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Ancient Rome Gives Us Domus Aurea - Nero's Golden House

Recently Rome opened the Golden House of Nero to public viewing and it is an attraction not to be missed. It is interesting that the ruins were discovered long ago during the Renaissance but it was in the late 20th century that they were prepared to be seen by you and I.

History tells us that after that famous burning of Rome as Nero fiddled, this magnificent structure was built. When archaeologists discovered it, they learned that in its glory, much of the interior was covered with gold, and gorgeous jewels and ivory were inlaid in the ceiling. But you won't see those treasures because they were stripped from the house after Nero died.

We know from history that the original complex easily covered 350 acres and supported a lake that was created for Nero, as well as fine vineyards and other luxuries. A strange quirk of the house is that even with 300 rooms, there were no bedrooms. But when you think of the wild orgies Nero threw, every room was a bedroom in that respect.

One of the amazing art works that is now located outside the Colosseum was a magnificent 40m (130ft) high statue that was on the grounds of the house It was a triumphant image of Nero that he made to honor himself.

Time has taken its toll on the Palace of Nero, but it's still worth taking a few hours to go on the audio tour that is offered. It's a fascinating and satisfying tour and if you are in Rome in the fall, the city is friendly and the weather perfect.

You can take a fascinating underground tour, with an audio guide to see the huge variety of rooms and vaults of the house. Fabullus, who was one of the most famous artists of the time, painted the many frescoes you will see there using a style he learned in the city of Pompeii.

For us, the artist Fabullus may not be well known, but great artists such as Michelangelo and Raphael were inspired by him, and those that saw his work at the Golden House of Nero left their names etched into the walls. Names like Casanova and the Marquis de Sade can also be found there if you look for them.

The tour will open your eyes to another world as you see ruins still not fully restored, hiding amazing ancient art works. But when you see rooms that look like they did during Nero's time, the artwork and luxurious design will take your breath away.

You will get a good exposure to grotto style rooms during your tour. But when you enter the amazing Octagon room, it will be a true highlight of the day. This room showed Nero's admiration of that famous emperor and the Dying Gaul statue that was housed there, that can now be seen elsewhere at the Palazzo Altemps museum.

But don't miss out on enjoying the great gardens and grounds during your stay. The organizers also have a replica of the Octagonal Room for you to examine which will give you a real feel for how it was to live in this amazing time in history in Nero's house.
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