Palatine Hill : Michelin's recommendations
Rome was born on this hill, after twins Romulus and Remus had been brought up here by the famous She-wolf. One fine day of 753 B.C., Romulus surrounded this hill with a ploughed field and, thus, the Eternal City was born. Of course, this is a legend, but nothing is straightforward. Indeed, where legendary tales situated Romulus's house, archeologists found huts dating from the 8 th century B.C., in 1949. This was a peaceful residential district during the Republic (Cicero, Anthony, Agrippa lived here and the future Augustus was born here). The Palatine Hill changed its look at the start of the Empire, when Augustus had his palace built there. The following emperors also lived there, but it was the last Flavian, Domitian who completely changed the district's layout. He made it his Imperial residence and gave it the appearance found by archeologists. The valley that split it into two hilltops was occupied by the Domus Flavia, Domus Augustana and Stadium. The Imperial Palace was extended, embellished and given a majestic facade. The Septizonium stayed in place until the 16th century, when Pope Sixtus V had it knocked down. The hill was abandoned when the last emperor left Rome. Then, it was fortified and patrician families built magnificent villas over the ancient remains and it retained a résidential look. Today, the Palatine Hill is a vast expanse of ruins, which are hard to comprehend, except for archeologists. You'll need plenty of imagination to mentally rebuild the magnificence of the ancient hill !, but it is potentially rich in future archeological discoveries.
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