Emperor Trajan’s Market, or more casually the World’s First Shopping Mall, has been converted into Rome’s newest museum. The Imperial Forums Museum opened in the fall of 2007 following two years of extensive renovations.
An impressive two story structure, Trajan’s Market was a forum built by Emperor Trajan in the second century. This was his lasting contribution to Rome and his forum is in the area occupied by the ancient forums of other emperors. The building was never used as a market, but the name has stuck regardless. Today Trajan’s Market is an impressive museum dedicated to the forums of all the Roman emperors.
Each room showcases a forum erected by a particular emperor. The Imperial forum exhibits include Caesar’s, Augustus’, Nerva’s, as well as Trajan’s with a collection of information in both English and Italian as well as a small collection of artifacts unearthed from the ruins. Many of the artifacts have only been uncovered in the last twenty years.
The museum is not yet ideally organized for the flow of information and visitors, but audio tours are available which help to direct you to the important aspects of the museum and narrate the experience as well as highlight the major finds in each area.
A Work in Progress
The museum is still under development, but as renovations and development continues, it will become even more astounding both inside and out. In the past, only the famous column inside Trajan’s forum brought visitors. But the renovation has helped tourists to see the structure and beauty of other buildings in the forum, including the museum.
All of the Imperial forums and other Roman landmarks are being touched up to make them friendlier to tourists, not just Trajan’s Market. This will allow visitors a better glimpse into the past and offer excavation experts and archeologists an opportunity to learn even more about what is hiding beneath the ground in the area.
Tickets to the museum are 6.50 Euro and can currently be purchased at the door. As the museum is new and not yet famous within the city, tickets are readily attained. However, if you’re planning a visit to the city in the future, you may do well to contact the museum about purchasing tickets in advance. The museum and surrounding forums are an absolute must-see while visiting Rome.