There’s been a lot of talk lately about the devastation the recent landslide around Nero’s “golden house” or Domus Aurea has caused. The palace was closed for quite some time starting in 2010.
But the good news is that the disaster has sparked the authorities to actually think of solutions. So, over time, things will (probably) work out. (And they have, you can visit this extraordinary attraction today.)
Some of the best pictures of Domus Aurea I’ve seen (because they’re big and clear and all) come from Sari Gilbert’s Stranitalia: Domus Aurea shut again.
In any case, the Domus Aurea isn’t just a house. At one time it was a whole complex, like an entertainment mall for a man with way to much of the country’s resources at his disposal. You can get the whole story from the extraordinary site called The Colosseum which has a lot of info for us history/archaeology geeks and makes a fine intro to the Colosseum area in Rome, and includes a concise information page on the adjacent DOMVS AVREA. (There, doesn’t that look Roman?)
Among the other things there was an amphitheatre, a market, and bath-gymnasium complex, served by an aqueduct 75 Km (50 miles) long.
I told you it was more than just a house. Nero-Disney, coming to an eroding hillside near you.
If all this excess wealth makes your skin crawl, you can always head out to a real and ancient port city and imagine the foul language used by the boys as they unloaded cargo. I’m talking about Ostia Antica, one of my favorite archaeological sites in Italy.
Find out about Domus Aurea tours and opening times.