The pioneer in excavating early sites in the Roman Forum was Giacomo Boni (b. Venice 1859; d. Rome 1925). He lived through the turbulent years when the new nation of Italy was starting to find its stride. A number of puzzles associated with his life and work, in particular the origins of the Forum, are starting to be better understood; by digging more deeply into archives in Milan, Rome and Venice, it has been possible to make gains. A conference held recently in Venice gave the opportunity to bring together the two sides of his life in Venice and Rome. In a moment, something will be said about the new perspectives that were discussed at the Convegno. Then I will turn to Boni's work in the Forum and his ideas about its origins. In the final section I will discuss briefly where the study of the origins of the Forum now stands. Returning to this question gives an opportunity to update the gains (e.g., the discovery of clay beds in the Velabrum) that have been made over the last 25 years, specific questions that remain open (the dating of the first gravel pavement of the Forum), and the work that needs to be done.