Some of my fondest memories from my study abroad semester in Rome center around the Forum. I spent countless afternoons wandering the ancient ruins, trying to picture the site in its heyday, and marveling at the remains that have survived the centuries. As a student, I especially appreciated that it was free—it was a place I could go to experience the city, even if money was tight.
Sadly, the next time I'm in Rome, I'll be paying to visit the Forum—and so will you. USA Today reports that Rome officials will begin charging admission as part of a combo ticket that also includes the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. Prices are expected to be around $16 total for the three sites.
Granted, the admission will assist the city's archaeological offices and its endeavors, including restoration projects and the opening of new city sites. So if there is a silver lining, perhaps the proceeds will (eventually) enable visitors to see sites currently closed to the public. And that's a cause even this stingy budget traveler can support.