Domus Aurea Rome Guided Tour


 The Domus Aurea Guided Tour in English

The site is accessible only by guided tour. Advanced reservation is mandatory


Language: English (also available in Italian)

Availability: Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Starting times: please selecte the range of time you prefer

This tour is very requested and availabilities are few.
Duration: about 75 minutes

The price of this package includes
: guide service, Domus Aurea entrance ticket, pre-reservation, digital guide of the Domus Aurea with map. 
Children: 0-17 years old select a free ticket. They pay reservation and guided service only.
European citizens 18-24 years old: please select the reduced price ticket.

Temporary exhibition extra charges are added automatically to the on line ticket price.

Meeting point with the guide: Viale della Domus Aurea, 20 minutes before the tour starting time written on your voucher.
PLEASE NOTE: the air inside the Domus Aurea is particularly wet. All visitors will be provided with a securaty hat.

Ticket prices
Full Ticket: 26.00 euros
Reduced Ticket: 10.00 euros
Children 0-17 years old: 8.00 euros

The site is partially accessible to the disabled with wheelchair. We recommend the use of comfortable shoes and jackets.
For security reasons, this site may be closed even without notice, on the recommendation of the Superintendent. In this case the price paid will be refunded and no further compensation can be requested for the cancellation of the tour even if communicated on the day of the visit.

Tickets for this tour cannot be modified in any way (time or date) and are not reimbursed for cancellation for any reason or in any circumstances. 

NOTE: The tour's start time will be printed on the voucher.
Due to high demand and limited ticket availability, this reservation is subject to time and date changes. If that should happen, our staff will contact you to propose alternatives using the contact details you provided when you booked.

PLEASE NOTE!!! There are very limited places for this tour. Sending an order and receiving a copy of your order by email is not a BOOKING CONFIRMATION; it is just a booking request. The booking will be confirmed only when you receive the VOUCHER. If the time and date are not available, we will contact you promptly to suggest alternatives or refund your payment if already made.

The Domus Aurea entrance

Domus Aurea Ingresso ok

In the early years of his reign, Nerone had built the "Domus Transitional" designed to connect its possessions. During the terrible fire of 64 A.D. the palace burned completely and therefore it was necessary to build a new imperial residence, the Domus Aurea.
The name comes from the Latin, "house of gold". It took this name because of the extensive gold claddings and the ceiling embellished with semi-precious stones and ivory plates requested by the emperator. The villa extended for about 250 hectares, most of the area was occupied by gardens with pavilions destined to parties. At the center of the gardens which included forests and entire vines, there was a pond in part artificial, in which then arose the Colosseum.

Nerone also commissioned a greate big bronze statue of about thirty meters reproducing himself, dressed with the old dress of the Roman sun god, Apollo. The statue was placed at the main entrance of the building, overlooking the Palatine Hill. The statue had  been adapted over the years with the heads of the various successors of Nerone, before Adriano decided to  demolish it, to build the Flavian Amphitheatre, commonly called Colosseum.
The “Domus Aurea” was essentially a villa  for the holidays with approximately three hundred rooms and none of them used as  sleeping rooms. The halls were finely coated in fine polychrome marble or richly frescoed. On each floor there were pools and in the hallways fountains..
The fine mosaics were mainly employed for covering floors, but then Nerone decided to decorate mosaic ceilings of some rooms anticipating one of the main issues of Christian art. Today  visitors can admire only  few fragments of these old mosaics.
It seems that the architects Severus and Celer, designers of the Domus, had created an innovative and ingenious mechanism to ensure the ceiling movement and rotation like the stars in to the sky.
After the Nerone’s death, the palace was stripped of its precious coverings. On the plot of the domus Aurea were built the Baths of Titus, the Temple of Venus in Rome and the Coliseum. In forty years, the Domus Aurea was totally buried under these new constructions.
The burial helped the paintings to survive as sand worked as the volcanic ash of Pompeii, protecting them from moisture.
Towards the end of the  XVth century, a young Roman accidentally fell into a cave. The cave was covered with painted figures. Soon the word spread and the young Roman artists lowered themselves down inside the cave to admire the beautiful ancient frescoes. Today the frescoes are faded, but were studied during the Renaissance artists such as Michelangelo and Raphael. Raphael even took inspiration from the frescoes of the Domus Aurea for the making of the Vatican Loggia. Thanks to the discovery of these paintings, the artistic term "grotesque" was created

The Domus Aurea was the subject of a long restoration, the reopening was scheduled for January 2007, but the great monument continued to suffer from the presence of the traffic of the Capital and to the roots of the trees that infiltrated into the ground, creating further instability. For these reasons the restoration is gone very slowly.
On the 30 of March ,2010 collapsed the domus’ entrance vault. This prolonged the long period of closure to the public of the archaeological site, until the year 2015.

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