First, the Roman Forum...
|Yup, it's a staircase|
Let me tell you something: They're lying. For one, the entire area surrounding the steps is now one big souvenir store containing cut-rate scarves and faux-leather bags made by children in Albania. You're more likely to pick up a Twix bar and a bottle of Coca-Cola than you are some Italian bread and chartecurie. Plus, it's crowded, with pedestrians and cars zipping everywhere the place is loud, raucous, and not the type of place you want to sit down and enjoy a meal. Unless by "enjoying" a meal you include having panhandlers come up to you and try to get you to donate your food to their stomach.
A far better place to spend the day is in the area of the Corte di Cassazione, or the Italian Supreme Court. There's a small market that is right beside there that will sell you the same Albanian knock-offs without the suffocating crowds. You are also within easy walking distance of the Castel Sant'Angelo where Pope Clement VII took up residence during the sacking of Rome.
|Italian Supreme Court|
The point here is to not be too distressed when you get to that touristy place and find out that the super-secret access, behind the scenes guided tour isn't available to someone without a camera crew. Sure Ms. Brown and Mr. Steves get preferred access, because their shows draw in additional people hoping to do the exact same thing. Oft-times reality is not in line with the fantasy travel land you see on the tube.
Branch out, find something new, then tell everyone else about it so maybe people will start going there and free up the old touristy spots that you want to see.