Domus Aurea (Golden House of Nero) : Michelin's recommendations
You should not miss visiting the remains of this vast, nowadays underground, palace that Emperor Nero ordered to be built for himself, after the fire that devastated Rome in 64 A.D. Even if you are required to book the visit in advance.To give you some idea of the original size of the Golden House, it is interesting to know that (apart from the massive staue of Nero) a lake, "similar to a sea", occupied the present site of the Colisseum, with countryside all around. Dining room ceilings were pierced with holes, so that flowers and perfume could be sprayed onto guests below... Also, the main room was round and, according to ancient writing: "turned round on itself continuously". The palace was closed after Nero's suicide, then forgotten about and its foundations used for Trajan's Baths. It was rediscovered during the Renaissance and filled artists of that time with enthusiasm (Raphael first) when they found wall paintings there. These gave birth to a new style called grotesques, because the underground rooms looked like grottoes. The vast vaulted tunnels that you can see today still retain traces of these paintings (particularly in the Golden Vault Room, decorated with mythological characters and landscapes by a certain Fabullus). The vault-lit octagonal room provides access to a nymph grotto and four dining rooms, giving some idea of the boldness of the building, whose past greatness may leave you with a kind of melancholy...
- Address : v. ella Domus Aurea 1 I - 00184 Roma00184Roma
- Phone : 06 3996 7700
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