For so long the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina was the first site I visited after entering the Forum Romanum. Back in the day you had to enter from the Via del Fori Imperiali and actually pay 12,000 lire... Now things have changed and this entrance (and paying to enter) have become a thing of the past. As it should be, entrance into the forum is now free BUT your freedom is much more restricted. Unfortunately, you now must remain within an enclosed space and see the sites from a short distance. Frustrating it is, but I guess I understand. It is always disappointing, though, that few sightseers actually venture into the forum and fewer still really understand what they are looking at. In case you were interested, my favorite entrance now into the forum is down from the Capitoline Hill and near the Mamertine Prison (Tullianum). The best exit remains walking past the Arch of Titus and into the plaza containing the Colosseum. Oh yeah... that's where the crowds are!
I posted this photograph, taken in July 2005, because I was feeling guilty that I hadn't written in a while. I must make more of an effort!