), the heart of religious life in Pompeii.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Pompeii attractions

1. Granai del Foro

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The Granai del Foro is now used to store hundreds of amphorae and a number of body casts that were made in the late 19th century by pouring plaster into…

2. Tempio di Apollo

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The oldest and most important of Pompeii's religious buildings, the Tempio di Apollo largely dates from the 2nd century BC, including the striking…

3. Tempio di Giove

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Built in the 2nd-century BC in honour of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, the Tempio di Giove was a nexus of religious activity. Its surviving elements include…

4. Macellum

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Dating from the 2nd century BC, the macellum was the city's main produce market. Note the 12 bases at the centre of the market, which were once stands for…

5. Basilica

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The basilica was the 2nd-century-BC seat of Pompeii's law courts and exchange. The semicircular apses would later influence the design of early Christian…

6. Tempio di Venere

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On the right as you enter the ruin's main entrance is the 1st-century BC Tempio di Venere, formerly one of the town's most opulent temples.

7. Antiquarium

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Pompeii's small museum hosts rotating exhibitions showcasing the site's archaeological finds and exploring various aspects of ancient Roman culture. The…

8. Casa del Poeta Tragico

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The 1st-century AD Casa del Poeta Tragico features the world's first-known 'beware of the dog' – cave canem – warnings. Visible through a protective glass…