The Palatine Museum is housed in the former Monastery of the Visitation, built in 1868 on the remains of Domitian’s palace. Here the archaeologist Alfonso Bartoli, in the 1930s, established the new Antiquario Palatino. To allow the extension of the archaeological excavations then in progress on the hill, Bartoli demolished the building in neo-Gothic style that the Scot Charles Andrew Mills had built on the hilltop.
In 1882 and then during World War II, many of the materials found in the numerous excavations on the Palatine from the second half of the 19th century were placed in the Museo delle Terme (di Diocleziano). At the end of the war, only a small part of the collection returned permanently to the Palatine Hill.
In the 1990s the museum was reorganised and rebuilt on the occasion of the Bimillennium of Augustus, making it more user-friendly with multimedia installations.
The layout is divided into two floors.
The ground floor, in rooms preserving the original structures of the pre-existing domus, narrates the history of the hill ever since the origins of Rome until the advent of the Principate (1st century BCE).
On the first floor, among the many works on display, take care not to miss, in Room VI, the finds from the age of Augustus, the emperor who first modified the appearance of the Palatine, and, in Room VII, the mosaics and exquisite paintings from the Neronian Domus Transitoria.