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Where: Rome

As the saying goes, all roads lead to Rome, and in the Ancient World, all roads led to the . Spread out in the valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Roman Forum was the center of the Roman Empire from about 500 B.C. to 400 A.D. All aspects of public life took place here: triumphal processions, elections, public speeches, criminal trials, gladiatorial matches, and commercial affairs. Here, Marc Anthony delivered Julius Caesar's funeral oration and Augustus built the Temple to the Deified Caesar. In 2011, the Tempio di Vesta, where the vestal virgins lived, reopened to the public, granting visitors access to this sacred site.

Insider Tip: Take a guided tour to learn about the significance of the ruins and hear fascinating stories of Imperial Rome. Be sure to visit as well.

Plan Your Trip: Visit

Awe-Inspiring Ruins From the World's Greatest Civilizations

Yahoo Southeast Asia Newsroom

Appearing in literature, songs, and films, these mystical sculptures, sacred religious sites, royal palaces, fortifications, ancient centers of commerce, ports, and tombs are all we have left of some of history's most illustrious societies. While some sites were lost for centuries, engulfed by overgrown jungles, others never fell out of use. Either way, these awe-inspiring places are sure to inspire travelers looking for adventure and a connection to the past.

by Laura Itzkowtiz