For the first time ever, Nero’s palace on the Palatine Hill has been opened to the public. The historian Suetonius describes the amount of work put into Nero’s private palace as nothing less than a scandal: first the Domus Transitoria, for when the emperor was in “transit” between the Palatine and the Esquiline, and then, after the fire of 64 AD, the Domus Aurea.
“This project is part of the Parco archeologico del Colosseo’s plan to restore long-inaccessible sites to park visitors,” explains the Director Alfonsina Russo. “This extraordinary reopening will help constitute a Neronian itinerary through the central part of the archaeological area from the Oppian Hill to the Palatine, allowing visitors to come into direct contact, both physically and virtually, with the architectural genius of the emperor and with his experimentations in pictorial and marble decoration.”
Entry to the monument — available until maximum visitor capacity is reached, for conservational reasons — is included as part of the new Roman Forum-Palatine SUPER ticket at the cost of 16 euros, valid for one day. The Domus Transitoria will be open to visitors from Friday to Monday. The ticket includes entry to the Palatine Museum and the Neronian Cryptoporticus (other parts of the Neronian itinerary), to the houses of Augustus and Livia, to the Aula Isiaca with the Loggia Mattei, to the Temple of Romulus, to Santa Maria Antiqua with the Oratory of the Forty Martyrs and to Domitian’s Ramp.
In addition to the standard ticket, a further option has been added for visitors: an archaeologist-guided tour of the site, available in Italian and English at the following times on Saturdays and Sundays:
ITA: entry to the Domus Transitoria at 11:00 and to the Domus Aurea at 12:15
ENG: entry to the Domus Transitoria at 10:40 and to the Domus Aurea at 12:00
Tours last about 2.5 hours and are restricted to a maximum of 12 participants. The total cost is €16 (Roman Forum-Palatine SUPER ticket) + €5 (guided tour of the Domus Transitoria) + €10 (reduced fare entry to the Domus Aurea).
To accompany the monument’s opening to the public, Electa has edited and published a book which examines the topography and architecture of the Domus Transitoria and the Domus Aurea, as well as their pictorial and marble decorations, and a report on the most recent restorations made to both sites.