Ancient Rome Gives Us Domus Aurea – Nero’s Golden House

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Domus Aurea
Domus Aurea

If you are looking for a fascinating attraction in Rome, the ancient ruins of the Golden House of Nero have just recently been opened after years of being excavated and restored. This is great news because even though the house was found during the Renaissance period, it took a big recovery effort in the 1990s to finally make it available.

Nero’s luxurious home was built after the famous fire that almost wiped out Rome while Nero fiddled. Nero built his palace in 64 AD and turned it into a storehouse of riches and art works. When it was at its finest, there was gold foil everywhere and the ceilings were covered with fine gems and ivory. But these lovely things were stripped from the palace after Nero’s death. Some trivia is that the palace covered over 300 acres which included a private lake and rich crops and the extravagant house. However, the palace was not really a home like we think of it because even though it had hundreds of rooms, it had no bedrooms. This is not to say that many times people didn’t just pass out and sleep there during Nero’s wild parties.

One of the most striking features of the palace at the time was the 40m (130ft) high bronze likeness Nero had done to honor himself. This amazing art work is still on display outside the Colosseum.

Time has taken its toll on the palace but there is a lot of great things to see when you visit the house. Not only is seeing the Palace a delight but Rome is such a delightful and welcoming city. And in Rome often the weather is as delightful as the sights.
One of the best tours of the Palace of Nero is audio guided, and you will go underground to see the huge vaults and rooms covered with amazing artwork. The world famous artist Fabullus did a lot of the frescoes of the house using a very popular style he learned in Pompeii, that ultimately doomed city.

Fabullus isn’t as well known to us but his work was inspirational to Michelangelo and Raphael as well as diverse characters like Casanova and the Marquis de Sade. So keep a sharp eye out because these historic characters actually signed the walls of Nero’s house and you may see those signatures on your tour.

The tour will open your eyes to another world as you see ruins still not fully restored, hiding amazing ancient art works. But when you see rooms that look like they did during Nero’s time, the artwork and luxurious design will take your breath away.

You will get a good exposure to grotto style rooms during your tour. But when you enter the amazing Octagon room, it will be a true highlight of the day. This room showed Nero’s admiration of that famous emperor and the Dying Gaul statue that was housed there, that can now be seen elsewhere at the Palazzo Altemps museum.

You can conclude your tour with a view of the lush gardens. And don’t miss seeing a replica of the original octagonal room. It will help you feel what life in the ancient Golden House of Nero must have been like so long ago.

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