Along with the ticket you will get a map with over 50 locations marked. Do not be fooled by the way it looks once you enter. It spans acres and you might want to take some time to explore if you are a history junkie. Since directions given in the map are not accurate, it takes time to figure out few marked locations. There are options to hire an audio guide or tour guide for 20 euro but I feel it takes the fun out of exploring.
I made the mistake of exploring the ruins on the same day as the Colosseum. It was enervating. So it is better to get an early start, around 8.30 a.m. when the Roman Forum opens for public viewing and finish it by lunch time. It is advisable to pack snacks and water bottles to keep up your energy levels. For, depending on your interest, it maybe anywhere between 3 hours and 6 hours. I could hold out only for 4 hours and had to miss few locations due to sheer exhaustion.
Despite the handicap of summer heat, I could immerse myself in the atmosphere of what once was. The charm of the ruins was irresistible. It was the city the brothers Romulus and Remus created after their descend from the Palatine hill. It is the remnant of what I have only read in history.
Rome the way it is now, is a tourist hub and has embraced modernity. But the broken-down churches and disintegrated imperial city are very much a part of it. It is this picture of perfect harmony that I took with me when I left Rome after five days.