One of Rome's major tourist attractions is the recently re-opened Domus Aurea, the remains of what was the fabulous Golden House of the Roman Emperor Nero on the Colle Oppio Hill overlooking the Colosseum.

Although the site was inaccessible to visitors during the Covid lockdown, restoration work never let up throughout the months of closure, resulting in additional spaces and rooms now on view and a more enhanced visitor experience.

A recent major improvement has been the construction of a new entrance linking the underground areas with the Oppio Park 6 metres above through an innovative pedestrian walkway designed by leading Milan architect Stefano Boeri. This allows a gradual descent through the various strata of the archaeological remains, which include Baths built by Trajan over the ruins of the palace.

The Domus Aurea was an enormous construction spread over 80 hectares and with more than a thousand rooms, all decorated with frescoes in the style of the famous stylized “Grotesques”, so called because the artists of the Renaissance who first ventured into the rooms believed they were in “grottos” or caves and not man-made buildings.

The current exhibition “Raphael and the Domus Aurea” that commemorates the 500th anniversary of Raphael's death, centres round the Octagonal Room, a masterpiece of Roman architecture, with five adjoining rooms animated with multimedial special effects and video-mapping, designed by the Interaction and Exhibit Design Studio Dotdotdot of Milan is guaranteed to fascinate visitors of all ages.

The exhibition runs until the 7th January 2022, while the Domus Aurea will continue to be open normally as one of Rome's major sights. At the moment, prior booking is required.



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