The Domus Tiberiana, dating back almost 2000 years, hosted the rulers of the city in the imperial era.
An ancient Roman imperial palace atop the city’s Palatine Hill reopened to tourists on Thursday (September 21), nearly 50 years after it closed for restoration.
The Domus Tiberiana, dating back almost 2,000 years, hosted the rulers during the imperial period of the ancient city. The large palace allows for expansive views of the Roman Forum below.
The public can now visit it, after decades of structural restoration work aimed at supporting the building for safety reasons.
The excavations have brought to light finds dating back centuries Roman life following the decline of the empire.
The palace originally dates back to the time of Nero
The director of Colosseum The Archaeological Park, which includes the Palatine Hill, in a written description of the restored palace, defined it as “the palace of power par excellence”.
On the eve of the reopening, the official, Alfonsina Russo, quoted a first-century Roman poet as saying that the vast palace seemed “infinite” and that “its grandeur was just like the grandeur of the sky.”
Although the domus, or residence, takes its name from Tiberius, who ruled the empire after the death of Augustus, archaeological studies indicate that the foundations of the palace date back to the time of Nero, shortly after the fire of 64 AD which devastated much part of the city.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the residence suffered centuries of abandonment, until, in 1500, the noble Farnese family developed an extensive garden around the ruins.
Thanks to the reopening of the palace to the public, visitors today can get a more precise idea of the route that the ancient emperors and their courts took on their way to the domus.
Hundreds of artifacts are on display
The English word “palatial” is inspired by the sumptuous imperial residence on top of the Palatine, one of the oldest The one in Rome seven hills.
The domus, built on the north-west side of the hill, is considered the first true imperial palace. The complex included, in addition to the emperor’s residence, gardens, places of worship, accommodation for the praetorian guard who protected the sovereign and a service area for workers that overlooked the Roman Forum.
The excavation and restoration work, also conducted during the coronavirus pandemic when tourism was at a minimum for months, helped archaeologists reconstruct what Russo calls centuries of history in a place that “has somehow been forgotten”.
On display for those visiting the reopened domus is a selection of hundreds of discovered artefacts, including metal and glass objects.
Statues, other decorations and ancient coins were also found.